Ah...selfishness and self-pity, those are topics that I know a lot about. That is what is being discussed At The Well today. In thinking about this topic, I am thinking back to what I wrote about last night, and how God is longing to forgive us for even the grievous of sins (like murder and adultery). If you have missed that post check it out here! I am glad for that, because the sin of selfishness and self pity can often abound in me with my husband and children. How about you? It's easy to say that we love our husbands and our children...of course we do right? But, are we acting out that live, with selflessness, and servitude, or do we gripe, complain, feel irritated, frustrated, and feel sorry for ourselves, because we work so hard, and noone appreciates us? Sigh...I don't know about you, but this is often me.
How often do I feel sorry for myself, because I have to work so hard for them, and I feel like they don't do enough for me? Far too often. I know it's not right, but I find myself going there anyhow. Now, I have a great husband. If nothing else, he stays with me :-). That is saying a lot, in this day and age, when it seems so easy for even Christian men to be found straying from their wives. He is very good with the kids, and has a great heart for the Lord, and yet I still manage to find myself not feeling like doing stuff for him. Shame on me. We wives were made for our husbands, to be their helpers, not the other way around. The only thing that ruins this is when we wives start thinking about our rights and our needs. We can gripe to God all we want, but the bottom line is that he created us to help, and submit to our husbands. This means that if we want to show the proper kind of love to them, then we will help them in everything, and we will submit to their final decisions on things. This is how we can genuinely show love to our husbands. I personally find myself not wanting to help my husband because I've got things that I want to do instead, or not allowing him to have the final say in what I do, because I don't agree with what he said. I am not loving my husband if I do this, no matter how many times I say I do. Love is an action, it is not always a feeling. If we truly love them, we will support them. This means respecting and acting out on what they want us to do. That means keeping their house clean, or having healthy meals on the table, or keeping the children in line, or finding ways to supplement the income, if that is needed. It means finding ways to help him in his daily work, and his spiritual work, so that He has the time to fit in everything that he needs to do. Why? Does he deserve this? It really doesn't matter, it is what we wives are called to do by God.
Now, what about our children...surely we always love our children don't we? Well, I will always tell you that I do, but I would also tell you that my actions do not always show it. Do I show patience and kindness with them? Am I slow to anger, and quick to praise? Do I take the time to listen, or am I always busy when they have something to tell me? Sadly, I often fail in these areas. And here's another thought that really condemns me....am I loving them by loving their daddy in the ways that I should. This is so important, because if we show love to our children, and yet fail to show proper love and respect to our husbands, we are sadly still failing them.
It is so easy to get caught up in ourselves. We mothers have a tendency to tout our own selflessness and self-sacrifice, but if someone were to ask our husband and our children if they know they always know that they are loved by us, by the things that we do for them...what are they going to say? I would be afraid to know!! I fear that I would be ashamed of their answers. I spend far too much time thinking about my own wants and needs, instead of selflessly serving. Yes, I've made sacrifices for my husband and my children, but were they truly selfless? Or has there been a little part of me that just wants to play the martyr and get my pat on the back? Ouch...this self reflection is very painful! I pray that all of you wives and mothers would do what I have done today, and examine yourselves and your actions of love to your family. Do you truly act out of selfless love and sacrifice, or does there always have to be something in it for you? Do you children know you love them because of your actions, or do they doubt your empty words? Do you spend your days fulfilling yourself, or pleasing the Savior in your actions by serving your family? I know that I am in need of repentence and a turning away in my life in this area. How about you? If you feel that you are always struggling with this in your life, leave me a comment or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I would love to pray for you, because I know how important it is to be right with God in this area, and yet how easy it is to stumble! God's blessings to all of the wives and mamas out there.
Be sure to read more over at the Well. Click on At the Well, up above!