It can be tempting to not go deeper. Oh believe me, it can be so tempting. Staying hollow, staying laid-back, it can seem so safe. But as women (though this trait often gets attributed to men) we're born for adventure. We're born to make an impact, and above all, we're born to live knowing we're loved by God. He designed us to soak in His strength each and every day.
We live in a time where tolerance and acceptance is the anthem of our culture. We are told to love and not judge. And usually that means accept anything, even if it doesn’t line up with our moral convictions.
I get it. It can be confusing knowing how to live out your faith in a practical way. You want to love Jesus and be a good Christian, but sometimes it can be hard to know how. Sometimes Christians do a great job demonstrating what it looks like to “Be a Christian”, but sometimes Christians are completely uninspiring or conduct themselves in a way that makes calling yourself a Christian seem downright embarrassing.
Sometimes I just want to lead an easy life, to fit in instead of standing out because of my convictions, to feel comfort in the midst of what can be a lonely life. Thanks be to God that my deepest desire is to lead a life that is committed to passionately pursuing Him. But my flesh battles against the Holy Spirit within me...an easy, comfortable life has a luring appeal.
My husband and I are celebrating our five year anniversary. In some ways it seems new. Like we got married yesterday. And in other ways, knowing him feels like knowing every last word to my favorite song.
I remember the feeling. I was fourteen years old, lying in my dark bedroom, staring wide-eyed at the ceiling like a starless night sky. I’d pray to feel something, see something. A constellation of His presence. A confirmation of His love. I just wanted to feel close to God.
We'd just celebrated our second Valentine's Day as a married couple. I loved my job. Life was good. And then I got the phone call that no wife wants to get.
How are we supposed to know we aren’t messing up God’s plan for our lives? How are we supposed to know this is the right person to date or marry? How are we supposed to know this is the right college to attend? Since we are searching for God’s will, we get caught up in an endless cycle of anxiety and indecision because we don’t want to mess up God’s plan. As a result, we sit and wait, hoping that God will show up and do something for us.
I’ve always found Mary’s response to the shepherds sharing what the angels told them sweet, but now, as a new mom it holds new depth. Mary wasn’t just being sentimental, she was being wise.
The part that most people tend to overlook is that we are to submit to one another. We found that we appreciate each other so much more when we serve one another and share everyday responsibilities instead of merely focusing on our own. So my husband washes the dishes. I do too. Usually I cook. Sometimes he cleans. He pulls weeds. I mow the lawn. I do a load of laundry, then he does. We are careful not to assign jobs based on gender roles because we know being husband and wife isn’t about who works indoors and who works outdoors. It's a mirror of Christ and the church.