My Abigail (Thistlebend’s small group leaders called to shepherd the members of their group in God’s word and hold them accountable) said something to me last week in our small group time that The Lord allowed to be so freeing to me. In last week’s lecture Laurie quoted The Westminster Catechism when saying that the chief end of man was to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. When discussing the lecture in our small group my Abigail said, “the chief end of man is to glorify God, not to get it ‘right.’” Something clicked. The Lord gave new understanding. My flesh is always desiring to just be right. Do all the right things, check off all the right boxes, say all the right words, etc. I have always thought, in my own way of thinking, that doing this Christian thing correctly was the way to glorify God. When my Abigail said what she said, however, it made me think maybe, just maybe being right isn’t the end all be all. Maybe actually the point is admitting that I don’t know and I’m not right. That my way of thinking could be wrong.
Laurie discussed in her lecture how we’re all bombarded with so many different opinions every single day. We are influenced by those around us, by our upbringing, by social media, by our churches, you can fill in the blank with more probably. So who are we actually to listen to? Who is actually right? The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. If that’s the chief end of man then I would say, He alone is right. Oh boy, my flesh is fighting even as I write this.
Day five of lesson two, “Of One Flesh” this week in the study Falling In Love Again With Your Husband, got very practical. To quote the study, “You are his (your husband’s) helper, completer, the one God has given to him as his servant, his companion, and his helpmate. Below are just a few suggestions on how to love your husband as yourself,” (pg. 48). There were many suggestions and under each one we were instructed to write out some ideas on how to do this in our lives for our husbands. Some examples included:
“Ask him how you can help him during the week. Consider how you can be his helper daily. Ask him so that you know the three things that are most important to him for you to do on a daily or weekly basis (and then do them!),” (pg. 49).
“His home is a retreat, a refuge, and a resting place for him and your children. Help make it that way,” (pg. 49).
“Get to know him. What makes him smile? What foods, magazines, etc. does he especially like? Find some way to bless him during the day with these things,” (pg. 49).
I’ve got to confess that as I was going through them and read example after example I got more and more overwhelmed. I kept thinking to myself, ‘this is SO much. I already do so much and now I have to do more for him, what do I get out of this?’ Then the thoughts went to ‘I’m a failure. I’ve been a wife for almost three years now and I haven’t done most of this stuff and I’ve already hurt my husband too much.’ Then the thoughts went to guilt because I think my husband does deserve these things and since I haven’t done them and because my first reaction was ‘what do I get out of this’ made me feel even worse. And then my feelings went to shame because I realized as I was reading examples on how to encourage and help my husband I had made the entire thing about me. Isn’t it crazy how many thoughts you can think so quickly and how quickly they can spiral down to nothing of the truth? Oh my idolatry of self.
I was praying and confessing all of these thoughts and feelings to the Lord and He brought to mind the chief end of man—to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, not to get it right. It might be “right” to do all of these examples that my homework gave me perfectly, but my flesh is weak and I have no power to do those things on my own. To give you further insight into my weakness, in my overwhelmed state of all these examples I wanted to just do nothing. I wanted to just think and believe I’ve already messed up, I’m a failure of a wife and nothing I do now would do any help, it would just make me look like a phony to my husband, he won’t believe there’s real change. What The Lord is giving me grace to do however, and I will need grace upon grace upon grace to continue with this, is to choose to believe that I can be a helper to my husband because that’s what God created me to be. I can live out His word by His grace. There can be real change.
In order to practice these examples that Thistlebend gave me I am having to pray to The Lord to help me lay down how I currently go about my day. My agenda day to day is pretty consistent and I don’t like change, I like routine. I’m having to admit that maybe my routine isn’t right. I need God’s grace to help me rework my days to live out His word for His glory—to really be my husband’s helper and prioritize accordingly. This is going to be really hard, but I’m encouraged because I know that my purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, not to do this perfectly. Jesus is my perfect already.
Do any of you have problems letting go of routine? Is God maybe asking you to do some things differently, but you don’t want to? Or maybe you can testify to laying your way of thinking down for the Lord’s and the beauty that came from it…let’s chat in the comments!
Planted for His Glory