Repentance Over Perfection

I’m very thankful for the review week of Falling In Love Again With Your Husband. Each day of homework takes participants through the other six weeks of homework that they have already completed. It’s amazing to go back and remember truths that the Lord brought to new light and also very sweet to see new growth that the Lord has allowed.

As I went through my first day of review, I went through days one and two of the week “Made In His Image.” There was a question that had me list out my priorities and questioned if there were any that took precedence over the Lord. I had confessed that many everyday home chores took (and can still take) precedence. I read my prayer that I had written to the Lord, “I want my husband to remember how much I loved you over any meal I could cook or how many loads of laundry I could get done in a day and I want my kids to remember that you are always number one over how clean our house was or that they always had clean sheets.”

The Lord used my own prayer that I had written to reveal my sin. I realized as I read my prayer that what it said may have sounded good, but the true motive behind the prayer was not. I have godly wives and godly mommas all around me that their families hold in such high esteem. They exude Jesus and their families recognize it. I realized as I read my prayer that that is what I desire more than to glorify the Lord. I fear what my family will think of me and put their opinions over the Lord’s. I want them to love me, to hold me in high esteem for how “godly” I am, I want their recognition. When I saw these symptoms of sin from seeing my idolatry of self and pride in this new light I was heart-broken; partly because I saw a new way that I was sinning against my God and partly because this wasn’t a sin I could immediately “fix.” I couldn’t immediately take that desire away, I still felt it even if I didn’t want to anymore.

I started to think about this more as I went throughout my day. The Lord brought scriptures to mind that I had been reading thanks to His grace of allowing me to get up to read His word because of commitments I had made to my small group at Thistlebend. Normally seeing a sin like this that wasn’t immediately changeable would make me walk in defeat for the rest of the day. I would feel shame, guilt and would want to try and cover it up before coming to the Lord so that I could confess what I was doing not the current reality. This time was different.

I remembered what I learned about Psalm 63 from a previous study of Thistlebend that David, in his sin, didn’t hide from the Lord, instead he clung to Him all the more. So, by God’s grace, I confessed to Him, this is what I’m feeling and seeing and I don’t know how to stop. I know the focus is on me and wanting to be cherished as a wife and mother instead of cherishing you. I remembered scripture passages from 2 Corinthians 4 and 5 and Colossians 3 that I have around my house because of a another commitment I had made to my Thistlebend small group that talk about our heavenly dwelling and setting our minds where Christ is because things that are seen are temporary, but Christ is eternal. And the Lord brought to mind a scripture from Psalm 25 that I had read that very morning, “My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for he will pluck my feet out of the net” (Psalm 25:15). The Lord kept bringing more truth to mind as I thought and prayed about my sin and I was given the ability to remember the truth. That maybe I do feel as if I want that recognition more than just loving the Lord, but I do not have to identify with that pride. That pride is not who I am, I am now in Christ. When I see that I’m feeling that way I can fix my eyes towards the Lord and off myself and remember that it is Him alone that plucks my feet from the sinful net that I can be entangled in.

Maybe I will continue to struggle to worry what people, even my family think of me. I pray that the Lord relieves me of this sin, but even if He doesn’t this side of heaven, because of Jesus and what He did for me, I live for another. I was created for another and I can openly confess to my family that I want this recognition, but by God’s grace, I want Him to be recognized more and it says that He is glorified in my weakness and so here’s what I struggle with.

I am so encouraged. God is tangibly moving in my life and giving me grace to believe His truth, even if it’s in ways that I wouldn’t necessarily want. I still really don’t like to see my sin, but through seeing this and calling it what it is, I saw God, and truly, that’s all that matters. In Luke 15 Jesus says, “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance” (Luke 15:7). God rejoices with repentance, not perfection. I’m so thankful for how He uses Thistlebend in my life.

How have you seen God work in your life lately? Let’s celebrate how God is moving together in the comments!

Planted for His Glory

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