Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Chief Meal of My Day

I just got home from an amazing women's time at church. I am so encouraged and incredibly challenged by God's word and Brenda Payne's applications to it. We talked about loving our husbands and I wanted to share with you some things God showed me.

She begin by saying that our starting point for loving our husbands was a correct fear of God. Funny how God has brought this up twice in one week for me. From my proverbs post you saw that I learned that in Duet this means to live by stipulations in a grateful response to God's redemptive grace. I really love that because if I take time to think about what God has done for my undeserving self, I am completely grateful but if I don't remind myself daily of it I forget and begin to live for my fleshly desires. Charles Hodges says that "His wrath is so bitter, and his love so sweet: that hence springs an earnest desire to please him..." She used an amazing quote by John Piper that will probably be hanging over my sink or somewhere for me to see daily. He said " a woman who fears the Lord will not run away from God to satisfy her longings and relieve her anxieties. She will wait for the Lord. She will hope in God. She will stay close to the heart of God and trust in his promises. The prospect of departing into the way of sin will be too fearful to pursue; and the benefits of abiding in the shadow of the Almighty too glorious to forsake."

She talked about how we are called to love our husbands. She described the difference between Agape and Phileo love and said that in Titus 2:4 "train the younger women to love their husbands that it used the Phileo form or love which she described as including warm feeling and expressions of love. She said it refers to a banquet or the Chief Meal of the Day...the best I have to offer. How convicting.

And then later on she ask the question: "Do identify myself more as a wife or a mother?

By 5 o'clock the chief meal of my day has been completely gobbled up with out even a scrap left over and by far I id myself as a mother more than a wife. I know in the back of my head that John is to be my first priority and we do make a few decisions to protect our time together but for the most part we get the scraps if their are any left. I don't think that I am much different from anyone at this stage of life. But I think I have excused it as just a season. God really showed me today that thinking like that is not biblical. It is just a season and it does and will continue to look different but it is more about my thoughts, motives and intent. I have let my conscious coast on the pities of the world for this season in my life. I strongly believe that there is no harder job in the world than being a mom but I also know that God promised in his word that he would never give me more than i could handle. He also has set up in his word that my husband should be the chief meal of my day (it's a funny saying). He didn't tell me to do this after the kids are grown and gone but for today. He also said he has give me all that I need for life and godliness today.So as I put all of this together (just today) I see that in this season of life my intentions, thoughts, planning and motives should be aimed toward making John the chief meal of my day.

So during the q and a I really was thinking "ok how do I practically make this happen in my life now? I want to mull over this some more but so far I have 2 practical thoughts.
1. Create a tight community in my life. I am sure this sounds weird but I think that so many of us moms are bearing a burden God didn't intend for us to bear alone. Why is it that we are so afraid to ask for help or to offer to help others. For me it is fear of rejection and selfishness. I am choosing to fear man above God. We all know if we are honest that the days are much sweeter when you have another mom to keep you company and share the load. When I spend a day with a friend and all of our kids it is wild and crazy but it is easier and encouraging. I come home and feel refreshed and have much more to offer. I have learned just this week that I have several sweet friends that have offered to help me with a specific need and that offer itself refreshes me. It is community in the making. I really believe a village is necessary to raise a child and nourish the family as a whole. We don't understand community anymore - it seems to be becoming obsolete but it is so needed. God never intended for me to do this alone. If I am a hand, I need eyes, a foot and so on to help me walk with God, to help me raise my kids and to help me love my husband.

2. I need to release myself from that guilty feeling that I am not doing enough for my kids. Our society today has become a child driven society and as it increases so do the divorce rates. And for me it is not even the out of the house activities - it is the guilt i feel when I am at home and need to do other things besides play with my kids. Don't get me wrong there is a balance here but most of the time I don't fall off on the side of neglect and ignoring but the opposite. I was thinking today about the prov 31 woman. It goes on and on about how productive she was in her home and yet her children still rise up and call her blessed... Today our society says that if you don't nurture your kids they will rise up and cause you shame. So we nurture and nurture and nurture and they still go their own way. What did she do that was different. This I need to think on more but I know that in order for me to glorify God in my roles I have to be diligent with my time and to do that I have to have time to think and plan and pray and I can't sacrifice my time - little time with my husband. So how do I learn to balance these things during the day and not feel guilty about it? I do it now but when I do I have a knot in my stomach that I am harming my children because I am leaving them to entertain themselves or I let them watch noggin for a little while. I mean the prov 31 woman didn't have a dishwasher or a single modern convieience and so I know she spent many hours doing her chores around the home and God allowed this in Scripture as a model for me to follow. I must find the balance so that at the end of the day John can be the Chief meal of my day. I welcome your thoughts.


The Kelly Family said...

don't you just love brenda??? she is so real and knows the WORD!!
you have to tell me what in the world she said in front of all those women... glad it made you smile!
ps- do you only organize for laura?????? seriously.

Morgan said...

Can I just say that I love and miss you???? I wish we could sit and mull over all of these thoughts with a cup of coffee...just the thought refreshes me! I am encouraged by your blogs- I can relate...