I often daydream of life with a little one looking to me to show him/her the way in life. In truth this is the predominant influence a mother or father has on a child, is it not? It isn't the words spoken, but the example lived. And so, they ask: "What is truth, mama?" "What is noble, mama?" "What is right, mama?" "Am I to have a loving spirit to all?" "To what purpose shall my words be put forth?" Show me
Would I sit at the dinner table and discuss the matters of another's life with a critical spirit and judgementalnes? Would I lash out when my schedule fails causing us to rush and things left undone? Would I be so eager to seek out my needs and security in other, and thereby harming those relationships (as well as pull from the true source of reliance on the Lord)? Would I excuse my laziness or selfishness in serving and loving as I do now? Would I ask my children to walk on eggshells guessing which step will result in an emotional breakage? Would I be short with them with my words and haughty in my actions because I have not decided to overcome my foul mood. Would I truly show them unconditional love and offer them a safe, secure and loving home in which to dwell lavishly?
In my imagination, I, of course, would do none of these. I would demonstrate the kind of love, grace, and example that Christ has shown me. Children are afterall a gift and blessing from the Lord and ought to be considered as such, are they not?
And then I awaken from my slumber to the realization that I already have been given a great gift and blessing- my wonderful husband. I must then ask myself all those questions as before with the firm realization of my influence and purpose as a wife. What is it in the future daydream of family defined as with children that has cause me to neglect that he and I are just as much a family. He deserves just as much of the demonstration of love, grace and example of Jesus as any. The man God has selected to be my husband and the home and family He created with the two of us is, indeed, precious. How can I possibly expect myself to suddenly transform for the sake of children when I have yet to establish such for the respect of my husband?
As I looked across the breakfast table this morning at church at the precious little girl delighting in the love of her mother, that familiar ache arose within my being and for a moment I allowed myself to drift in to the daydream. But then I looked to the side of me to see my husband and within my hand I felt his loving grasp. Why do I believe the role of mother is so far superior than that of wife that I leave the condition of my heart, and my behavior as an extension of, as a element of the future? Have I created our home or been the kind of wife whose love my husband can delight in? No one is perfect, and this writing isn't about perfection. It's about opened eyes to the state of my heart. Time and time again I take the Lord's blessing of this moment and my husband and like a sheet of paper I crinkle it up and carelessly toss it away in favor for a fresh piece when the first was sufficient.
Perhaps this time of longing, this ache within my heart, and the repeated "no" answer is serving a greater purpose than I may be able to comprehend. Maybe it isn't just the timely and delicious meal or maticulously maintained home that is to be learned during this time (though those are indeed very purposeful goals), but also the leaning on the Lord and the trust in his teachings as a way to live- now.
So, I am encouraged to once more refresh myself on what it means to love fully, and not just apply it the image of self in the daydream but to the reality of self in this moment with my home and family just as it is.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails.... 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-13