Helpmate or Hindrance

love_is_black_and_white_by_atokniiro-d3kdtft

The bible calls for us to be our spouse’s helpmate.  So often we are so into our feelings, so unstable, that we hinder not help our mate.  We give no thought to their needs and struggles only our “wants”.   Our priority is not in “relationship” but rather our own “rights”.

Time is needed before nuptials to ask yourself, “why am I getting married”.   The why is such a difficult question to ask and answer.  Ever wonder why kids almost always respond “I don’t know” to the why questions (adults do also).  A better question is “what is my/your motive”.

It’s so easy to answer I love them or justify that I fell out of love but when we think of marriage in terms of motive its not so simple.  Motives imply intent which implies a responsibility; which is much more difficult to justify a way out of.   A motive takes the responsibility off the spouse and places it one’s self.  You become accountable for your own choices and actions.

We often hear people say they married the wrong person; truth is Satan may have planted this idea in one person. That person carried the idea to another who accepted it as truth.  Someone opened their mind to allow this falsehood to come in and we in the world accepted it as plausible.  It made them feel relieved that they had a way out; so they accepted it as truth; their truth.  The world is highly accepting of excuses and bail outs when it comes to matters of responsibility.

When we place our wants over our spouses we become a hindrance rather than a help mate.  We initiate a cycle of selfishness that says I won’t give unless I first receive.  This ignites a spirit of defensiveness as we began to spew all the reasons we are justified in demanding our own way.

To change this nature in marriage, we have to first become familiar with love in action; the purpose of marriage; the beauty of placing another’s value over one’s own.  We must learn to carry the burdens of each other.

Think about if this person turned to drugs tomorrow, three years, ten years, could you endure and pray them through it while remaining loyal and faithful?  Would you be willing to help them carry that burden? Love is so much more than adoring a person’s smile or sharing a laugh together.  It is the action of relieving another of a hardship or simply lightening their load.  It’s the selfless act of placing that person’s desires and needs above your own.  It’s the sacrifice of many things for the pleasure of seeing another happy.

Love is rarely felt through feelings as it is so often expected.  You will find that when love is based off feelings they are it is difficult to describe.  When it is rather given and received through actions the descriptions of love and the feelings derived from it are too many to name.  When love is the motive the one giving it is not the center nor looking to receive in return; however the reciprocity is somehow unavoidable.

Gal 6:2

Carry one another‘s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/relieved/

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SIMPLE WORDS

We never know how important the words we speak to someone are. The simplest compliment, or observation can drastically change the way a person sees themselves. The simplest words can speak life into a part of someone that has seen defeat over and over again.

This very thing happened to me. In that moment, I knew there was something about those words but I didn’t know just how deep those words healed me. An hour or so later as I reflected on telling that person the depth of those words it became so clear to me; those words freed me. They freed me of my own self-doubt, self-criticism, and self-defeat.

Those words were words I needed to hear. They were six simple words:

YOU ARE PATIENT WITH YOUR KIDS

Many people don’t know this but that is one of my inner critics. One of the voices inside my head that tell me: you’re not good enough. You’re not good enough as a Christian, you’re not good enough as a woman, you’re not good enough as a sister, you’re not good enough as a parent! I try to be the picture of perfection. A perfect Christian, a perfect mother, a perfect friend. Not in a way that is superior to others but in a way that I view myself as a person. In a way that often left me feeling inadequate in my roles.

My ultimate desire is to be a gentle loving person. To me gentleness and patience go hand and hand; so, if I am not patient, I am not gentle. If I am not gentle, I am not patient. Every mess up for me is a blow to my perception of how I measure up; of my goodness. Every time I use a high pitch voice, an angry tone, or ugly word I feel the scorn of my self-critic yell YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

I told myself so many times “I’m impatient, I hate waiting”. From that I believed those things and lived those things out. For someone to make that simple comment meant so much to me. They didn’t know it in that moment, but those simple words silenced that inner negativity and life began to grow where there was once agony.

The next time a thought of positivity comes to your mind, no matter how small use it to speak life into another person.  Today, someone said something to me and it freed me to know that I AM GOOD ENOUGH. If you are reading this I want you to know that YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH.

Ephesians 4:29

Childhood

Childhood is a time that is supposed to be comprised of innocence and adventure. A time of growth, lessons, and bonding. Childhood is where we are expected to learn the art of relationship maintenance and preservation and blossoming through our imperfections.  However this seems to be the childhood of old. The new age childhood is an age of material build up in an attempt to mask our imperfections and portray the ultimate fleek out image. An age of me first and immediate self gratification. We wonder where did the youth of today adopt this culture and it can only be from us, the parents of the age. I may not indulge my children in material masking or the technology savvy of the age but I can surely see how I’ve managed to model the immediacy and self gratification they display.

When I ask my children to do something or rather command that they do something, I expect it to be done immediately with absolutely no hesitation. You especially don’t want to appear as if you’re purposely dragging your feet even for one millisecond (sad disclaimer 😩). I know I know some may say well that’s to be expected. They should show respect. And although at times I can agree I am beginning to find that maybe that has more to do with my ego than parenting, guiding, and directing. I mean obviously they don’t want to comply with my request. Shouldn’t they get at least a millisecond or two to drag their feet if they are actually moving into the direction of compliance. Shouldn’t they be allowed time to cope with their emotions in that moment. And if I blow up because they aren’t complying right at that second aren’t I just re enforcing the immediate gratification principal?

How about when I ask my four year old to go get something for me…in my defense I couldn’t get it myself BC I had an 11 month old in water. But before I can even ask her to get it I’m jittering with impatience as she meticulously brushes her teeth before bed. 😂 she could not have taken more than about two minutes (the time it takes to so it correctly) but every stoke, every rinse and re brush felt like eternity as I waited for her to finish to request what I needed. As she scurried to find it I listens jitteryly to my son ask about a sore as I rushed him off to assist in locating this thing that I needed. In that instance I realized that expect demand immediacy from them. I constantly re-enforce to them that when I ask them to do something it has to be right then. There’s no room for adventures, questions, or reassurance. I model the opposite of what it is I’m trying to teach them. My actions are not lining up with my words. And so as many of us do, knowingly and unknowingly, I punish them for following my example.

Habits are difficult to break and often times we have to instead replace them with another behavior; so next time I find my child taking their time to comply with a request I silently say a prayer for them and me to improve in our areas of weakness.  What will you do to replace or break your habit of expecting immediacy? Post your response in the comments below.

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