A few further thoughts . . .
I really believe we women have a blessing of being able to learn submission to God by having our marriages as models. How do men learn the same submission? Yes, I agree we are all to submit to one another, but in the opportunities we women have to learn that in our daily lives, our honest looks at ourselves serve as a constant thermometer of our relationship with God. That's a blessing.
When we look at how we view our relationship with God - its roots are buried deeply within how we view all our relationships. For instance - girls are taught from early on (in many families) to find a husband who will be able to provide for all their needs (or should we say wants.) Some mothers really push this and mold their daughters, placing them in situations where that is the type of relationship they are to search for - above all others. Now, I am not saying we should not desire lives of financial security for ourselves and our children. Of course we are human and our human desires are important -but is that the main or sole yardstick we use to find a suitable mate?
In actuality - in that type of marriage - the girl is the center of her own desires. She never intended to live the words of her vows - "Love, honor . . . (even if you want to leave out obey) she never desired to honor her husband - she was finding a man who would honor and please her. Her needs are the needs being met in her search. When she took her husband's name - she never meant the words she said - she took his name in vain.
When that has been drilled into a girl's mind, and when even parental roles are seen in that way these days, how can it not filter into her understanding of her relationship with God? He is just another, more powerful personality who is here to give us what we need/want. Save him for the really big stuff your husband can't provide or fix. He comes to the rescue in sickness, in times of financial problems or in matters of the heart.
One of my favorite writers, Clarence Jordan, explains it like this, "The principal problem of modern Christians is that they want God to conform to their agenda - to bless their endeavors and goals. That is backwards. God has an agenda and wants God's people to learn what it is and to become active participants in that agenda. People and churches build "God boxes." Then they invite a certain kind of God into their boxes. That God, for instance might be a God for white people, affluent people, or highly educated people. But God doesn't show up in the human made boxes. That God, the authentic Lord of All, is shut out."
Without a revelation from God about who HE is and who we are - I am not sure how a person can step away from the 'me' life and put God as the center. How does one undo a lifetime of watching out for himself? However, anything less is unacceptable. God gave us talents to use for Him - not to make us more money, give us fame or provide us a reason to feel good about ourselves. I have seen teachers, for instance, bristle against having difficult children put in their classes. Others have flatly refused them. If God has given you a talent to teach - what is it for? Something for you to gain $$ and a warm fuzzy about - or it is to be used for those kids who need you the MOST - the difficult kids? It's hard to find folks who view their jobs and talents that way.
So - my prayer for myself - and anyone else interested in this type of life would be that God would reveal His greatness to me and my role in His Plan - not His role in mine. It's a 100% life change - and one that's a bit scary. :/
June 1st - These are two sections of the story I've been very slowly working on. * John had come out of the wilderness at Bethany beyond the Jordan burned brown...
2 weeks ago