Thursday, July 21, 2011
Smelling of Lavender baby lotion and diaper creme, my two-year old daughter yanks a toy from her 11 month old brother's hand. "It's not time for that brudder, it's time to go nite-nite". He begins to cry and once again (for the 10th time that day), I ask my sweet, pig-tailed daughter... "Who is Ryder's boss?" With her chin resting on her chest and hesitation in her voice she softly responds, "Mommy is Ryder's boss." I then proceed with my well rehearsed speech on how mommy is Ryder's boss and her sweet-self doesn't need to rule her brother's world, that I can take care of him just fine.
The fact of the matter is the Lord has had this very conversation with me countless times.
It was a typical, way over-done conversation for us... Steven and I were tired and he responded in a way that stinkin ticked me off. I felt my anger swelling within me. Why doesn't he see it MY way? The WHOLE world would see it my way... I DESERVE to put my foot down this time. I NEED to tell him exactly what I am thinking right now. He ALWAYS gets his way. I am going to SHOW HIM this time... these thoughts were rolling around inside of me and I could sense a horrific explosion about to spew from my mouth in the form of words that I would only regret saying and try to shove back in later. At that moment... I sensed the Lord whisper to me... "Who is Jamie's boss?" With hesitation and a drop in my gut, I respond, "Jesus, you are my boss." I then sensed the Lord reminding me that His ways are higher and more effective than mine and my sweet-self doesn't need to rule my own world, that He can do that just fine.
Familiar words of how the scripture defines love as patient, kind and not rude... began to rise up in me.
Opposing words of hurt, anger, and a weak victim's cry began to rise as well.
Who would I listen to? How would I respond? Who am I going to please? Who am I going to serve?
I quietly responded aloud, "I will respond in a way which is pleasing to you, Lord."
The battle was won.
Romans 6:16, 22-23
16Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey--whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God,the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
As our scripture reference states..we have a choice to choose LIFE, righteousness and holiness or death. The easiest path is do what we want to do when we want to do it when it comes to relationships. However, God's ways are clearly higher than our ways according to isaiah 55:9. Doing things according to his blueprint gets us to the desired destination. Doing things our ways only breeds destruction and deception within us. Envision with me your marriage being full of life, vibrancy, and glorious fruit for the Lord. Think of a marriage that is fun, full of shared "God" moments and a great sex life. How about friendships where God is glorified because they exude encouragement, patience and a huge allotment for growth. These "dream" relationships are the results of choosing to respond in a way that pleases the Lord. When we choose to make Jesus boss and get ourselves off the throne... He truly can create a masterpiece in each relationship we have.
The fact of the matter is we all have a master. The scripture clearly states we are slaves to the one whom we obey. Either to sin (the fleshy way) or to obedience to the Word (God's way). Relationships are one of the many lifelines in our walk with God. Whether a spouse, sibling, friend or mentor, relationships is where our love walk begins and ends. It is SO, (and I emphatically shout from the roof-tops SOOOOOOOO) easy to be the boss of our own lives, especially when it is in response to our closest relationships. To proclaim Jesus as our Lord is more than just speaking one of His many splendid names. It's saying, "Jesus, you are the boss of me!". Choosing to respond to Jesus breeds blessings, promises and life. So, get your sticky fingers off your own life and let the Lord do His thing! The next time your friend treats you less than kindly, your spouse forgets something important to you, your boss takes credit for one of your ideas or your pastor says something that cuts deep.... take a step back and choose which master you will please.
Say it aloud.... "I will respond in a way which is pleasing to you, Lord!"