Friday, March 30, 2007

The Battle of Self

I'm going through a struggle in my life, and I wanted to post some current thoughts on it and see if anybody else had any thoughts/comments/suggestions about it. It's the battle with self. In the first sentence I almost wrote "going through a struggle right now," but I think that would imply that the battle is going to end soon, and I don't think it will end, ever. That does not, however, mean that it's something I can or should give up on or stop fighting.

Here's what I'm seeing about myself this week: I am just entirely wrapped up in myself. This is just the way of human nature, and I believe that it's something that only by God's power we can escape from. But He still calls us to greater heights, lovingly molding us to better reflect His character and His image, and He demands that we shake off the selfishness that comes so naturally and instead view the world through His eyes. Oh, what blessing I believe will come when I get there! But it's still a long way off right now.

Let me give you a clearer example of what I'm talking about by telling you about the specific circumstance that got me thinking about this. I believe that Christians are called to love others and treat them with respect, regardless of who they are or how much you disagree with them. I also believe that a Christian wife should submit and show honor and respect to her husband regardless of whether or not she agrees with him all the time. I know the Scriptures supporting this view, and I'll argue for it all day long. However, when you look at my life, you'll see that I don't act that way, and I especially do not treat my husband with the respect he deserves. This isn't an intentional inconsistency, it's something I do without being aware of it. If I'm upset or frustrated about something, I'll speak to my husband in a rude or disrespectful tone when he is entirely undeserving of such treatment. But here's what really gets me: Even if he DID do something wrong that would make him "deserve" my anger, I would STILL have no right Scripturally to treat him rudely. My words should be gentle and loving at all times, NO MATTER WHAT! Christ lovingly forgave those who crucified Him and mocked His pain. So what right do I have to mistreat my precious, wonderful husband who is so good to me?! None at all.

The problem is, as I mentioned before, I'm just not aware of what I'm doing. I'm so wrapped up in my own frustration and feelings, that I don't even think about the way I'm acting and how it might be hurting someone around me. So besides prayer, reading the Word, and asking God to work a miracle in my character, does anybody else have any tips for me? How can I get out of my own little world and really think about others? How can I stop myself from speaking harshly to my husband (or to anyone, for that matter)? I want my character and my behavior to honor the Christ who loved me and gave Himself up for me, and I want to be the Proverbs 31 kind of wife who "brings [her husband] good and not harm all the days of her life."

1 comment:

Jackie said...

Believe me girl, if I knew any answers I would tell them. I am struggling in my own life and never anticipated marriage or life looking like this. I think part of the answer lies in what you are already doing- praying. I know it can soften our own hearts and perhaps make us the more gentle and supportive creatures we were meant to be. Thanks for sharing such personal thoughts and reflections- and letting me know I am not alone in this!