Friday, August 1, 2014

Where Did I Put My Halo?

LOST:  shiny, flawless, beautiful halo

I think I lost my halo at some point between waking up and falling asleep.  I remember waking up this morning, smiling at the thought of another day; I hadn't opened my eyes or my mouth yet.  I stretched my arms above my head and - wait, that was it.  I must've knocked it off when I stretched because as soon as my arms came down, I opened my eyes and the real me kicked in.

Here's the thing:  I don't like 'me.'  The 'me' I don't like is the 'me' without God.  My nature is this: stubbornness, pride, manipulation, anger, jealousy, rage and on and on (I'm quite the gem).  That's the 'me' without God.  The 'me' with God?  Still the same 'me.'  It's no wonder I keep losing my halo, it doesn't fit quite right!

But that's actually not the problem.  The problem is that I expect my halo to fit and stay put all day, every day.  Why is that a problem?  Because I'm not an angel.  I'm not perfect. I'm not flawless.  I'm not the perfect wife and I'm not the perfect mother.  But the biggest lie I allow myself to believe is that I have to be perfect ("make that halo fit, Jenn!").

I sin against my husband. Daily. Ouch...that hurt to say out loud.  I'm not spiking his coffee with laxatives or using his toothbrush to scrub the tile grout, but do you know what I am doing?  I'm rolling my eyes. I'm disrespecting him with my words or my looks (you know those looks I'm talking about). It's the heavy sighs I give when he asks me to do something. I may tell him that my new shoes were only $20 when they were actually $30. It's the belittling him when it comes to making decisions. I get angry if he doesn't salivate at the thought of the dinner I'm preparing.  I could continue, but that would be the start of another blog...

Oddly enough, do you know what I notice during my times of ugly behavior?  My husband will often be the one to show more Christ-like qualities than me.  He forgives easier and more quickly than I do.  He is often the first to apologize.  And he's definitely the first to hug, even in the middle of an argument.  Oh man.  And who claims to be a follower of Christ?  (If only I could keep that halo on longer than the blink of an eye)

You know that saying, "if you're gonna talk the talk, then you better walk the walk?"  Well, I think Paul should be credited with coining that phrase because he said:

"Watch your life and doctrine closely.  Persevere in them because if you do, you will save both you and your hearers." (1 Timothy 4:16)

There have been plenty of times my husband has called me out on my behavior..."and you call yourself a Christian."  That's his favorite line to use.  Especially when my mouth is on the loose or my fits of rage include slamming doors, yelling or ignoring him.  Let me tell you something: nothing humbles me faster than hearing him say that.  Because he's right.  I immediately recall Paul's words in 1 Timothy 4.

Am I only talking and not walking?  Well, that's what my husband sees...

Ladies, we are a window into God's love.  Our husbands have yet to know how patient, how loving and how good God is to each of us.  But we have the opportunity to show God's love to them.

When I have my quiet time with God in prayer, I try not to spend the entire time dwelling on the sins I committed the day before because thankfully I have the gift of God's grace (can I get an "Amen??").  God doesn't want to spend our time together listening to me reflect on what a horrible person I think I am because He thinks I'm pretty great. He wants me to reflect long enough to recognize that my behavior didn't exactly bring glory to Him.  What did my husband see in my fits of rage or angry words or deceit?  All he saw was a hypocrite.  YIKES.  Someone who talks the talk, but doesn't walk the walk.

Does that mean we have to be perfect?  No way!  That's impossible!  Paul reminds us of that in Romans 3:23-24:

"...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

Our goal is not to achieve perfection...our goal is to aim for perfection.  Have you heard the saying, "shoot for the moon and even if you miss, you'll land amongst the stars?"  Aim for perfection.  Because even if you miss, you'll land amongst God's grace and love.

So when we find ourselves being afforded the opportunity to let God's light shine in us, keep in mind Paul's words.  Let's talk the talk and walk the walk.  Let's show our men how God can reshape our character and our responses to them.  Let's walk that walk - imperfections and all.

Forget those halos...we're gonna work that catwalk.


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