Thursday, July 5, 2012

Whom do you serve?

I can think of numerous occasions in the Bible where a person had to decide about whether to please God or man. Ultimately, that is the crux of essentially every issue, but there are some times that it is more obvious than others.

I've been contemplating over the recent week or two the importance of choosing God over man. Our God is a jealous God. He demands, yep - strong word but it's true - He demands our allegiance, our attention, our loyalty, our all.

I recently became aware of a person who is not pleased with a decision Derin and I have made. The details aren't important, and while it shocked me and hurt a little, it was fairly easy for me to shrug and though disappointed, conclude that since I'm not seeking that person's approval, this news was not all that important to me. That's easy (or at least *easier*) to do when the person is not high on our list of those we need approval from, but what about those that are. Consider for a moment the people that you go to for advice, the ones that you long to have approve of you, your spouse, your decisions, your dreams... when it comes to those people on your list... it is much more difficult to choose to serve God instead of those men and women of importance. Is God really your everything? Do you long to serve God more than you long for "____'s" approval?

"Choose this day whom you will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A moment of transparency

When preaching about marriage, my husband has often said from the pulpit, "If you don't like my wife - then we can't be friends." His point is that we are one and he will stand with me even if that means he has to stand against everyone else - friends, family, etc. He has had to do just that a number of times and I love him for it so much - it is a demonstrative act of his commitment to our marriage.
Of course I also agree the same - if you have a problem with my husband, then I'm sorry, I will end a friendship. My husband comes first. If your words or attitude are acting as a crowbar to drive a wedge in between myself and my husband, you're the one to go.

Here's my "transparent maybe it shouldn't be said but it's on my heart so I'm going to say it" moment.

I have a difficult time with this in the church family.

When someone comes to ME to ridicule or question my husband, the points from above are my instinct and I have a difficult time remembering to love first. In that moment, I do not have the luxury of growing frustrated or angry or defensive or even hurt because the other half of my heart (my husband) is being attacked or questioned- but instead I have to respond in love or we're going to have even bigger problems than where we began.
Typically my response, preferred by my husband especially, is deference. In that moment I try to take a deep breath and direct that person to my husband to discuss their issue or question. I don't know what my husband is thinking all the time, why he opted to preach on the next text instead of a "holiday appropriate" sermon, why he planned something a certain way, why he hasn't planned something yet, etc. As a bi-vocational church planter who is working on his master's degree there are plenty of weeks that we barely have time to discuss necessary topics pertaining to our family - discussing the church as pillow talk is well.... less than ideal.

With this I leave to you, if you have an issue or question for the pastor - seek him out and not his wife. You'll get a more accurate answer and he has broader shoulders - he's used to getting punches in the gut. Me? I don't have abs of steel and well ....sometimes it hurts.