Matthew 22:37-40 New Life Version (NLV)
37 Jesus said to him, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest of the Laws. 39 The second is like it, ‘You must love your neighbor as you love yourself.’
Ever since my salvation, I have struggled to live this passage out. It seems as if during each season of life, I am constantly re-assessing and discovering that I’ve had these principals out of order. When I truly live out the first, everything else seems to fit into order- naturally. However, since becoming a stay-at-home wife, mom and then homeschool mom, I have found myself too many times being overwhelmed and frustrated because I have inadvertently, or sometimes intentionally put the ‘love your neighbor’ part first.
Not only is this disorder evident among many mom’s I know, it is also glaringly apparent in the church. After someone is saved, they are encouraged to perhaps join a small group or Sunday school class to be disciples, but more often then note, they are more strongly encouraged (or guilted into) joining a ministry team or serving on Sunday morning. Believe me, I understand the importance of serving God & advancing His Kingdom by serving others, but unfortunately, this disorder or priorities often pushes people to become works driven instead of serving out of an overflow of their love for God, themselves and their neighbors.
I have always read & understood the order of the above passage, as it is written; God, others, me. But the more I continue to have meltdowns and complain about no alone time, other people demanding time from me and rarely doing things for myself, the more the Holy Spirit is revealing his truth to me. Its not that I am a self centered, lazy woman who only wants her own way (this is what the enemy whispers every time I try to explain through sobs to my husband, why I feel overwhelmed-again!) its that I am living out of order….& thus, chaos erupts.
1 Corinthians 14:33
God isn’t a God of disorder but of peace.
Now God has created each of us uniquely different and the way in which this order plays out in our everyday lives will look unique as well. God has brought to my attention that I am more like the little girl I once was, who enjoyed playing in her playhouse-by HERSELF for hours at a time, other than the young adult I was who thrived in being the life of the party. Practically, I cannot retreat to a ‘playhouse’ (or any other house for that matter!) for hours each day because I DO have responsibility God has entrusted me with. So, I have to be strategic and disciplined with my time. I have to wake up before everyone in my family to read my bible & pray. And I have to say “no” to others sometimes in order to be mindful of how many activities emerge on my calendar. The latter has proven much more difficult for me. Its because I have put forth too much effort trying to please everyone else, fearing that they may be offended or mad at me, instead of loving God, loving myself, then loving them. Sounds self-centered huh? Its not. Its God’s design. If I had not loved myself by connecting with God daily, eating properly, exercising & getting adequate rest for 9 months when I was carrying each of our 4 children, there could have been catastrophic consequences for me- & them. If I don’t connect with God daily, eat properly, exercise & get adequate rest today, there can STILL be catastrophic consequences!
Others (husband, kids, friends/extended family)
Looks like I have some more re-assessing to do to make that happen.