Mirror, Mirror

Aug 11, 2011

As much as I've LOVED married life, it has truly been a learning experience already. M and I have had so much fun spending our time together, making a home together, and setting goals for our future. I love M so much and couldn't imagine sharing my life with anyone else.

The pastor who married us always said that he never realized how selfish he was until he got married. And even more so when he had children. 

That has truly been the case for me. I've never considered myself an extremely selfish person, however, I do sometimes act with only my own benefit in mind.

Some recent times of reflection have made clear some things about myself that I am glad have been uncovered personally.

Unconditional love is hard. It requires complete selflessness and grace. It requires daily intentional living- intentional reactions, intentional decisions, intentional surrender to Christ. 

M & I don't really argue. We disagree and both love to debate, but big arguments rarely happen. However, there are times in our relationship when we both get comfortable and don't put forth the effort that the other deserves.

Selfishness and conditions kick in so easily. I find myself being so quick to have feelings of anger or bitterness. I sometimes find myself basing my actions toward M according to how I feel that he has treated me for the day or what he has done for me. 

When I realize this, I'm so disappointed in myself. I'm a follower of Christ. I should love because He first loved me and gave Himself for me. 

I must remind myself so often that I am not showing the unconditional love of Christ. He commands that for believers. He commands that for wives and husbands. We are to love as Christ loves the church.

My responsibility as M's wife, as his best friend, as his love, as his sister in Christ is to DAILY die to self and find ways to serve him and put him first. 

I hate how easy it is to be selfish. What a battle against flesh every single day. 

The beautiful thing about marriage? I truly believe it is the relationship that is most like a symbol of our relationship with the Lord. Although both husband and wife are human and imperfect, marriage should be a safe place where you know you are loved and accepted for who you are. Christ died for us. We should die to ourselves with the intention of esteeming our spouse and meeting their needs. DAILY. 

One of the things I look up to most in my husband? His ability to forgive and forget. I am so thankful for M's example in that area. 

That is almost a foreign concept to me. I've always struggled with holding on to hurts and wrong done against me. I say I forgive, but secretly hold on to it in the back of my mind just in case it happens again. I can use it as base on which to pile on layers of blame.

What if Christ had done that to me? What if he had said, "Well, I forgave you for your sins and I became your righteousness and all, but really, Kelsea, this is too much. I just can't help you here". 

I think so much about the love of Christ in comparison to marriage. If Christ treated me like I sometimes treat M -I'd have run out of "forgivens". I'm so thankful that no matter how many times my heart turns cold or I emulate the exact opposite character that is Christ, He still forgives and loves me beyond comprehension. My sin is as far as the East is from the West. Wow. How do you even begin to live that out in life? It's so much easier to hold on to it. It's so much easier to act on the emotions of your flesh.

The answer is DAILY walking with the Lord. It's funny how I struggle so much with these things around the time that I am most negligent with my time with the Lord.

Christ's unconditional love should propel me to show that to others, especially my husband. I can't do this alone. I can't be the kind of wife I need to be without first loving the Lord with all of my heart and allowing his love to permeate all aspects of my heart and life. 

I despise finding this in my life, and know that unless I surrender daily, it will only take a stronger foothold on my life. I am resolving now to try to fill my life with as much of the Holy Spirit as I can.

Every moment of my life should be viewed through the lens of Scripture and the realization that although I don't deserve Christ's love, He loved me even in my filth. 

Oftentimes, personally, I talk but have a hard time living it out or taking full-on action.
So, how can I practically and intentionally love M, no matter what? How can I esteem him and show love, even when I am hurting or feeling neglected? 

Those are the things I plan on asking the Lord to reveal to me. I don't believe it's  just a simple attitude change. It is choosing to respond a certain way. It is choosing to say certain words and hold back others.

1 John 4:15-21
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is [a]born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested [b]in us, that God has sent His [c]only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has [d]for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear [e]involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 19 We love, because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also."

It is choosing to love. It is choosing to let the Spirit change you.

1 comment:

  1. Well said Kelsea...it IS a choice, many choices actually, on a daily basis. Thank you for the reminder that often when our love-line is thin towards our husbands - it can be traced back to our lack of time with God and being filled with His love. So simple. Why do we forget it so often?? It was absolutely lovely getting together yesterday! I so wish you lived next door, but then I might very well talk your ear off on a regular basis :-). Hope you're having a safe and enjoyable travel day today!