When You're Tired of Reading About Trying Harder

When the weight of perfection is heavy, you need to reevaluate the holiness of Christ verses the perfection of man. It's not about trying harder, it's about going deeper.

As I write this, it's nearing 1pm and I'm still in my pajamas. Not exactly typical for me in the middle of the week. But this day I just felt like I needed the space to breathe and be OK with not rushing to do all-the-things. Because some days, I just get tired of striving for better.

Some days the command to live a holy life (1 Peter 1:16) becomes muddled with reaching for a life of perfection I can't seem to grasp, and it's wearing. 

It's easy to get holiness and perfection confused. Because no one can obtain perfection; it's an illusion. But God calls us to holiness, and even to practice righteousness (1 John 3:10). 

But I get that wrong sometimes, too. That's when I know it's time to step back, take a breath, and land in His grace while I wait for redirection.

Sometimes, He just wants me to be

Does that mean I give up practicing righteousness?

Certainly not. But it does mean I need to remember the difference between man-made perfection and Godly-righteousness.

God never intended we should carry a yoke of perfectionism in the sense we understand perfection (i.e. holiness). We often confuse man-made perfection for God's holiness. 

There are some distinctions between these two I think are worth spelling out and it may just be the key to lifting the burden of striving for that "perfect life".

Jesus

Jesus is Who makes us holy. Without Him, holiness is unattainable. He is the only One who could bridge that gap through His death and resurrection on the cross. He fulfilled what we could not -- but He didn't abolish the Law. There's a discernment in finding balance between Law & Grace. 

Simply put, when you chase hard after Jesus, the change comes. That doesn't mean we won't face temptations or tough decisions or a battle between flesh and spirit.

It also doesn't mean we don't challenge ourselves to go deeper. But without His Spirit living in us and guiding us, none of those desires would even be present, and walking them out definitely wouldn't be possible alone.

Always seek Jesus first. 

Mind Your Motives

Your motives are an important part of living a holy life because it will be a fine distinction between seeking your glory and seeking His

Often, I think we project God's glory into something that actually brings us glory.  We believe by saying it brings God glory, than it does. But this is simply not true.

God's glory will never need to be pointed out -- it will be obvious to those around you.

Chasing our own dreams can sometimes feel God-driven because people tell us that's what He wants--for us to chase our dreams. But that isn't always true for everyone.

God doesn't call everyone to chase their dreams. In fact, He often calls us to lay them down. Living a holy life means living a life of sacrifice -- and sacrifice can be painful at first.

The Holiness of God Verses The Perfection of Man

God calls us to some hard things at times, but He will give you a peace and will walk with you. That's how you know the difference between walking in the holiness of Jesus verses walking in the perfection of man.

The perfection of man is never satisfied.

There is no rest in perfectionism. 

I know I cannot remain in a complacent state because we are encouraged to "not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." (Galatians 6:9)

But I have to remember Who I am running for. It is not for my glory, for my acceptance, for my recognition. 

It has to be for Him and His glory. 

Yes, we are still called to strive, run, and practice righteousness. But we are striving for the holiness of God, not the perfection of man.

There is no rest in perfectionism. ~Christin Slade
 

 

 

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Why Should I Be An Excellent Wife?

Maybe you've seen it around -- the pressure to be that excellent wife and serve your husband like good wives do. Maybe you're a bit put off by all that nonsense because what about what he's supposed to do for you?

Maybe you've seen it around -- the pressure to be that excellent wife and serve your husband like good wives do. Maybe you're a bit put off by all that nonsense because what about what he's supposed to do for you?

I get it. It's not hard to go down that way of thinking.

It's not hard to think about how your needs are not being met or how often you seem to be doing all-the-things on your own. He doesn't seem to appreciate you as you're cleaning up after dinner and trying to get the kids through their evening routine while he sits on the couch in front of the TV.

Your heart grows bitter and you can't possibly see how you can serve a man who simply doesn't deserve it. "Why should I be an excellent wife when he doesn't want to even try to be an excellent husband?", you think. 

"Besides, why should I strive when it's clearly impossible to live up to the Proverbs 31 woman anyways?"

....

I have been through all the above scenarios. Most of them were pretty brief, but I thought them all (and more) at some point throughout my 15 years of marriage.  Since I was a newlywed I've desired to please God by serving my husband well. So, I learned early on what that meant. I set a foundation that would build the rest of our marriage -- that foundation is the ideals God taught throughout His Word. 

I have heard many reasons why women don't bother even trying to be excellent to their husbands, including: how hard he is to live with, how hard he is to love, he's lazy or doesn't deserve it, he isn't respectable because he drinks too much (though abuse isn't in the picture). 

These are certainly issues to be sensitive about and as a wife who's married to a man who's quite the opposite of me, I understand the challenges of rising to the occasion of being excellent. I really do. 

But can I tell you this?

After 15 years of marriage, the hard work and prayer put into being an excellent wife are paying off more than I can put into words.

Being an excellent wife is hard work and requires a constant connection to the Holy Spirit.

We aren't asked to do this alone -- but we are commanded to love.

Love isn't a feeling, it's a choice and many actions make up what defines love. 

Love isn't a feeling, it's a choice. Many actions make up what defines love. -Christin Slade

Our marriage on earth is a representation of our relationship with Christ. It is within our power and responsibility to honor our husbands as we would honor Christ. When we do this, we are being obedient to Him and the rewards are invaluable. 

So, why should we strive to be an excellent wife?

Because we desire to be faithful to God and honor His commands, and being a wife is the most valuable and crucial relationship we will have on this earth, under Jesus. We need to care for and nurture our marriage and recognize it as being as important as God says it is. 

It's no surprise we'll have some struggles when we live with someone who sins differently than we do. But how do we face those trials? How do we rise above what everyone else is doing - even other Christians? What is God really calling wives to do?

Do we have a choice? We certainly do. 

We can choose to ignore God's commands to be more like Him [by loving our husbands well] and suffer the bad consequences of disobedience, or we can choose to rely on God to help us walk out the love He has called us to and reap the fruit in our marriage as a result.

What will you choose?

Not sure where to start in learning to be an excellent wife? Join me here next week, or subscribe below so you don't miss a post. We'll walk through it together.

 

For His Glory,

Christin

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