A Christian home should be a place of peace, and there can be no peace where there is no self-denial.
We are a selfish people. As me how I know.
If it were up to me, I would spend my entire day sitting in front of this computer. Or perhaps I would sew and scrapbook to my little heart’s content. I would, of course, need to leave the house occasionally so as to go to a restaurant to eat because I really don’t like to clean up my kitchen. There are a lot of things I would avoid, most beginning with the letter “W” and ending with the letter “K” with an “OR” stuck there in the middle.
Oh, and I would demand that everything go MY WAY. After all, life is so much easier when things go MY WAY, right?
I know I’m not alone, ladies, but I am wrong.
Where in Scripture did we get the idea that everything is supposed to go our way? Where did we get the notion that whatever we think is right is right simply because WE think it. When did God hand the reins over to us because our ways make more sense than God’s ways. Answer: Nowhere, Not Ever.
Yet, those two little words –> SELF DENIAL <– seem to make Christians break out in a rash. Some plug their ears and pretend self denial isn’t commanded while others holler “legalism” at the top of their lungs. Self denial truly scares people, simply because it ain’t fun.
Take a moment to look up “SELF” in Scripture. Take about weighty stuff! God obviously has an opinion about selfishness!
Ever since I came home from the MOMYS Retreat, the Lord has been weeding out some rather un-godly behaviors. I made mention of one change He’s exacted in my life in this post, but I also alluded to the fact there were many more. Most involve some difficult words like SELF DENIAL.
Recently, I’ve been fussing over things that aren’t going as I would like them to go. For years I’ve wanted something in particular that I believe to be a “good thing.” However, this week I was reminded that just because I believe it to be a good and right thing does not make it part of God’s plan. Do I know God’s mind? (1 Cor 2:16) Is the word “good” in Romans 8:28 synonymous with the word “easy” or the words “what Amy wants”? Nope.
In addition to this, it is important I teach our children self denial. All members of this family must be willing to throw off their own selfish desires and put on a servant’s heart.
For some reason, we have gotten it into our heads anything difficult must not be part of God’s will for us. Any Scripture that becomes an inconvenience is quickly discarded and any path that appears too full of brambles is often abandoned in favor of a more pleasant road. We are not willing to suffer. We are not willing to give up anything that isn’t taken away from us.
So, perhaps you are wondering the specifics of self denial in my life right now. Some I cannot divulge, but I will give you a glimpse at where these difficult words are taking me:
*In order to run this household properly, I MUST get up earlier.
*I cannot spend copious amounts of time in front of this computer and be a good parent.
*There are certain chores within this household that are my responsibility. They are not fun. They are not easy. But, they are necessary. I must find a way to go about my work cheerfully if I am ever to expect the same from my children.
*There are certain dreams of mine that are not meant to be–at least not right now. I have to learn to be okay with that and stop pining away after them.
This is where I am. God is placing difficult words in my life right now. I am in a time of refining and honing, and as much as it hurts, I know in the end it will all work out for my good and His glory.