Have you ever noticed how you don't miss something until it's gone? And how you can come to expect something, even something that may not be best for you. Do you ever feel like you hear that still small voice asking you, "Who's wisdom are you listening to?"
One of the biggest indicators for me that I'm listening to the world or my culture, instead of God, is my attitude. When I get selfish, nasty, grumpy, whiny, needy...it's usually because I'm wrong. I think this is one of those times.
Lately I've been feeling overworked and underpaid. Griffin isn't exactly thanking me yet for feeding him all night long, changing his nasty bum, and in general being at his constant beck and call. And my hubby is a teacher on summer break. So at times it feels like I'm the only one still working. (Sidenote, nothing could be farther from the truth. Ryan is AWESOME. He cooks, cleans, works hard, takes care of his body, soul, and spirit. He is an incredible friend, son, brother, father and teacher too. He is slow to anger, thinks of others, calm and cool, musical, intelligent, faithful and loyal. I could go on and on but we're talking about feelings right now, not facts.) I'm sure everyone has felt this way at some point. I think it's normal for us to feel like we're the only one pulling our weight. Overworked and underpaid.
But what I think I hear God whispering to my heart is, "Where in MY Word do you ever see it prescribed to be selfish, put yourself first, take what you need, act entitled to anything, let alone fairness, and in general have a nasty attitude because you're not getting what you 'deserve'." God is reminding me that HE has shown me MERCY and GRACE. And I am therefore to go and do the same thing. As a follower of Christ, I am called to sacrifice and service. With a good attitude. With a grateful attitude.
Jesus modeled for me a servant's heart and attitude. He who should have been served, came to serve and save. THAT is the wisdom I need to be listening to. Not what my culture tells me. That I deserve "me time" everyday. And if I don't get it, I'm allowed to be grumpy, irrational, and rude. His example doesn't look like me getting angry because another day has passed without me getting a workout in. Or annoyed because I didn't get a shower until 9pm. Or short-tempered because the baby is grumpy...again! Or me expecting "fairness" in the house work.
I specifically feel like God is telling me that the cultural wisdom of "taking care of yourself first so that you can take care of others" is false. I simply do not see this anywhere in His word. I don't see it modeled by Jesus or any of the disciples. What I see modeled by Jesus and his closest followers, is prioritizing "God time". And wisdom. Jesus said no sometimes. He delayed his visit to Lazarus, and instead of healing him, resurrected him. What I think God is saying to me is, "Prioritize ME. Then I will worry about you. I will ensure you get everything you need. Food, clothing, quiet time, game time, friend time, etc. Follow my son's example and when you're up for the early morning feeding, have your quiet time with me. Start your day with me. And I will give you what you need. You may not need a workout, time on facebook, or to get the house cleaned. Trust me and I really will give you everything you really need."
Ugh. So simple, yet so hard. So in my 31st year (today just happens to be my birthday) I want to become more like the Proverbs 31 woman. THIS is what God says a noble (NIV), virtuous (KJV), good (MSG), worthy (ASV), capable (GNT), excellent (ESV) and strong (WYC) woman/wife looks like. THIS is the wisdom I need to listen to. (For other translations, www.biblegateway.com)
Proverbs 31 (NIV)
The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him.
2 Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb!
Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!
3 Do not spend your strength[a] on women,
your vigor on those who ruin kings.
4 It is not for kings, Lemuel—
it is not for kings to drink wine,
not for rulers to crave beer,
5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed,
and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
6 Let beer be for those who are perishing,
wine for those who are in anguish!
7 Let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.
8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
9 Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character
10 [b]A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.