I am blessed to say that my husband is the person in my life that challenges my soul the most. What does that really mean for me?? I feel like I am always looking in the mirror, always being refined, always throwing my hands up in the air begging for the Lord to change me a little faster. Most days I like being in that place, and the others, not so much!!!! We fight change don’t we?? Heart change is the hardest!! It takes time, work, prayer, intention, and putting our noses into God’s Word over and over until we are refined and looking a little more like Jesus.
What is it that about that man of mine??? He sees what I do not have eyes for and he extends himself beyond what I am often willing to. He is selfless for the sake of the gospel. He is motivated to mission so that others can know and experience Christ. No doubt he is gifted in evangelism, mercy & hospitality… but he learned it too. He was adopted at the age of eleven by some of the most selfless people I know. They are always giving, always extending, always motivated by Christ and his generous love poured out in both life and death. They know the gospel….and therefore they live the gospel.
He has brought this into the heart of our home, though he met resistance!! At the beginning of our marriage, he was constantly letting others borrow anything they needed or wanted….things from the beloved wedding registry that I was holding onto so tightly. In the beginning he taught me to let go of earthly possessions and hold my arms out open to any need that came our way. God was gentle and kind with me through Daniel; he taught me slowly and did not get frustrated when I said no or picked a fight over the smallest of things. And every time I was ready, he would challenge me to deepen my understanding of the gospel and response to it. It has grown from the sacrifice of things to the sacrifice of self.
Even last night, he called from Kroger as he is buying groceries for two women and their children, letting me know they might be coming to dinner. I’ve got three kids covered from head to toe in sidewalk chalk paint, the house is a mess, laundry and dishes adorn my couches and countertops and after a few thoughts of “what & now??!!” I throw the kids in the bath and begin to share with them & teach them about what it means to really love others. These moments CAN be teachable if we choose. Our homes CAN be a place to live out the gospel WITH our children if we choose.
What is the gospel? It is that Christ came to “preach good news to the poor, bind up the broken-hearted, proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness the prisoners..” (Isaiah 61) He did this in both life and death. A great place to start with our children is to read through one of the gospels with them. Tackle a chapter a night and teach one point from that chapter about who Jesus is like “Jesus is the Word or Jesus is the light.” Knowing Him is the best place to start. Join me in the heart transformation. Join me in learning at the feet of Christ how to reach out for the sake of the gospel WITH my kiddos. No matter the age, there is great opportunity to learn a life of selfless giving if we choose.
A couple of great adult resources to read through are The Hole in our Gospel by Richard Stearns, president of World Vision U.S. (study book available for small groups) and Tim Kellers Ministries of Mercy: The Call of the Jericho Road.