BUSY…Busy…busy. LAZY…Lazy…lazy. I guess, if I could summarize my life at times, it would include being really busy, but also being lazy. And I don’t mean lazy in the sense of “I do nothing all day long.” But I mean lazy in the sense that I lack discipline in the areas that I need it. So this will be a comparatively shorter post.
Slothful – unwillingness to work; laziness; shiftlessness; the sinful inclination to avoid the most important things in life
A while back, I got really convicted about being slothful (you know, one of those seven deadly sins….like they won’t all produce death). And again, the conviction wasn’t about handling my responsibilities at home or anything like that, but it was about being spiritually slothful. Meaning, there were areas in my spiritual life that I failed to actually work on. So for me, this included: not being devoted to God on a daily basis, not seeking opportunities to encourage fellow believers regularly, not sharing the gospel with unbelievers, not using my gifts for the edification of the church, and not praying regularly.
So, yes, I have a laundry list of faults that I don’t mind openly sharing because it’s an opportunity where God can be glorified. You see, for all of these reasons I went to God and confessed all my sins, including the fact that I just didn’t think it was all that important compared to other things……I try to be real honest when I’m repenting. And I accepted God’s forgiveness, and I asked for His grace and a constant reminding from His Spirit to prompt and cause me to do the things that I should have been doing. And glory to God! He heard my prayers, and I have been growing and doing a lot better. I’m conscious of making devotion to God the primary part of my day. I’m seeking out opportunities to connect with other believers and extend hospitality to strangers. I’m gearing myself up so that I can properly share the gospel with others….I’m growing by the grace of God!
Soooooo, let me tell you that I got convicted this week on being slothful. It was horrible! I woke up with some things on my mind, and I was getting more and more irritated with my husband as my thoughts progressed (he was at work), and I knew I was wrong in my thinking. So I appealed to God with my stubborn, self-absorbed pride and managed to tell Him that I knew I was wrong, but He was going to have to do something to change how I felt. So I was massively convicted about being slothful in my marriage.
Can I tell you, God can seriously shut you down whenever!!!! So God pointed out all the areas of my life where I had been paying more attention and working harder at (all good things). He even pointed out my diligence in my parenting, making sure my daughter is developing the way she should and everything. But the one area that had escaped my attention was my marriage. Diligent in every area, but the one place that I knew meant more to me.
In my eyes, our marriage was going well. I think we adjusted to each other well. We have a lot of things to pay off, but we’re dedicated to the cause. Yet there were things missing, and I had the habit of seeing it as my husband’s shortcoming, rather than my own. I remember pointing out that we hadn’t hugged or kissed each other in days (I think it was the fourth day when I realized that), and after mentioning it to my husband, he thought and said, “Yeah, I guess you’re right.” I guess, it was just commonplace for us both, but I think the worst part is just that it took that long to notice. And we’ve only been married for just over two years!!!
Back to the story, so this conviction came. And along with it came the memory of a sermon we listened to while courting. The speaker compared marriage to a garden that you daily work and tend to. He said that you can neglect it for a while, and it will still look good and everything. But after some time, you will start to see some things creep in that weren’t there before. Some things will get overgrown, and other things will run rampant through the garden capable of destroying it. His admonition was to be constantly mindful that it takes consistent and daily work to make a marriage beautiful and worth something before God.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. – Colossians 3:17
So thinking about this, I realized that my attention had been on all these other areas in my life, but I had actually not even thought about my husband or his needs. I don’t know. Maybe dealing with a 1 year old that can’t communicate their needs readily made me more reactive than proactive when it came to dealing with him. I guess I figured that if he wanted or needed something from me, he would tell me. So I could go handle all the other stuff that’s on my list until he spoke up. Yeah, that was really jacked up of me, and just plain wrong. So I had to do some confessing again, repenting again, and asking for the grace of God again.
And you know, it’s been a nice adjustment. My husband has been pleasantly surprised and happy, and I’m actually happier these days. My marriage is a work I enjoy doing much more than I enjoy picking up toys all day. But it’s also been a little difficult. I know that the more tired I am, the quicker my husband gets shoved to the back burner. So I have to be ultra-efficient with my time these days. And I’ve also had to get back into to the things that keep me stirred up about my marriage too (i.e. good sermons, the Word, other Christian couples, etc.). And even that has challenged me too (that’s a different blog), but I just wanted to share where I’ve been and how far He’s brought me. I thank God for watching over me and my marriage, and for continuing to preserve us together for His glory!