Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Spiritual Lesson From My Wife

The last few days, I've been a little under the weather.  It started with a mild soreness in my throat and some sinus congestion.  Saturday was bad, Sunday I lost my voice and my throat was more sore than ever, and Monday I went to urgent care in Athens to make sure it wasn't strep.  I don't have strep, it's a viral thing, so the doctor said I just have to wait for it to go away.  Today has been a little better as far as my sore throat, but it's definitely the worst I've felt.  So, I'm hoping this is the peak and it will start to dissolve from here.

Since yesterday, I haven't held Elise much.  We've been trying to keep her from getting sick.  It's definitely tough on me because I love to hold her and rock her to sleep, but it's rough on Kim having to do pretty much everything for Elise with little help.  She's great about it though.  She still stays on top of things.  But, that's her personality.  She is super disciplined whereas I am a little more slobbish (if I can use that as a word).  I even noticed when she was taking care of laundry, she was talking to Elise and mentioned ironing one of my shirts.

Kim irons a lot of the stuff I wear to church or anything that gets crazy wrinkled.  I've tried to tell her certain things will be fine without ironing, but she always comes back with something to the effect of this statement: "I can't let you walk out of the house with that shirt/those pants not ironed.  People will think that I don't take care of you."  Basically, she implies that what I look like is a reflection of her and what kind of wife she is.  That made me think of trying to live my life as representing Christ.

So often I try to make excuses of what I can do or don't have to do as a Christian because it may not be that big of a deal.  After all, we have freedom and liberty in Christ.  But, I think of wearing the shirt that wasn't ironed.  What if I told Kim that I just wasn't going to let her iron anymore of my clothes?  I could tell her that it doesn't even matter in the long run and I don't care what anyone else thinks so leave my clothes alone.  First, this would hurt her because she wants to do it with the intention that ironing my clothes is one of the small things that identifies us as being together.  If someone suggests that my clothes look superb and neatly pressed, I could use that opportunity to brag up my wife.  Second, Kim uses ironing my clothes as an attempt to make me the best I can be.  So, by turning down the ironing, I'm essentially saying that I'm content where I am with no desire to be better.

As awkward an illustration as that is, it really did make me think of how Christ works in us.  When the Holy Spirit is working in us, even in small ways, it is what helps me identify with God and His kingdom.  By taking an outward examination of my life and seeing where I came from to where I am now spiritually, I can see it was the Spirit who did this and I can make much of Him.  Then, I recognize His working in me as an attempt to make me better.  This is the Spirit bringing my heart towards holiness.  I have to indulge this rather than stay content where I am.  It's then that I can see just how much more I need to grow.

After that whole illustration though, I would hate to leave it as though Kim only inadvertently gives spiritual lessons.  She far surpasses that.  Her dedication and discipline with the things of God give me encouragement and motivation all the time.  One of my favorite things she does (and I'll end the brag session on the ole wifey with this) is that she prays with Elise before every baby food meal.  It's obviously something that Elise doesn't understand the logic of now, but it will be something that we can explain as she grows.  And not just as a legalistic thing, but as something with meaning.