operation selfless

God has absolutely been smacking me over the head lately with how selfish i am, and let me tell you, it's been a hard reality to face.  i am a naturally selfish person.  you know how there are some people that just seem to have something built into them that makes them go out of their way to be there for others and help in whatever way they can?  that is not me.

on Sunday night, at our Young Life small group, we talked about where we want to be in terms of our relationships with friends, family and God by the end of summer, and by the time we graduate high school/college  have children (they based it on the former, while i set the latter condition for myself).  the number one theme that presented itself during this time was the fact that i have been strongly convicted to learn to die to myself and my selfish desires.  i began thinking about how i don't want to rely on motherhood to make me a selfless person someday, as i think it could hold the possibility of breeding resentment for having to give up those desires for my children.  i want to learn to die to those selfish desires out of reverence to God, in order to be a better servant.

after determining where we want to be, we thought more about how to get there.  this is my solution: operation selfless, a series of 30-day challenges geared toward pushing me outside of this comfortable "me" bubble i've been chillin' in.

lucky for hubs, the first challenge that i felt was placed on my heart was to cook a homemade meal for 30 days.  there have been so many nights that i think, "i'm tired and i've worked hard.  i'm entitled to a break.  Eric can surely fend for himself."  with my eyes on the Lord, i am choosing to see cooking for my husband as an opportunity to serve the Lord and show Eric Christ's love through an act that he is incredibly appreciative of.  whoever originally said "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach" was absolutely right.

i will be blogging about this process, although i have plans to show myself grace if i don't blog every day.  i also want to make this fun and still be able to use this as a creative outlet, so along with meals, i still plan to feature fashion, crafting, the pups and other things i love.

You, my brothers, were called to be free.  But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.  Galatians 5:13

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Philippians 2:3

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15 Responses to “operation selfless”

  1. girl, when I became a teacher and advisor God revealed just HOW ugly and selfish my heart was. I had no idea what it took to be an adult that was responsible for kids and I was shocked at how exhausting and unthanked it went. Now that I've almost been here two years I'm so thankful God gave me this opportunity before I have my own children. I have learned so much about God's grace and my own depravity.... it's awesome to see that you realize this is a needed characteristic before you have your own babes. What an awesome idea!

  2. If a wife and a husband both work, why is it the wife's job to make her husband dinner? And with all of the other crisis going on in the world, making dinner makes one less selfish?

  3. oh my gosh. you are my hero...for real.

  4. I think we're all naturally selfish but I also don't think we should just make excuses for it. This project you're doing is awesome & I know your husband will really appreciate the meals & I bet he will start being even more loving than he was before.

  5. Anonymous -
    husbands and wives are to submit to one another. my husband just happens to be better at this than i am. he does the dishes and has other chores that he maintains around the house. this is not some idea that i have to tackle it all while he gets to come home and lounge. he appreciates when i cook for him so much that, yes, i do feel that God has shown me in my marriage that this is a way that i can submit to my husband.

    and while there are other crises going on the world, we are all given different spiritual gifts. God has not called me to serve Him through going to a third world country...he has called me to serve Him by serving my husband and the Young Life kids that I lead.

  6. I can totally relate to this. I'm a selfish person too. I'm working on compassion, but its tough.


  7. I do believe that we are all selfish by nature, but I also believe that God will help you to change when it is what you truly desire. Sounds like you do, you have already set goals for your self and thats inspiring! Good luck with this process!

  8. "God has not called me to serve Him through going to a third world country...he has called me to serve Him by serving my husband and the Young Life kids that I lead."

    Does God e-mail these days? How do you know that's what he wants you to do?

    You truly believe that you are serving God by serving your husband? So, when I feed my dog am I serving God?

  9. i'm pretty sure you're mocking me, but just in case you genuinely want to know how i hear from God, i invite you to email me: beholdloblog@gmail.com

  10. Lo,

    If Anonymous would open the Bible, he/she would learn that we all have God-given spiritual gifts. The LORD designs and molds us with abilities to perform the spiritual gifts He intends for us to have.

    We do not have to go to some third world country to serve God. There are mission fields all around us - our neighbors, co-workers, friends and family. When the Holy Spirit dwells inside, it leads a person to where God has called him/her.

    You have responded with dignity and grace. It is my prayer that some day soon, Anonymous understands his/her calling and utilizes his/her spiritual gifts.

  11. I was not questioning the idea that we are given gifts from God or the fact that there is plenty to do in one's city.

    More importantly, who are you to question my calling? Could it not be possible that God has charged me with the task of pointing out when others are using the Bible to justify being subservient to their husband?

    I took your advice and did a little reading, this is what I could come up with:

    5:22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
    5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.
    5:24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

    I find that all a little difficult to follow. In fact, I would prefer my wife to be an equal partner in every way and not my “subject.” I don’t see myself as the head of my wife either; I have too much respect for her.

  12. you're really missing the larger picture here, which is unfortunate. the idea is not for a wife to be subservient, but rather be part of a mutual submission. if you continue to read in that passage, it addresses men in the marriage as well, saying that they should love their wives as Christ loved the church. this means the wife is to regard her husband as the head of the household and the husband is not to take advantage of that, but rather regard her with a love that is an image of Christ's sacrificial love for His people.

    this is not a picture of an unhealthy relationship where one is giving and the other is taking...it is a beautiful, wonderful picture of a love that dies to selfish desires.

  13. Lo

    Where's the line that says "husbands be subject to your wives"? I found the reverse (Ephesians 5:22). Nothing about that says to me mutual submission.

    Where does it say a husband will not take advantage of that? (I'm not being condescending here, I'm genuinely interested in the passage)

    I think what disgusts me the most about this was Ali's comment that your husband will "be even more loving" as a result of this. The idea that love or a marriage would be predicated on chores done for each other is repulsive. Perhaps it was said tongue in check, I hope at least.

  14. Ephesians 5:21 says Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. It then goes on to break that down, speaking to both wives and husbands individually. I think so often people can get hung up on verse 22 because of the word "submit". Our idea of submission can be skewed. A word that I think better parallels submission is humility...learning to swallow your pride and act on behalf of the unit rather than self.

    In reality, I think the stronger message comes in God's command to husbands to love their wives the way that Christ loved the church. This is the ultimate picture of love, as it compares the love of a husband for his wife to the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross for us. If that's not a true picture of submission, or humility if you will, then I don't know what is.

  15. I think as far as Ali's comment is concerned, it's easier to show love for your partner when you've been shown love. If you've ever read The Five Love Languages, you'll get a great glimpse at this. My husband will tell you that his love language is words of affirmation, which I can definitely see, but acts of service is right up there too. So when I do something for him that he enjoys, like cooking him dinner, he feels love from that act and it fills up his "love tank," as the book puts it. When his love tank is full, he has more love to give.

    He knows that I am definitely a words of affirmation person, so he returns that love by telling me how much he appreciates me and that I'm beautiful, which in turn, fills my love tank. Neither of us ever feels taken advantage of or depleted because we continue to fill each other with love.