Women Embracing Faith

Thinking Through the Bible

Telling the Truth August 10, 2011

Filed under: Family Life — womenembracingfaith @ 1:58 pm
Tags: , ,

A safe place should have an atsmosphere of mutual trust. This aroma of safety and trust is what you want to smell when you walk in the door. Homemaking is not all about interior design, furniture, the latest style, scented candles, or even dust or mildew. Or steamlined organization, the current trend. A home should be safe. Safe in the sense of physical safety, sure, but, at the next level, emotional safety is built on reliability, dependability, trustworthiness, and loyalty. All these looped together make up our third construction tool:truthfulness.

Telling the truth seems so easy. But, little life hindrances keep butting in. “I’ll take you fishing Saturday.” “I’ll be home for dinner.” “I’ll forsake all others and you will be the center of my life.” “I’ll get a sitter for Friday night so we can be together.” “I’ll pick up the movie for family night.” The hindrances to keeping our word don’t appear so bad: “I forgot I’d promised to paint the nursery on Saturday.” “Oh, I stopped at Starbucks and got so involved with my projects on the internet, the time just flew.” “I really couldn’t help it; she was so alluring, and you’d been so tied up and busy lately. “No sitter. But, I couldn’t go anyway. Jeannie called and she’s got a coupon for two-for-one manicures.” “Oh, my goodness, I completely forgot about the movie.”

You see what is happening here, don’t you? It doesn’t begin as an intent to lie but a pursuing of one’s own agenda. A hurrid, rather careless, aiming at the goal of pleasing yourself. The result in our closest relationships is a letting down, a tossing aside of loyalty, a cumulative destruction of dependability. If we can’t know that our husband/wife, parent/child, sibling/sibling relationships can be relied on, what are we left with?

Telling the truth counts. That is why God wrote it in stone. “You shall not bear false witness.” This is not only on the witness stand before a judge, but in our everyday, our most intense relationships. Keeping promises over time, being there when we said or when needed or expected, builds rather than slowly tears down a relationship. Truthfulness seals love. Without it, the family may live under one beautifully designed roof but be fractured in all different directions, each seeking what he or she wants. The result is, instead of growing closer together, we are increasingly isolated, looking around for fulfillment, competing, pursuing our own agenda.

Are we using truthfulness to glue our family together? How does picking up this tool look to you personally? How can you use it to build up your home? Be sure to keep all your tools handy.

Advertisements
 

Another Tool For “Keeping House” August 4, 2011

Filed under: Family Life — womenembracingfaith @ 1:55 am
Tags: , ,

“Keeping House” has become a sexist slur. It hasn’t always been that way. In fact, the roots of “to keep” mean to guard, to watch over, to protect. So when Titus 2 urges women to be busy at home (or as the ESV says,”working at home” and the NKJV renders it as “homemaking”), the primary meaning is to watch over and guard the home. To make or keep a home. It is not all about dusting and cooking, but of course, that becomes part of it. It is about protecting a safe place for our closest relationships to flourish.

Unselfishness is a tool for building, protecting this safe place. Proverbs says a wise woman builds her home while a foolish one tears it down with her own hands. Competition and negotiation have become such a part of our relating, cooperation and unselfishness need to be revisited. Watch yourself and your family. Do you see a pattern here? A habitual way of relating?

When we’re after winning or having it our way, self-protection becomes a habit. We negotiate in our best interest; we criticize when it’s not done our way. We demand. We manipulate. Demands, criticism, and giving orders stem from being more interested in yourself than the other person. Listen to your family this week. Hear thr tone of voice, body language, word choice. You can’t keep house if your eyes are closed to what is going on. Some of the most self-absorbed people I’ve met are Christian men.

Unselfishness is putting aside self-absorption. If you discover that winning, getting your way, controling are your chief ways of relating to your husband, you are selfish. Or he has been and now you are getting even. Or both of you are self-absorbed.

The problem is that self-absorption as a habitual way of relating to those we love (or used to love) is destructive. Gordon Livingston, M.D. and psychiatrist, believes, if left unchecked, it can lead to diseaster for the relationship. If you are absorbed with yourself, get over it. It will take some hard work. Habits can be broken, but it takes repetition, support, prayer, forgiveness. Start by thinking of the other person, listening, respecting, regarding. This is where theology steps in. Christians have hope in the promise of the Holy Spirit’s enabling power. Unselfishness will help you keep house.

“Love your neighbor as yourself” (as much as or in the same way as you naturally love yourself).