Have you ever had a sermon that stuck with you for days? I mean, no matter how hard you might try, something from the sermon just kept coming back into your mind over and over again? That's been my week. Granted, it's only Tuesday so to say that I'm still mulling over the sermon from two days ago may not seem like a big thing. Bear with me.
Hubby's sermon this past Sunday was a continuation of his current trek through the Sermon on the Mount. In it, he shared the story of a Pastor who was new to town. The Pastor got on a city bus and paid his fare. Once he had taken his seat, he discovered that the bus driver had given him a quarter extra in change. There was the typical depate with self - it's only a quarter, who would ever know? - but the Pastor returned the extra quarter when he got to his stop. The bus driver said, "You're the new Pastor in town aren't you? I've been thinking about coming to church but I want to know that I can trust the Pastor I'm listening to. I want to know that he's an honest man. I'll see you Sunday, Pastor." The Pastor got off the bus, a little weak in the knees, and leaned against a nearby lamppost where he whispered a quick prayer - "Forgive me, Father. I almost sold out your Son for a quarter!"
I've heard it said that everyone has a price and for some people, it's pathetically low. So I've been wondering - what's my price? What would it take to convince me to "just coast"? To simply get through each day and not think about the example I'm setting?
It's no secret that I've been working through what the Bible has to say about marriage. As I think about what "my price" is, I can't help but look at the question from my position as a wife and mother. What would it take to get me to focus on my own needs and ignore what my husband and family need? What is my price for being a disrespectful, rebellious woman? Proverbs 14:1 tells us "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." So what is my price? What would it take to get me to tear my own house down?
There are those in the world that would actually encourage the kind of thinking that would tear my house down. After all, my husband and I are equals, right? I should have the right to make decisions and point out every time that he is wrong. Before any die-hard feminists put together a lynch mob, hear me out. Yes, scripture teaches that all people are equal in the eyes of God - Galatians 3:28 says, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." But scripture also tells me that God intends for my husband to be the final authority in the home, not me: "For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now, as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. (Ephesians 5:23-24)"
So what's my price? Simple: the ability to indulge my own self-centeredness. I would sell out my God-given responsibilities to submit to my husband, to show him respect, and to set an example for the young ladies living in my household for the ability to be self-indulgent. Coddle my selfish nature and I will sell out. I would give up eternal blessings, peace in my home, and the ability to grow spiritually simply for the chance to be selfish. How pathetic! I have a price and it's not very high!
I wish I could find the secret to making this whole thing easy. I wish I could simply "flip a switch" or read the right book that would make submitting and surrendering easy. But nothing worth having or doing every comes easily. Each day, I must purpose in my heart that, with the help of my Heavenly Father, I will choose to submit, choose to show respect for the man that blesses my life in so many ways, and live a life that pleases my Abba. There is no way to do this except to take one day, or even just one step, at a time.