Sunday, August 5, 2007

Discipline

"Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled."
Titus 2:3-5


One of the biggest struggles in my life is to be a disciplined woman of God. Unfortunately, I am not yet living up to the call here in Titus. While I have made great strides in recent years, I still find myself every day making poor choices.

When I have some unpleasant chore hanging over my head, I will ignore it in favor of reading, watching mindless tv, or my new favorite hobby - blogging. When I tell myself that I should go to bed so I can be fresh, rested, and energetic the next day, I find myself making excuses for staying up late - my stock answer being "It's my only time to be alone." When I know that I am making poor food choices, I tell myself, "Just this one last time."

Why is it that I have not overcome this? Truthfully, the fact is that I have not yet learned, no, decided to subjugate my selfish desires to what I know God to be calling me to do. God has called me to be a homemaker; to make our home a beautiful place of refuge for my family. God has called me to take care of the one and only body He has given me so that it can be ready and able to fulfill all that He has planned for me. I have not yet learned to be self-controlled. Not the way that Paul intended in the passage above anyways. In some ways, my problem is that I am TOO self-controlled. Whatever my "self" wants to do, I do it.

What I need to do is be open to allowing God to mold me and remake my heart so that my inner desires line up with God's desires. When that happens, the "self" that's in control will be a self that is fully yielded to God. Here are some areas where I need to allow God to come in and fill me with His will.

  • Accepting that my role as a wife and homemaker involves tasks that I find mundane and never-ending (laundry, dishes, cleaning the bathrooms, etc. Fill in your most loathsome chore here). This does not absolve me from doing them. Every career has tasks like this. I must learn to do these tasks as unto the Lord. I may not ever enjoy doing them, but I can do them with joy because I am in the Lord's will.
  • Making the daily decision to take up my cross in the area of food issues. Now, to some of you, this will sound ridiculous. But to those of you that know the pain and the shame of being addicted to food, that use food as a way to stop stress or pain or boredom, you know what I mean. By taking up my cross I mean choosing to die to my self. It's not just about enjoying the food, it's about using something to fill the void that is meant to be filled by God and so can never be satisfied with anything else.
  • Understanding that my daily decisions, big and small, affect my ability, and even my desire, to serve the Lord. When I stay up until 2 am, I cannot possibly be at my best to serve my husband and children. When I choose to eat in an unhealthy manner and not to exercise, I place myself at risk of needlessly cutting short the very life God gave me. When I opt to not properly fulfill my role as a homemaker, instead allowing my home to fall into disrepair, I lose my desire to offer hospitality to those God may put in my way.

These are just some of the examples of the ways that I am seeking to learn to be a more disciplined woman. I think the trick is to focus less on the results and more on the journey. Instead of trying to work up the discipline to do all that I've discussed here, I need to spend time with God, allowing Him to fill me with His spirit and renew mine. My mind needs to be renewed. Only then can I be fully used by God.

5 comments:

Training Hearts said...

You've been given an award on my blog! Thank you for this post!
Hugs, Tamara
www.TrainingHearts.com

Melissa said...

Wow, Lori. You so wonderfully put in to writing how I feel. I am in the same boat when it comes to the mundane tasks and most especially the food issue. I pray that we can be a support system for one another. God wants more for me and I have to want more for myself.

Mylinda said...

Well, Lori, you've hit my nail right on the head. The Lord revealed to me a couple years ago my lack of self-discipline in the areas of money, food, exercise, temper, staying home, devotions,and oh so many more areas. Thanks for reminding me I'm not alone in my struggle. We should start a support group! :-)

Leeann said...

Lori,

What an amazing post. You just described my life in a nutshell. I feel exposed yet supported all at once.
Amen, my dear friend!
Leeann
PS- Hi Melissa! ;-)

Lynn said...

Lori,

This is exceptional and well written. No dodging the truth here. Wonder if you would want to share this at SUm. Perhaps recraft it a bit for a stand alone article there.

EXCELLENT!

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