It seems that these days we are being pushed to be perfect in every area of life: the perfect wife, the perfect mom, the perfect homemaker, the perfect friend, and on it goes. I admit it's kind of daunting. Since I already talked a bit about the plague of perfection last week, I won't go back into it, but suffice it to say it's still on my mind. I do recommend clicking over and reading that post, though, as I talked about what God was teaching me on how to be FREE from that burden.
In the last week, I've been told a few times by a close friend that I come off as perfect, or that I think my life is. That's so weird to me, because so much of my time is spent dumping my short comings at the feet of God and asking for grace to overcome them. And while I love my husband desperately, I am aware that he, too, is very human. So why is that how I'm coming across?
I actually asked my husband that on Sunday afternoon as we drove around, just having some time together. He told me it's because I've stopped complaining freely. I've learned not to talk about the problems in my marriage, or the struggles I'm having staying positive, or my frustration with our lot in life.
It's not because I'm embarrassed by them or because I don't want people to know they exist. It's because I've learned to pick my audience...and my words.
You see, when I complain about something it seems to get worse in my mind. And since so many battles are fought in the mind, it's critical that our thoughts stay focused on the right things (more on that HERE). However, when I pick my audience of One, things don't grow. They shrink. In the presence of God, nothing seems all that big or overpowering.
And words are so much more important than we often think. Once uttered, they can never be taken back. We are created in the image of the One True God who spoke the world into existence. We know that what He says changes atmospheres and creates destinies. We are not God, but as men made in his image, we must understand that words are powerful.
So why would I call a friend and say that my husband is lazy? Or that my kids are annoying me? Or that I hate my life? Or that I can't stand someone? Why would I complain about what I have and don't have?
PLEASE NOTE: There is a difference between crying out for help and complaining. I am referring here simply to negative words, not asking for help or sharing a prayer need.
I don't want to be a hypocrite and represent myself falsely to the world. I'm not perfect. Our marriage isn't perfect. Our kids are precious, but they are not without faults. But to be honest, we're really very content and happy with our lives. I don't feel like it's wrong to share those good things with people as a testimony of God's blessings, either. And I think it's funny that I used to feel guilty for not being as troubled as other people about their lives.
Today, I am going to continue on with my journey of positive thoughts and life affirming words. I am going to bless my children, making it a point to share with them that they are unconditionally loved - no matter what they become or what they do or how they act. I am going to write my husband a love letter, like I used to do all the time (note to self: resurrect this habit!) and tell him some of the things that I absolutely adore about him. I am even going to bless my home by lighting candles (which makes me happy), making some Christmas decorations with the kids to hang on the door (which makes them happy), and preparing a special dinner for hubby (which will make him happy). Little actions and little words make BIG differences in the lives of those around us.
Today and the rest of this week I am going to focus on using my words to uplift and encourage, to strengthen and establish, to build up and affirm. My words -YOUR words- have the ability to strengthen a marriage, inspire little people, and excite God. What role is your mouth playing in your life, and what role do you want it to?
Linking up with: Make Your Home Sing Monday, Marriage Mondays, Raising Homemakers