There are these people in my life. The demanding sort of people. The kind who always seem to be there at the most inopportune moments. The kind who don’t always think about what they say and how they say it. The kind who always, always want something from me. Sometimes, these people make me really tired. Often they frustrate me in ways I can’t even put into words. One, in particular, has the unique ability to find my last remaning nerve and jump on it. Another knows every one of my buttons and sometimes it seems finds inexplicable joy in pushing them, all at the same time.
These are the people who ask me questions like, “Where is my binder?” or “Do you know what time I have to be at the doctor?” They want to know what’s for supper and why there are no clean towels. They demand things like toilet paper in the bathrooms and snacks after school.
Some days, I look at all these people want from me and I really just want to give up.
Who are these tyrants in my life? My family. And, I’d guess if you are a wife and mom, you know exactly what I’m talking about. We’re often expected to be everything, know everything, and do everything—all at once.
A few weeks ago, the Lord laid a verse on my heart. Well, laid is a nice way to say it: Actually He beat me with it.
These lessons on humility are playing out in all sorts of ways … from understanding how hard repentance is to realizing how much I like to be right. But what I’m finding is this learning to “count others more significant” is hardest in my home.
As we spend this month at Do Not Depart considering a life surrendered, contemplating what it means to submit ourselves to the Lord and to one another, I’d guess that for many of us, the hardest place to surrender is in our homes.
I’d like to offer three ways I’m practicing surrender, humility, in my home. Maybe they’ll be helpful to you as well.
- Focused Prayer. Each morning I am purposefully praying the Lord will give me a desire to serve the members of my family. In fact, I’ve asked Him to make me miserable if I don’t.
- Fresh Perspective. I’ve been making a list of the ways my family members serve others. It helps me see how we are cultivating a heart of serving in our home. I tend to focus on the negative sometimes and this practice is helping me have a clearer view of the reality of our family’s focus and lifestyle.
- First Priority. Every day I’m making it my first priority to serve the members of my family. Before I get my coffee, I am trying to make sure my husband has his. When I wake my girl, I’m working hard to use a positive tone and not nag her even when she’s running late.
A surrendered life has to happen at home first. We need to begin by serving first in our homes, learning to count ourselves less significant than the other members of our families. It’s the hardest place … but I firmly believe it’s the one place that carries the most weight.