A young man with whom I am well acquainted and I had a rather disturbing discussion. Without being too specific, let’s just say that an incident occured in which a lack of common sense resulted in a small catastrophe. I realize that individuals under the age of 25 are lacking in the frontal lobe (common sense) development department, however the wisdom of GOD appeared in that moment and I remembered the proverb which essentially tells us that if we are responsible in the little things, we can be trusted with bigger ones.
He said to me, “Why do you care about this? It’s a little thing.” I said to him, “It is precisely that reason that I do care. How can I trust you to think through the possible outcomes when driving a car, if you won’t do that with something small like this? Your track record needs to get established now, or you’ll be an 18 year old whose Mom is still driving him around.”
That of course, to a teenager, is a fate worse than death.
Thankfully, I’m not a “naggy-momma” and am careful about what I choose to offer constructive feedback about – all the while making sure my words are typically peppered with much love, grace and encouragement. All that to say, he paid close attention to this feedback.
I happened to think later about all the things God entrusts into our hands, and how when we are faithful and take good care of what He gives us, He entrusts us with more. A lightbulb went off in my head, and the blinding light of revelation of truth suddenly made the last four years of my life make sense. I have often wondered why ministry work has been so much harder than the secular business stuff I used to do. I have often wondered when or if it would become easier.
As of today, I no longer wonder. I am happy things are hard still. Why? Because as my capacity to handle more increases, so does what He gives me to handle. If it were getting easier, it would probably mean He’s giving me less and I’m not demonstrating the ability to take care of what He’s given me. So I need to have the right perspective, looking back to the days before I started to remind myself just how far He’s brought me. This enables me to literally, “Count it all joy,” like the apostle Paul so wisely recommends.
What’s that got to do with respecting our husbands? It’s really simple. We need to continue to plow ahead in His perfect strength, and measure our progress with the yardstick butted up to where we were before we started growing, not against yesterday. We humans are such short sighted beings, desiring of immediate gratification, even in the growth department. We need to have God’s perspective – and intend to stay in marriage for the long haul, doing whatever it takes each day.
And recognize that it might not seem easier, but that in and of itself is probably actually a good thing.
So, measure your growth in supernatural terms…from before you even heard of the concept of respect!