You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. (2 Corinthians 3:2-3)
We studied this passage in Sunday School this morning at church. I love the word pictures Paul uses in 2 Corinthians – the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ, treasures in jars of clay, our heavenly home, and, in this chapter, the Holy Spirit writing on our hearts.
I was challenged to think about my “readers.” Who is closest to me and reading the book that is my life? I immediately thought of the kids. Do my children see the Holy Spirit working in my life? What kind of book am I reading to them through the words and attitudes of my heart? Do they see only legalistic, tablets of stone or a heart changed daily by God?
Tim and I spent a good portion of Saturday fighting. Maybe it just felt like most of the day. I don’t think the conflict actually started until dinner time. Of course, with a bunch of night owls like us, that still leaves most of the day.
Sometimes the mess in our house threatens to overwhelm me, drowning me in toys and books and clothes and other “things” that need to be sorted and organized and put away.
I know in my head that it is good and healthy for children to see their parents work through and resolve conflict but it still feels shameful and wrong. My emotions and actions (or reactions) spread so quickly through the entire family. I was grumpy and angry (at myself mostly) yesterday and I fussed at one of the children, only to immediately hear them fuss at their siblings. Ouch. My tone, my mood was so contagious that, by the end of the day, Tim had thoroughly caught the grumpiness bug.
This is not the kind of ‘fragrance’ I want wafting about me, spreading throughout my home.
This is not the letter that I want the children reading about my life and what the word God is doing in me.
Playmobil and more Playmobil
I was a bit surprised at how quickly a coolness and distant feeling crept into my relationship with Tim just over the course of a few hours. I take for granted the relaxed, sweet marriage that we share. We talk, laugh, play, and parent together with such ease most of the time, I forget that there needs to be constant work done on my part in strengthening our marriage.
Respect, accept, love, honor, affirm. Weighty words that require diligence. They are not just feelings – they are choices. I choose to respect my husband, to accept who he is, to love him as God created him, today, to honor and affirm him.
In order to strip away the old patterns, you have to cut through the tough exterior, soften the front, wait a bit as the solvent works, and then slowly peel away the junk that needs to go. How true in my life.
Christ has written a letter on my heart. His letter is full of grace and salvation. He chose me. He saves me. He pulls me out of my sin. He gives me the power to turn away from my flesh. My sinful nature that wants to be grumpy and selfish and discontented (and then turn and lash out at everyone around me). He even has a sense of humor and placed this verse in our Proverb reading today.
A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day;
restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand. (Proverbs 27:15-16)
The living God has written on my heart. I want to live in such a way that those around me can read this letter and be pointed to Him.
Project 365 – Days 146 & 147