Have you ever wondered what it really means to suffer for Christ? The thoughts that always come to my mind are missionaries in foreign countries being persecuted for their beliefs. It’s never a thought about my own life-or even life here in America, really. So the conclusion I naturally come to is that I don’t suffer for Him. And the scriptures are clear that as Christians, we WILL suffer for him.
So I live in this place of feeling less than a REAL Christian or with this looming fear that “I’m not suffering now, but the axe WILL fall someday.” You know, those predictions of end of times persecution? I certainly believe the day could come when this will happen, but I often feel like because my life doesn’t look like this now, I must not be counted as suffering for Him.
That being said I would like to turn to our life as mothers. We currently have 4 teen boys in the house. If you haven’t had teens yet, let me just say that teens are wonderful in so many ways. One of the biggest ways they are blessing is the way that they flip the proverbial mirror in front of us about the time we have our WORST face on. They rifle through the messy places of our hearts stirring up dust and pulling out all kinds of sin and insecurity we either had neatly tucked away or never realized was there.
And what about the preteen and elementary ages? The challenges we face there can bring us to the end of ourselves as well. What do those look like for you? When do you seem to consistently respond poorly?
We have had no less than 3 teens in the house for the last 6 years. I still end up reacting to our teens the same way much of the time. When they are snarky to me, I am snarky back. My pride and insecurities still rear their ugly heads. I still have to go back, humble myself and ask forgiveness.
I began to wonder what about my thinking might be keeping me from a better response? I am a sinful, fallen creature and these sticky, stressful situations are a way that God sanctifies me. But what if this scenario is also a way that I suffer for Christ?
“Hardship of any kind, endured for the sake of the Truth or for God’s service or for the sake of ourselves as new creatures is suffering with Christ”. Would you call this type of situation a hardship? I would. Would you say that you are in God’s service, in your calling as a mother? Most certainly.
So can I begin to walk through those everyday life confrontations and conflicts humbling myself and remembering that it’s ok if sometimes I am misunderstood, disliked, frowned upon by my child? The real question is do I want what Christ wants for both of us? Or am I all about control and not losing face?
Christ is our perfect picture of humility. Even though he was by nature, God, he didn’t lord it over anyone, especially those he loved and nurtured. He was misunderstood, disliked, frowned upon and yet he was walking in righteousness before God the whole time.
Praying for a heart that is willing to walk the road of humility. To suffer and lose my life (my agenda) for His sake. to pick up my cross and follow Him.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed in us.”-Romans 8:18