I’m a selfish man by nature… I really can’t help, I was born that way.
I was thinking about this recently and discussing how easy it is to live that way with a brother of mine. It comes quite naturally in most situations, but one of the times I notice it most is when I return from business trips.
I’m in an unusual sort of business. Believe it or not someone pays me to provide times for the participants in a running race. This business requires me to be away from home on numerous occasions and sometimes during the peak running season I can be gone for up to a week at some of our very large events.
It’s in these times that I’m particularly prone to myself. It’s almost like a surreal world that I reside when I’m at these events. The bottom line is that I have a certain amount of work that needs to be accomplished and I need to ensure it gets done. I wake up when I need to wake up, do the things that I need to do, feed myself when I’m hungry (in most cases) and don’t have to wait around for a wife and children.
It’s probably similar to a military man on deployment. He’s hanging with the guys and then they head out on their missions. When I come home it’s sometimes difficult to re-adjust. I have to attempt to snap out of “Kevin only” mode and start considering the ones God has placed in my life to nurture. It’s really much more difficult than you think and on more than one occasion (or maybe all of them), my wife has to gently remind me that she desires adult conversation when I return home. And, “oh right, I almost forgot God requires me to lead my family.”
Hebrews 4:12 tells us that God’s word is sharper than any two-edged sword, and it is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, and this is very sharp indeed for me.
Husbands love your wives… Ephesians 5:25
Husbands your wife is a weaker vessel… 1 Peter 3:7
Father’s train your children… Ephesians 6:4
It goes on and on for me and I’ve often found myself knowing that I need to put things off to stay ahead of the impending email that will soon invade my inbox. I’m pulled in a lot of directions, because Jen wants me to lead and I just got done leading and I’m a bit worn out.
It would certainly be a lot easier to just hide somewhere, but I can’t wait to get home and I can’t wait to see Jen and the girls, so the war rages inside. I have responsibilities and I must provide for my family, but I must also lead them and nourish them and train them.
So the battle continues and it will for a lifetime, because one day the kids will be out of the house and then my role will change, but God still doesn’t let me off the hook. Lord willing I’ll still be a husband, and Lord willing I’ll still be a father, and Lord willing I will be a grandfather and have the opportunity to live out a multi-generational vision for my grandchildren.
What a battle…what a life…what an opportunity to deny myself, take up my cross and serve and honor the Lord. He never promised a life of ease and comfort, actually just the opposite. If the Christian life you live is a little too easy, maybe it’s not true Christianity and maybe a war needs to rage within you?
It’s pretty easy to live life on cruise control. Jesus said those who desire to keep their life will lose it and those who desire to lose their life will find it. I desire to lose my life, but that doesn’t make it easy.