Friday, April 19, 2013

The Indifferent Housewife

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade-kept in heaven for you who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:3-5

This is what the LORD Almighty says, "I am very jealous for Zion; I am burning with jealously for her."  Zechariah 8:2

For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. 2 Corinthians 11:2

I've struggled many times to write this post. It has been so difficult to get this concept out of head and onto paper. This post is in no way related to my indifference toward my earthly husband but even more insidious this illustration came out of a season of indifference toward my heavenly Bridegroom. This season of unbelief came upon me suddenly in 2010. It was revealed to me after asking Jesus to show me my heart attitude and motivation behind my service to Him.What He revealed to me was two fold. One, I served Him to gain His approval not because I already had His approval. I truly believed that my service to Him gave me bargaining rights (I wouldn't have admitted this out loud but my heart attitude and actions proved  this was what I truly believed). Secondly, I was indifferent toward His purposes and plans. Let me pause right here and say that behind every sin is the sin of unbelief.  The byproduct of unbelief is indifference. Indifference is a vicious enemy of the gospel and God's work within us. Indifference is an attitude of apathy toward God and His purposes and if left unchecked always leads to apostasy, a turning away from Christ and a toleration of counterfeit gods.

Unbelief can also lead us to believe the lie that God is indifferent toward us and our sin. This is heresy! God is not slow in keeping his promise but is patient with us, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 and His patience means salvation. 2 Peter 3:15. His abundant, all consuming love for us, sent His only begotten Son to the cross where every sin ever committed was placed upon Him. God is far from being indifferent toward us and our sin.

The illustration God gave me regarding my service to him was an indifferent housewife who spends her days serving the needs of her husband while he is away at work. She spends the day, cleaning the house, ironing his clothes, making their bed, getting everything in the home perfectly ready and intentionally catered for her husband's comfort right down to a folded paper and a tidy corner chair with his favorite drink waiting for him when he arrives. She cooks a hot delicious meal for him every night but never sits down to eat with him and enjoy him. Everything she does is motivated by her desire to be thought of as the perfect wife by her husband and her friends. She never does these things out of a true desire to serve her husband but she does these things so she doesn't have to feel guilty for not wanting to spend time with him and be intimate with him. She would rather serve him then be with him. She uses her service to him as a bargaining  right to do as she pleases when he comes home.

Sound familiar? There are two sides to this indifference. There is also the housewife that does all these things because she's afraid that if she doesn't perform for her husband then he will leave her for another.

I truly believe there are many indifferent housewives in the church today. The housewives that are indifferent toward God and the housewives that believe that God is indifferent to them.

But this is what I know to be true about Jesus, He is faithful to not leave us where we are but daily comes to us to restore us to Himself. He rescues us and places within us a love that consumes us as we grow in the knowledge of Him through the healing waters of His Word. As we fix our eyes on His performance for us, His love for us and his desire to shelter and protect us, His love will transform us from the inside out.  It is His grace toward us that allows us to see ourselves with accuracy. It is His grace that reveals the things within us that He desires to change. It is His grace that continues to free us from our idolatry and the sin of indifference. I live between the now and the not yet. I have been ransomed from death by the precious blood of the Lamb that was poured out for a grievous sinner like me. The punishment that brought me peace was placed upon Him and by His stripes, I've been healed. Nothing can separate me from the love of God found in Christ Jesus. I set my hope fully on the grace to be given to me when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Jesus came to do for me what I could never do for myself. It is by His grace that we have been saved not by our works so that no man can boast. It is His grace that fuels our love and obedience for Him and for others, for if we really understood how much God loves us and what He has accomplished for us, we would be set free from our idolatry. We would be free to serve God and others out of the abundance we ourselves have already been given. The Holy Spirit is the worker of every good thing within us. Jesus doesn't just care about what we do but why we do what we do.

Picture Above: A tree outside the Garden Tomb.