What would happen if someone “bugged” your house? Like microphones and all that. They were listening but you didn’t know it. What would they hear you say? Would you be embarrassed? Would you be proud of yourself? Are you behaving?
I have thought of this several times this past year and knew that I personally would be embarrassed of what would be recorded and heard. In this past year I have felt very exhausted for multiple reasons and my mouth (often spoken of as my greatest blessing and my greatest curse) runs rampant when I am “tired!!” I made a conscious goal in my heart that I wanted to treat those in my house better than those that I see outside my house. I wanted to behave better at home than in public. If being home is permission to behave badly then I have a very skewed view of love, commitment, and family. But, for reals, there is this unspoken clause in my subconscious that says its okay to “let loose” at home with those who love me most. That is where I am safe, where I am most forgiven, and so when my guard is down I love big!! And then I also misbehave. big. I take my stress out on my husband and often my kiddos. Its not like I do it completely on purpose but it has caused me to re-evaluate why I do what I do.
I am not talking about being perfect. I promise I do not expect that from myself anymore. Because honestly that is IMPOSSIBLE. I have spent the better part of the past year trying to understand that fact. And it has helped so much. But I wanted to take it to another level. I wanted to see if I was the only one. Something has told us that we get to “be ourselves,” “let go,” and “get it off our shoulders” in these intimate relationships inside our home. We get to respond more harshly or vulnerably because they are our “family.” But I would venture to say that is a sign of immaturity and selfishness. I get to say “no” to myself and find more constructive ways to process my thoughts and feelings. But in the moment it is so hard.
Sing this to yourself. “Growing up is hard to do!” Because it is. Choosing to love those that live in your home and consider them above yourself is hard but you will reap the rewards. If you have given all that kind of love to everyone else outside your home and you have nothing left to give your family that is another issue altogether. We need to have boundaries with our energy. Your family doesn’t deserve to punished for your exhaustion and lack of saying no. I know I am preaching to the choir here of course. But I am taking a minute this year to do some soul searching and cancel my pity party. How can I love my three men more this year. I know I won’t always ACE that test but I know for a fact I can do MUCH better. I can behave better than I have and say no to the mentality that home is where I get to act however the wind blows that day.
Philippians 2:3-4 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
I feel like we excel at doing this when people are watching or listening. But in reality someone is always watching and listening. He is the teacher, leader, and helper in these times where we are tempted to “let loose!” He inviting us to ask for help and then we can excel in doing this in our homes, minivans, and when things are working out the way we thought. We get to behave and then we have peace in these relationships where God does His best work!