Often it is difficult to remember the most important thing in the Christian life and incorporate that into everything you do. At the moment in my life I currently inhabit, it is a daily struggle. I just want to share that in depth, and would appreciate just a bit of grace as I let it out.
Next post won’t be so personal, I promise.
Sanctification is the most important thing in the Christian life. That is what is commonly called becoming more like Jesus, in word, deed, disposition, et cetera. It often surprises me how many facets of life it actually functions in. I mean really, think of how much written material we have concerning the Christian life. I’m thinking of primarily what is written in the Bible. The situationally specific information is minuscule; yet every inch of material in it translates some principle of direct information on what to do.
It is absolutely mind blowing.
The most pressing matters for me right now in life is my continued education and being a good churchman. Everything I do is subsumed into those two things. Not long ago, had to make a choice of what I was going to do with the rest of my life; the life that is to conform to Christ till death or he comes. Becoming a teacher is my mid-life career change, and it is taking more from me mentally than I expected.
There are other things I could probably pursue, and definitely want to. However, it is not a wise thing to do. I have priorities to figure out. By priorities I mean, time and financial management.
By far the biggest desire in my life that I have had was to be married and be a father. The choices I have made, both sinful and not, have kept me from delving into that possible reality. I made a post on my Facebook account cataloguing a short list of things that I don’t find being hard in the single life.
Mostly they were things that I complain to God and God alone about. I find delight in them with regard to others, because I believe they propel me and those around me toward sanctification. I was contemplating reproducing them here and explaining them, but decided rather to explain the thing that makes my own Christian life hard instead.
Here is the post in question,
For me personally,
The hardest part of being single is not,
Seeing and being with other couples and their children.
Seeing a father or mother hold their newborn.
Asking couples what their favorite part of the other is.
The despotic (yes I chose that word) feeling of being alone.
The fear of not being a good husband.
Or feeling you’ve become the “professional” third wheel.
It is actually, analyzing objectively what a biblical husband should be, should have acquired before marriage, what others expect of him before marriage, and knowing the longer I have not these things the longer I *must* remain single; and that it is right to stay single while also, the longer I remain so the harder it will be to not be.
It is a double edged sword of delight and sorrow.
Snowboarding hurts a lot.
It is that last bit I need to explain.
I think a lot, and have been quite clear in saying so. I analyze most every situation I come across before I ever even come to it. Sometimes it is to better prepare for situations that may come; to have as much capability to react wisely and competently as quick as possible. On other occasions it is because I like speculating.
I love studying biblical manhood and biblical marriage. Not because I am preparing to be a husband, that mentality left long ago. I do it because if Christ and the Church is what marriage is to exemplify, then it is a subject I should be well versed in. I am a part of the Church. It seems to go hand in hand with being a member of a good local church.
I live in a culture that has expectations of husbands and fathers. The secular and religious culture I inhabit does, in some degree, dictate these things. Though the scriptures give the objective standards, culture must not be completely ignored. In the current stage of life I am in, anything more than studies and being a churchman will be distracting and unwise, considering my cultural context.
Just the thought of considering those things, and the mental fortitude to reject any more thinking toward the contrary is a daily struggle. Even to consider pursuing another lady, or even asking a wonderful Christian woman on a date is an endeavor in failure.
I say this not for fear of “success,” I say this because I have priorities I must hold onto. The struggle is, that when the time comes; when that reality becomes a probability… I won’t even act.
It is a personal issue. The longer I stay single the easier overcoming personal desires becomes. The easier overcoming personal desire becomes, the sadder I think I will be. But my goal is not personal satisfaction and happiness in my own life and accomplishments.
My personal satisfaction and happiness rests in my sanctification and the sanctification of those around me. As I said in my FaceBook post,
It is a double edged sword of delight and sorrow.
Christian men, remember your wife is awesome.
Christian women, remember your husband is awesome.
To you married Christians, don’t forget there are Christians who wish they were like you… but for various reasons won’t/can’t be. They know how awesome it could be to be as you are. Don’t remind them by telling them to be married. Remind them by being great to your spouse. You are a visible representation of Christ and the Church.