At The Reclaimed Soul, May has been marriage celebration month because both of our Wedding Anniversaries fall in that month... but May is closing out much differently than expected... it's closing out in a way of reflection.
Reflection over race relations, social media agenda, pandemics, and how we live in a world where we are only accountable for ourselves and the light we bring into every one of these situations.
The fundamental principle of boundaries is that I can only control my skin and everything in it (ironic in this moment in time, isn't it?)
Boundaries says, I cannot control anyone else... not even in my home or someone I pledged to share my life with. And that doubly applies to people in my community and in the world in general.
While that can seem like a hopeless piece of information... take heart because you do have control over your influence!
You cannot make things happen for other people but you sure as shooting can influence their decisions.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”
This applies to ALL of life.
*If you want a stronger marriage... show your spouse the beauty of a stronger marriage... on YOUR part. *If you want your kids to be the best, God-given version of themselves... show them the best God-given version of YOURSELF. *If you want a close knit community... show YOUR community what it looks like to love well. *If you want your world to be better... acknowledge YOUR own biases and dive into things you don't know you don't know.
But for the love of all that is holy, stop spouting your own opinion because you already know that... learn something you don't know.
And this applies to all of life: marriage, kids, world... all of it!
Get out of yourself... try understanding where your spouse is coming form or the guy next to you in the store that is a different color... or even worse... your teenager!
Stop thinking you know... because you don't... all you know is the finite things that you know.
This is why Paul tells us not to think too highly of ourselves... but even more than that, he tells us WHY (normally a verse or 2 would do but I implore you to read the whole chapter of Romans 12 because it would solve all the ills in our marriages, our parenting, our neighboring, and our being in the world with people of differing backgrounds, skin color, and methodologies... read it... ALL)
|| Romans 12: Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. ||
Boundaries say YOU GET TO CHOOSE.
In marriage, in parenting, in the world... -You get to choose if you are offended, but you don't get to choose what was said by the other person. -You get to choose how to handle a situation but once the decision has left your body, you don't get to choose the consequences. -You get to choose how you will respond but you don't get to choose the situation that brought about the response.
You are not a victim of your circumstance... you are a Co-Creator with Christ... and you get to choose.
In light of that... we should all strive to make our life a living sacrifice... our lives shouldn't be about us... it should be about God and others.
It's our job to know ourselves, know what sets us off, know what makes us come alive, so that we can lean into Jesus and become more like Him in those things... Heck! In ALL things!
Enough is enough... it's time to lay down our false ideologies, our opinions, and our defense mechanisms... it's time to listen and to understand... It's time to change... and BE the change.
Enough is enough.
It's not about me... It's about something so much bigger than that.