Comparison is the thief of joy
I’m never more unsatisfied than when I’m comparing myself or my situation to another’s.
Comparison is the thief of joy
I’m never more unsatisfied than when I’m comparing myself or my situation to another’s.
I love being married; it’s something I’ve desired for a very long time. At the same time, I am very cognizant of this great privilege I have been bestowed at a somewhat young age. Marriage is the most incredible gift, it’s a deeply intimate relationship different from all others that were chosen to represent Christ and His church.
Yay 3 months, a quarter of a year! Time is just flying by.
This summer has been pretty busy between birthdays, tournaments, work, bachelor/bachelorette parties, family and just keeping up with life.
It has also been one of the greatest summers filled with late-night adventures, long walks, kisses in the rain, exploring our town, hiking, watching movies, learning to drive standard (!!), our first IKEA trip, long late talks, dinners with friends, fast car rides and sunset watching.
I’m using a bit of hyperbole here, but I thought I would be a whole lot better at this wife thing. I’ve read marriage books, listened to countless Focus on the Family Podcasts, read blog after blog on all issues surrounding marriage and heard a multitude of sermons on the topic in addition to my personal study of marriage within the Bible. People encouraged me that I’d be such a great wife one day. I went into marriage with all this confidence and skill…
As of June 7th, Michael and I have been married for one month!! When we were engaged time seemed to move super slow, since we’ve been married time has flown by! Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about this past month and what I’ve learned, been surprised about or am grateful for. I wanted to share some early things I’ve been learning as a newlywed <3
I cannot believe the year I experienced. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined such a year. I honestly thought I wouldn’t be getting married till I was like 28 and working and living on my own. I’m so thankful my dreams came true <3
I’ve learned and grown and experienced so much this year. It’s hard to sum things up. To start I began the year with my very best friend since grade 6 Amanda who is now my maid of honour. We celebrated surrounded by young people from her grandfather’s church in a small community centre in Plattsville. I also tried curling for the first time and was huge clutz as I fell several times on the ice. #SOML.
With the dawn of the new year was the dawn of a new relationship with my love Michael on January 23. From there, things progressed until the summer when I knew I didn’t want to spend my life without him. He proposed August 21 in Niagara Falls. Honestly, I’ve never been in a relationship before and it felt like a huge learning curve for me. I’ve learned so much about myself and life. It challenges you when you’re around someone so different from you but who also loves you soo much and wants the best for you. I’ve learned to be a better listener, I’m continually learning to communicate better and what a godly relationship looks like through our pre-marriage counselling. I’m very quiet and reserved and Mike is very to the point and outgoing. He’s taught me a lot and encouraged me to speak up and be brave around people.
I’m really looking forward to this next year together with Mike and all the new experiences we will share.
Another change I experienced this year was switching my program of study. I’m no longer on the path to become a dietician. I switched from pursuing a BSc to a BA in nutrition and families. I’m in the same program minus the science component. Instead, I will be a professional home economist(PHEc) when I graduate. My goals right now are to pursue a job within an agricultural marketing board such as the Pork or Dairy Board of Ontario. In this role, I would educate consumers on how to prepare and properly store various products, test recipes, and write articles. My long-term goals are to contribute to a magazine, work in a test kitchen and blog about food. Ultimately I would like to work from home and be free to take care of my family.
The change in program was much needed as the fall semester has gone better than any of my previous ones. My marks are much higher and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of my classes. I’ve been able to take psychology, the psychology of eating, parenting and a few others. I’m looking forward to where God takes me over the next few years career-wise.
“God gives us passions that connect with His heart”.
Recently I was listening to a podcast by Authentic Intimacy called Java with Juli. In the episode, the ladies were discussing pursuing your dream vs pursuing God’s dream. The takeaway I took from it was we have to step out and obey God and allow Him to work through us. We must be willing to step away from what we think we should be doing. Erin Smalley a lady on the panel gave an example of where she had started giving marriage seminars with her husband. For her public speaking was not enjoyable but at her husband’s encouragement she began to get better and even enjoy it. She had gone back to school got a Masters in counselling. Everything seemed to be going very well. Then God granted a desire she had had since she was a child to adopt a little girl. She said it was very difficult and hard to let go of this new passion and she didn’t understand why God was bringing this new season of being a stay at home mom again into her life at this exact time. She shares how God brought the provision of a girl to care for their children allowing her to go back out and speak. She had to lay down her dream in order for God to work His bigger purpose for her life. In conclusion, we should ask God how can we join in the work He is already doing?
Honestly, what is life without God, without pursuing His will and purposes for our life? I’ve had some ups and downs this year. I’ve had times where I felt conflicted and times where I didn’t act like myself. I thought about things and I came the conclusion that I want what God wants for my life. To honour him with my actions not to pursue to the flesh or act out in rebellion or immaturity. I may not always have the most fun or be the most exciting person. At the end of the day, I can rest knowing I obeyed God and put Him first.
Yes, I have dreams and passions and desires and goals for this New Year. Overall I want to ask God what He has in store for me, where can I be used by Him? How can I be a good example to those around me? I want to be more disciplined with my devotional time, I want to pray more intentionally and I want to get involved at Church. I want to be a suitable helper to Michael. I want to do well in school and finish strong.
I don’t find it offensive that in 1 Peter 3:7, wives are likened unto a weaker vessel:
Likewise, you husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. 1 Peter 5:7
I think it makes sense and I don’t disagree. First of all, because the Word is inspired by a perfect Heavenly Father who loves us and wants what is best for us. Secondly, I am weaker as a female, but I am created equal to a man.
Men and Women have Different Brains
Men are able to compartmentalize their lives. Whereas women connect everything. Their emotions and feelings are tied to all aspects of their lives. Men can leave work and come home and totally forget about everything that just happened, women carry the events of their day with them. Women are wired to be more relational and connect through conversation. Men bond through activities and just being together, more than chatting over coffee. We are both made uniquely to complement and balance each other out.
We are Created Equal, but We have Different Roles
So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27
I don’t believe in feminism as in the belief that society’s problems can be blamed on patriarchy. Men and women are seen as equals before God, neither one is better. Men are called to be the provider and women are called to nurture and care for the family. To be specific, this is known as role specialization and it’s a beautiful thing. When we can live out our calling and support each other, our lives will run more harmoniously and be more fulfilling. On a basic level, this is letting a man hold the door for you and saying thank you.
Women Can Be Crazy
To prove this point just take a look at all the crazy girls that stalk celebrities and pay thousands of dollars just to meet them. Women are inherently crazier than men. Even though we act like this, men still love us. God created men to be patient and to cherish women despite their crazy tendencies. I think this is really humbling, even when we don’t deserve to be loved, they are there for us.
Overall, sometimes I am weaker due to my emotions and the stress of life. It’s awesome that the Bible acknowledges this and tells men to honour their wives. Women shouldn’t feel ashamed of being called weaker but should embrace being a biblical woman.
This post does a great job of summarizing what it means to be a ‘weaker vessel’
We live in a world that is constantly inundating us with images and messages. As a result, these messages become our thoughts, this affects how we behave in front of others, how we view ourselves and our lives. We have a choice to make: either to dwell on what society throws at us or to be vigilant in guarding our hearts and minds against the enemy and his lies.
One of my biggest temptations is comparison, especially when I’m scrolling through Pinterest. I start thinking if only I could have her legs or that sweater then I would feel better about myself. I’m so aware of how others look and what they’re wearing. For example, I could leave my house looking great but when I see another girl looking better than me (in my opinion) I suddenly feel like I don’t measure up. Part of my problem is the amount of time I spend on Pinterest, filling my head with pictures of airbrushed models. Part of this is my sin nature. My inherent ability to not view myself as God has created me. Instead of thinking of myself as fearfully and wonderfully made I start to dwell on my flaws. Society permeates what an ideal woman should look like. Or at least Pinterest is influencing my view of what I should aspire to look like. What we focus our thoughts on becomes what we dwell on and this, in turn, influences our actions.
To guard our hearts and minds it’s important to set boundaries based on biblical principles. Each person’s convictions may vary, but it’s important to yield to what the Holy Spirit and God’s word says is appropriate. Many quotations on Pinterest say things like “Follow your heart” or “Do what makes you happy”. Doing the right thing according to God is not always going to be fun or what feels good. It’s important to remember that:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9
You cannot trust your heart because it will not lead you in the way of truth, Satan is trying to deceive us and feed us lies. This also applies to the “if it feels good do it” mentality. I may not feel like going to the gym but this will benefit me. Obviously, it would feel better in the short run to stay home and eat chocolate. Many people fail to consider the long-term results of their short-term pleasures. We must be vigilant in making choices that honour God. This comes from a heart that loves God and His word and desires to please Him. God does not expect us to be perfect and not have fun. In fact, Jesus says in John 10:10:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
God wants us to have full, exciting lives. He gives us commands and admonitions in scripture because He loves us! He created us and therefore knows what is best for us. Even when we mess up if we humble ourselves and repent of what we did wrong He is merciful and just to forgive us! In fact, nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39)! How comforting to know God will never leave us or abandon us. How many people do you know that are this faithful?
God is very clear on specific issues that are sinful in scripture. You may be wondering what about the things he doesn’t specify. Then we turn to the principles laid out in Gods word. 1 Corinthians 10:31 is a great starting point
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
When you’re not sure if something you’re looking at or listening to is approved by God, think about whether this action brings glory to God. Personally, I don’t like watching or listening to media that contains a lot of profanity, using the Lords name in vain, sex, a storyline based on carnal pleasure, or nudity. Sometimes I can be caught off guard like when I’m at a movie theatre. In this situation, I try to look away so as not to send images to my brain that I don’t want to remember.
It is so important to study God’s word for what He has to say and to memorize scripture. You can train yourself to determine what is appropriate or not appropriate. It’s tough to be vigilant and make good choices or change the channel. Ultimately this is part of becoming more like God, part of becoming sanctified (1 Peter 1:16). We are called to become more like Christ each day. Obeying God is an act of worship, we are saying thank you that He sent His perfect Son Jesus to become sin for us and die on the cross and conquer death the punishment for sin. We could never have satisfied Gods price for sin. The only way He will accept us is if we through faith in Jesus Christ accept His gift of salvation.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8
I want to encourage you to put God first in all areas of your life, not because you have to, but because you love God and desire to please Him.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23