In Sickness & Health
Having a servant-heart is challenging in the midst of a self-serving world. Here are my observations of a servant-hearted man and what the Bible has to say about self-righteousness.
Marriage is Hard
Did you know? Living life alongside another human being day in and day out is wonderful and miserable, depending on the day. Over the past year, learning about the Enneagram has given me insight to my ugliest characteristics. Sure, I knew they were there, yet I filled my days with excuses to justify my far from Christ-like behavior. As a 1, I nit-pick. I criticize. I notice details and all the mistakes. Here's an example: walking into my home is exhausting. As I hang my coat, I see the pile of books, mail, unfolded laundry, and dog hair covering my rug. The filth and clutter overwhelms me. I immediately tell myself, "You're a terrible house-keeper, Chelsi", followed with, "You're a terrible mother." See how quickly that escalated? I do this to myself moment by moment. A constant struggle of negative self-criticism. It's the hardest struggle of a 1's life. When I initially learned of this, I was shocked. Didn't everyone have a little critic on their shoulder telling them how big of a failure they were? (cue: gasp) Here's where the struggle goes next level. Ugly words penetrate my internal world, so when overwhelmed and stressed, the ugliest words come out of my mouth to the people I love dearest. Mainly, my husband. Shame affects us all, however, the shame of my inner battle only perpetuates my marital hardships. Self-righteousness is disgusting and I'm the greatest sinner as Paul states in 1 Timothy 1:15. Many Enneagram experts believe Paul was an Enneagram 1. I can see that in his need for righteousness. He leads from a place of brokenness over his life prior to meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus. My broken heart hopes to love and lead from a servant-heart like Paul.
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 1 Timothy 1:15
Understanding marriage vows is daunting. It seemed simple enough. Did we even understand what we were promising? FOREVER? ALWAYS? IN SICKNESS? I praise the Lord that our family has been healthy, however, influenza A took me down last week. Our bed is where I resided for five days. Bed dweller, tea commander, and hand-washing demanding described the week. Laying in bed for days on end changes you. My pride was humbled. Depending upon my husband was good for him and good for me. We serve alongside one another as a team.
To avoid the flu, Mitch slept on the couch for several days. He brought me tea, bought me soup, toted the kids to and from everywhere, fetched my meds, held me while I cried in the doctor's office, and assured me that he had it all handled. And would you believe it? He did! He kept up on dishes, making meals, and being an awesome dad while the girls wanted mom. I laid in bed while my daughters stood in the doorway. I'd reassure them of my love, while once again stating, "No, you cannot touch me. I don't want you to get sick, too."
After a week down and out, I am filled with gratitude. The stress of this season and lack of rest took its toll on me. Spending day after day in bed with the flu was no vacation, but it was good for my soul and good for my marriage. I'm grateful for a man who demonstrated a servant-heart all week without bean-counting or bitterness. A trait to emulate for sure.