Being a selfish servant is something I have been thinking a lot about here lately. Why, you may be asking? Because I have become all too aware that I am a very selfish person, but since I'm a wife and especially since I'm a mommy to little ones, I am a servant.
I remember about two months before Erik and I got married I was reading the book, Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney, and one of the topics discussed was how as wives we are suppose to show a phileo kind of love to our husbands and children. In fact there is not a single place in the Bible that commands wives to have agape love for their husbands or children. For men it's the opposite, they are always commanded to have agape (a sacrificial love) for their wives, but women are always commanded to have a phileo love (friendly affection.) The book describes women as being perfectly capable of making dinner, cleaning up after their families, and doing projects with our children, but the whole time failing to enjoy it. In fact to put it more bluntly, we almost become resentful of our God given tasks, but on the outside no one can tell since we are still serving our families. When I read that as a young naive bride to be, I didn't understand. My heart's desire back then was always to be a godly wife to my husband, and hopefully one day have children to raise and train. I couldn't imagine a better life, that I failed to realize that because I am sinner, I am not immune to any of the struggles facing women, and most certainly I am not immune to facing the struggles that women have been facing since the fall!
In the last year I've encountered two different reactions to people who see me out with my three children, they either comment on how crazy my husband and I are, or they shake their head and respectfully say, "I don't know how you do it." These people probably assume that I have no time for myself. But let me tell you, I'm stubborn. If I have to stay up later than everyone else to have a little time to myself I will do it. Even if it means the next morning I won't be able to serve my family as well as if I had gone to bed at a reasonable hour. When my kids want to play with play doh or color pictures, I'm not always thrilled to be spending time with them, especially when I feel like there's laundry to do, dishes to clean, and floors to be mopped.
It is only by relying on God that I can do anything. Even things that don't seem like they are that big of a deal, like reading Brown Bear Brown Bear for the thousandth time. Sure I've always tried to rely on God during bigger challenges in my life, but it's only been recently when I've realized that regardless of what I'm doing whether it be getting up with the teething baby or mopping the bathroom floor or simply sitting and enjoying my children, as odd as it might sound, it is only by God's Grace that I am able to do any of it with proper motives.