Thursday, July 3, 2008

Reflections on My Coming Vacation - Serving Molly

Lord willing, starting Monday I will be taking a 2 week vacation and here are some of my thoughts and prayers as I anticipate this time away (or at home) with my wife and kids. (HT-- C. J. Mahaney)

As the head and leader of my home I am called to lead by serving my wife for the glory of God.

Husbands are called by God to serve and lead. But we are all vulnerable to viewing the family vacation as a well-earned time away from work where we can rest and relax! But this attitude and approach to a vacation normally reveals a self-centeredness that does not please God or serve our families...

And you will know you are serving and leading effectively on your vacation when you fall into bed at night more exhausted than at the end of the most grueling day of work. The father must enter family vacations committed to serve, lead, plan, initiate, and work, and do all this with joy. This isn’t your time to rest. Only your wife deserves to rest on vacation (because no one works harder than she does the rest of the year).

But for the husband, vacations are a unique opportunity to serve and lead and work harder in some ways than he does during the normal work week. But this kind of work is a pure joy like no other work. (C. J. Mahaney)
What does this mean for me? A different mindset. I often enter my day off, or the end a long hard day, or family vacations with the mindset that I deserve to rest-- and, thank you very much-- my wife and children should want that for me just as much and probably even more that I do.

C J is right--no one works harder in my family than my wife. Not that she would like to change roles (she does not want to be a pastor and do pastoring stuff), but her job is much more exhausting than mine. I don't think this is true just because I work in an office and don't do something dirty like working under cars or in the big sheds that I can see outside my office window (who knows what they do but they get dirty and sweaty). Taking care of a house, disciplining and nurturing four children (or 3 or 2 or 1) , making meals, doing the laundry and being a pastor's wife takes a lot of work spiritual, physically and emotionally. There has been a few times when I have stayed home with all the kids for an entire day. It was fun, meaningful, crazy and exhausting and I was ready to hit the salt mines once more the next day (I also felt like I accumulated major brownie points). To experience that day in and day out requires supernatural powers. God didn't create me to be a mom, I don't have the muscles it takes but Molly does (by God's grace).

Mahaney made me think about this coming vacation differently. This needs to be a vacation primarily for Molly and not for me. How can I serve my wife these next two weeks so that she can feel refreshed and vacationed even if I am good and tired and ready to get back to the office in two weeks (It's always good to want to come back to work, right?)? I know a martyr-complex won't be good enough. For my service to be effective in actually serving my wife I have to exude authentic joy from the pours of my sweat glands. I guess I will need supernatural power this vacation. I guess this vacation will not be a success if it's a vacation away from God and my trust and reliance upon Him for strength that only He can provide. Oh, I almost forgot--this is a chance to take Christ at His Word -- "It is more blessed to give than to receive..." (Although I have received so much more than I can actually give)

Lord, grant me the grace to joyfully serve my wife this vacation in the strength that you supply so that you get the glory and we get the joy! Help me to properly display the love of Jesus to His church with my attitudes, actions and words to my bride during this summer vacation. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Good intentions do not equal follow through. Check back with me on this in a few weeks and pray!

No comments: