Yesterday and this morning I’ve been shown yet another sinful side of myself. It started when I suddenly became annoyed with my wife for no apparent reason. I mean, she literally did nothing wrong. That was the first clue that sin was creeping in: discord between my bride and I without just cause. I thought through it and discovered that I had hit a point wherein I was feeling jealousy over the amount of focus and attention given to my son and my wife – and the lack thereof for myself. Everything is centered around this baby, and he’s not even here yet! What attention is left over is then handed to my wife, who is accomplishing the task of creating this baby. Pitiful me is left in the background, quietly cleaning the house and preparing for his birthday. Poor me. No one notices. No one cares.
I think a young child could see the sin in thinking like that. I most certainly can see the lack of Christ-likeness in it. 1) John 3:30 says, “For this reason my joy has been fulfilled, He must increase, but I must decrease.” In my decreasing I find joy and satisfaction, as long as the decreasing is based around the lifting up of Christ. He told me in Ephesians to lay down my life for Gina (and now this little guy because loving him is an expression of loving her). What better opportunity to do that than to be the quiet guy in the background, handling all of the mindless chores and tasks, so that the spotlight can rest where it belongs – on my beautiful bride and her amazing accomplishment, along with the miracle of watching a new life breath oxygen for the first time.
2) Any desire I have for attention on myself – especially when it encompasses attention to what “I’ve” done, is sin. There is one Person alone whom I should desire to have acknowledge my deeds, and that is the One for whom I do them. If the action or sacrifice is done from a sincere heart for the purpose of lifting up Jesus as a response to His overwhelming love for me, then I should not care if anyone else notices – or even notices to the wrong degree in despising what I’ve done. Anything less than this makes me a Pharisee.
3) I should be purely and unconditionally loving my wife and son by sacrificing myself, along with any attention desired, for their good. When they are well cared for and joyful, I will be as well. Will that look different than when it was just Gina and I – when I could have her undivided attention and admiration? Yes. As it should be. That part of my life where I was either my number one priority, or shared that with my wife, is now over. And that is cause to rejoice. Now, more than ever, I can be free to love God with all my heart, soul, and mind, and to love others as I loved myself.
So perhaps the first lesson this little pooper has taught me (he actually hasn’t pooped yet – we don’t need any meconium in the placenta) is that I need to take my eyes off of me and set them back on Christ where they belong. I guess it’s time to receive a humble dose of grace and press forward. But that is another story…