Although I am aware that it is almost February, I having been wanting to write about my new years resolutions. Sure I am determined to lose my annual 10lbs, eat better and get more sleep, but I have also decided that I will purpose to always go first.
If your family is like mine, they like to go first! First one in the car, first one for a piece of cake, first one in the pool, first one to start a board game, even first one down the stairs just because. But ask someone to fold laundry, empty a dishwasher, or unload a car full of groceries and no hands go a raisin’ too quickly. Go a step further and ask someone to forgive first, give grace first, or serve first and well, you can hear a pin drop in the room.. ( i just read this to the fam for feed back and they were highly offended!)
Before the holidays I was wrestling with this concept of going first. Frankly, I was having a little pity party and had grown weary of seemingly always going first. Being nice, being courteous, caring, forgiving, thoughtful, and even sacrificial, when others are not and getting little or nothing in return. I was feeling like, I “do” for the whole family but it is never done for me. If I did not set the tone, who would? if I do not pick up the stray sock, who will? I give grace for teens with PMS, a bad game, a hard day, and a sick spouse!
( HELLLOOO! need I say more?) Now of course this is not all the time around here and my husband is super fabulous and my kids are kind, but the issue had been weighing on me very hard for some reason and I was tired of always going first. Some days I just felt like the only one trying to be a better person and I wondered “Why do I even try!” While complaining to God instead of praying like I should, (Now you know you are in a bad mood when you complain to God!! ) I began to seek His heart on the matter.
When I sit before the Lord to gain perspective, I hear Him answer the questions in my heart. I begin to understand that this is the way he created me, wired me if you will. Even the call or purpose of my life. Not only does he want me to “go first” but He wants me to obey His word and lead by example, modeling this concept of going first for my children and husband, then they will eventually be able to do it for those around them. What…? picking up socks and letting people be rude to you?? NO, modeling grace, kindness and forgiveness. something the world needs a whole lot more of. Peace, Patience, Selflessness. In my own selfishness I don’t like to hear these thoughts of His and would rather someone “do” for me. Someone “go first” for me. Then I am soberly reminded that Jesus went first for me!! He stood in the gap and bore all of my sins and died on the cross while I was still a sinner, not knowing or factoring in whether I would ever reciprocate. He modeled sacrifice, caring and forgiveness for me so that I could do it for those around me and He could be glorified. He gave His all for me!!! Broken, wretched, sinful me!!!! When I dwell on this I raise my hand high!! I WILL go first!!
It may be hard some days, to model good character and kind attributes to those around me, but the alternative would be broken relationships, anger, bitterness and unforgiveness living in my home and marriage and then released out in my community. So I say I am sorry, I smile when I may not feel like it, I use kind words when harsh ones feel in order and try to bring harmony to my strong willed family. I love because Jesus first loved me. Thank you Jesus for going first!!!!
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Yahooooo!!!!