"Lord, what New Year's resolutions should I have? What is it that you want me to work on this year? I thought I had the answers before I even asked him. (Be a kinder mother, be more consistent in your reverance for your husband) But no - THIS was his answer:
For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. 2 Cor 8:9
My husband is a very generous man and I enjoy being hospitable. But usually we give out of our "abundance." If there is enough we will gladly share. If there is not enough, well we have to take care of our family. We need to think of the future. What about tomorrow? If there is more than enough our thought is usually some new thing that we can buy or some trip that we can take. I believe it is called "Sacrificial Giving" - when you give out of your need and not out of your abundance. Jesus said about the widow:
Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living. Mark 12:43-44
Paul writes about the Corinthian church "How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality." 2 Cor 8:2
After I started dwelling on this I realized that in "sacrificial giving" - basically putting others ahead of myself - that I would be a kinder mother, I would reverence my husband more. Can I be content no matter what my circumstances? Can I give even when I have needs? One day Paul is talking to governors and the next he is sitting in prison. In prison we find him singing praises to God.
One day I have the energy and creativity to give to my kids, the next day I may have "urgent business" or a headache. Does this give me an excuse to brush them aside? to be curt or rude? One day my husband is listening gladly to my suggestions and the next day he is giving orders with no care at all for my opinion. Does this give me an excuse to be offended or to retaliate? Giving sacrificially involves more than just money. It is a state of mind...from your heart. This year, I resolve with the help of the Lord to give even out of my need and not just my abundance. Pray for me and let me know how I can pray for you and the resolutions the Lord has for your life.
Our pastor shared a sweet story at our Christmas service. It is a bit long - but I think it clearly illustrates the state of mind I want to have towards my family and my friends. I hope you enjoy it.