In my last post, I pumped myself up way too much and the worst part is, I didn’t even know it. Pride is very susceptible and elusive. My last post basically said ‘Johnna is awesome but look how cool I am as well.’ I told you I need your accountability. I will try to avoid that while I describe the riches and depths of oneness that God has been revealing.
The list of stress factors since moving into our new home has been somewhat lengthy. God’s principle of oneness is how we have maintained our sanity. There has been little order, clarity, or direction these past few weeks. Since moving into our new home, that I love more each day, we have been unsettled and in a rush. We have made a lot of mistakes, thoughtless errors, and financial blunders all which I attribute to my leadership, or lack thereof. ‘Oneness,’ originating from God and directed toward marriage in Genesis 2:24 is the most critical factor of sustaining hope, joy, peace, patience, and love in our household. As a husband/father/man of God I can provide, pray, lead, and whatever else I can think of to do, but if it isn’t founded on oneness it will be incomplete.
I see Johnna as God’s avenue to communicate directly to me about life’s daily matters. I try, but often fail to read all the signs most attentively. Signs such as her spiritual sensitivity to an issue, her physical sickness, her emotional frustrations, her advice, and/or her warnings. If I were wise and more discerning life wouldn’t be easy, but I would approach its challenges and opportunities in strength rather than weakness.
‘Treat others as you want to be treated’ is a powerful verse and worthy of much consideration. However, ‘love thy neighbor as thyself,’ gets less attention but is equally profound. Who is my closest neighbor? If I loved Johnna half as much as I love myself…
When Johnna is sick, tired, or hurt, I am not in tune with her experiences as much as I am my own. I am empathetic, but my sense of urgency isn’t as immediate when she struggles. When she dreams, retells stories, or resists my leadership, I am not as attentive to the delicacies of those behaviors. If I paid attention to her thoughts as much as I pay attention to my own…
I am attempting to describe oneness. A oneness that is revealed in Genesis 1:1-3, reiterated powerfully in John 10 and 14, and relegated to us in John 15. I am only scratching the surfaces of the implications of oneness. Paul can hardly contain himself as he describes its mystery in Ephesians 5, “So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.”
I must preach the gospel to myself daily (Luke 9:23). I must rest in His righteousness and not my own (Hebrews 4:1-3). My little, weak, faith is only valuable and mighty because of whom I have faith in. The law is too much. The challenge to manhood, fatherhood, and being a husband is overwhelming. I will be held accountable for what does or does not happen in the King family in addition to my every word (Ephesians 4:29) and deed (Romans 14:12). Feeling the weight of such responsibility is what exposed my sinfulness, revealed my inability to do anything about, and led to my surrender to Christ.
I am thankful for His grace these past 3 weeks. When we have had to stay in a hotel because we don’t have running water, when we miss church because of poor communication and improper planning, when we haven’t rested on Sundays as is best and directed, when we are up late every night dedicated to unpacking but not to reading bed time stories, when we make large purchases on things we don’t really need, when we lose internet midweek, and when I miss a workout. You know it’s a rough week when I sleep through a workout!
Despite having an extremely busy couple of weeks at work – launching new initiatives, being noticeably withdrawn, breaking a chair (not as bad as it may sound) and still leaving each day with too much left undone – God says, ‘some weeks I just call you to be faithful not fruitful.’ We will be exploring that truth in more depth these upcoming weeks. We were letting our dreams, type-A personalities, and restlessness get in the way of our oneness. Sure we were working together on projects and communicating about a lot of things. However, we were also more focused on things we had in common rather than each other. Anything besides Christ can be a material medium in which temporarily and falsely unites – idolatry.
In other words, instead of prioritizing stability and rushing towards it, we will take that time now and have a date night. Instead of getting our house ‘liveable’ for the kids, we will spend more time with the kids. Not revolutionary, but easy things to set aside for some selfish aspiration we are pursuing. Moving/packing/unpacking, little help in the area, and 5 kids that significantly reduce your work-time — our tendency is to just put our heads down and grind it out. His faithfulness is renewed each morning (Lamentations 3:23) and He has helped us reprioritize what’s really important – quiet time, our family’s ministry, and real friendships in Waco even though we have only been here a few months.
I appreciate the Word because you cannot continue astray but for so long before being convicted and pierced by the Sword (Hebrews 4:12). Reverence for what He has done for you compels you to obedience, not transactionally but transformationally, out of love. There is much joy in Lord despite the pressures from life, but this week has been a week of reflection and reassessment on how to move forward in oneness. We have a God that cares about you doing the next right thing. He welcomes you back Prodigal Son style (Luke 15:11-32) and sends you back out to fight the good fight. Thank God that His perfections override my imperfections. Loah has just crawled into bed with us and neither her nor I should be up at this hour. She is sick and has started sneaking into our room at 12 in the morning, just as I finish this sentence. Before this week, I would have rushed to post this blog tonight. In this moment; however, it can wait until later this weekend.