Our culture today is very much focused on our personal rights. In just watching my newsfeed on Facebook or through regular media channels, we see the fight over our rights related to health care issues, what constitutes legal marriage, the right to life versus the right to choose, educational choices and parental rights, and even gender rights. As I began thinking more on these, I began thinking about my role as a wife and mother.
Wife and mother – I honestly don’t think that there are two more exhausting, yet fulfilling roles in life. In many ways, it is a life of servanthood. Yes, I hear the outcries over wives not being doormats and teaching our children to take responsibility and learn to contribute. At the end of the day, being a mom and wife means you are a servant. The meals that you fix are for others and not you alone. When the washing machine is running, the clothes are not just your own. As you spend what it feels like is your entire life on the road, you are generally not driving alone to meet a friend for coffee. We have convinced ourselves that the word Servant somehow suggests menial or subhuman. Is it or is it just the demand for personal rights in our culture that has convinced us of this.
Recently, I have felt invisible. My life seems to revolve around what everyone else needs of me and in meeting their needs. I shared this with my husband and he had the gall to say, “But that is your job”. How dare he? They definitely felt like fighting words, but then the realization hit. Is that not what God calls us to be whether we are a wife and mom or not? Being a servant should actually be the highest honor we could attain as Christ so eloquently shared in Matthew 20:28
Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many
Paul expounds upon this further in his letter to the church at Philipi as he writes in Philipians 2:5-11.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death –
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
He made himself nothing. He humbled himself. He took on the very nature of a servant. And…. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.
When we feel invisible we want to scream out, “By I matter! What about me? What about what I want?” It is so incredibly hard to put off ourselves to wholly and completely let others see Christ in us. We get tired and beat down. However, it is only when we can shed ourselves of Self that we have a hope of having others truly see Christ in us.
In having gone through labor with four children, I can honestly say that I don’t know a woman that would voluntarily walk that path if it weren’t for what came on the other end. The pain, fear, and exhaustion from giving birth become tolerable and something we choose to do. Why? Because in all honesty, our eyes are not focused on us. We are focused on holding that new life; a miracle that we have had the highest honor of bringing into this world and love before we ever meet him. What would our lives look like if we lived each moment that way? How many more sacrifices and hurdles would be bound over if we could just take our eyes off of ourselves.
I would like to close to say that I do rejoice in one right – the right to worship my God. The amazing thing about this right is that before it was ever written into our Constitution, it was given to us by God. The world may try to threaten this right and our country may dwindle in the truths of God’s Word that it was founded on, but no one can take away our right to worship our God and live invisible lives for Christ.
May we each be Invisible in Christ!
And when it is difficult, don’t give up. Imagine yourself serving Christ himself when you find yourself caught in the trap of valuing your servanthood by the measure of gratitude expressed. For God knew that the call to servanthood would not be easy.
Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether slave or free.