Thursday, February 13, 2014

Dying to self this Valentine's Day (and every day).

Girl at the Mirror by Norman Rockwell

Ah, this is so hard for me to tell you about. I promise it won't be preach-y and be too long, it's just been on my heart lately.

For years, and I mean years, I did everything for me. My wishes, my success, my ambitions, my goals, my plans, my way. ME, ME, ME. With a decent consideration for others, of course. Afterall, I called myself a Christian, right? Not the exact portrait of a woman who "denies self".

And then, I entered marriage.

We have been married for only a few months, but let me tell you, this overused and sometimes scary phrase - dying to self - is a difficult process. I am constantly reminded of how full of self I was during my unmarried years! Jesus must have known I needed my complete opposite - my husband - to teach me what it is like to truly carry my cross and follow Him (Matthew 16: 24).

I am learning that when dying to self:

It doesn't mean I am rejecting myself.
I stop trying to get my own way.
I stop trying to "lead" my marriage (family).
I stop trying to be in control of a situation.
I don't make decisions by myself.
I let go of anger/rage.
I have self-control. I watch my behavior and my words.
I don't become defensive when I am questioned.
I stop thinking that my husband is responsible for my happiness.
I aspire humility.
I give.
I receive.
I place my trust in God and learn to accept His will, even if His plans have nothing to do with mine.
I ask for forgiveness and I forgive.
I aspire modesty of heart and dress.
I respect others (especially my husband) and assume them higher than myself.
...the list goes on and on.

It's such a difficult process (I know, I've already said that). Sometimes - scratch that - most of the time, I fail. I have so much to learn, and I just can't do it by myself.

I need Jesus to guide me. I need Him - His Spirit - to show me, convict me, slay me and humble me. Dying to self would be a fake act if it wasn't through Him.

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2: 20

"The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissentions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like...But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control...Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." Galatians 5: 19 - 25

And, baby, that's the beauty of submission.
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This Valentine's Day (and every day) I pray I do that - deny self. I invite you to do that, too. And believe me, you don't have to be married to deny self. You can give this Valentine's Day (and every day) gift to your husband, to your parents, to your siblings, to your friends, to your authority, to our Savior.

What do you think? Come learn this with me! Let me know how it goes. 

Ok. I said it wasn't going to be that long. I've got to go before I write some more!
Have a happy Valentine's Day! Tomorrow (and today) is a good day to spread a little love around. ;-)

How He loves us!
So much Love,
Gabby

7 comments:

  1. This is so beautiful. I'm so glad I found your blog!

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    1. Thank You, Mrs. Laura! And I am so glad I found yours! :-)

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  2. Beautiful and truthful post. Thanks for sharing!

    - Grace

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  3. So beautiful and true Gabby!!! That image really captures the essence of your words:)
    Isn't funny how much you learn about yourself once you get married?? :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Patty! I love that image since I first saw it! And YES, I am learning so much about myself!

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