Maybe I'm the only hypocrite in the church, but how often do we act one way outside the home and another in front of our family? "But..." (there's that word again.) "But..." I think to myself, "home is the only place I can truly be myself." Ya, sure, at times my true self shows herself in front of others, but not like it does at home. I guess what is most disturbing is what my "true" self is really like.
I don't know about you, ladies, but when I get home from church the first thing I want to do is to change into something a little less restricting. I wouldn't be caught putting the dog out in my comfy clothes, but in the house, its okay to let loose a little. After all, it's home. The sad thing is that this world has filtered its way into my thinking and I now do the same thing spiritually. I get home and put off the "new man" that has to work so hard at being good. The new man is so restricting, and I end up putting on the comfortable "old me." Oh, I wouldn't want to be caught in church wearing the "old man", but in the house, well, after all, it's home.
What would happen to my family if I kept on the "new man" all the time? Of course, it's not always comfortable, but what a difference it would make. Next time, I feel the need to "unload" I might remember that God tells me to cast my cares on Him, not on my husband or children. When I'm tired and at the point of breaking, I would be reminded that God's strength is made perfect in my weakness. When I'm angry because the kids put their fingers in the pie I just made for company and got it on their clothes, or my hubby isn't as attentive as I think he should be or unintentionally hurt my feelings, I would remember what the Lord told Jonah "Doest thou well to be angry?" When I'm convinced that the kids will never obey me, instead of losing it in a fit of frustration, I would remember that they are actually disobeying God NOT me. I would trust God to give me wisdom and patience to raise them for His glory not my own and trust Him with the results.
Most -- no scratch that -- EVERY time "I lose it" I'm wearing the comfy "old man." I lose my God-given inhibitions and I give into the desire to vent. The idea that we have to vent our feelings or we'll explode came from the world. It reminds me of a time when Mom was having a bad day and Dad picked up the Pepsi bottle and said, "Hey, Shell, you're like this bottle. It's says 'Warning! Contents under pressure.' I wonder, if I shake you, will you explode too?" God promised us that He will never put us in a position of temptation that we cannot handle. The problem is that instead of wearing my armor, I'm wearing my comfy, unrestrictive, old man.
The first part of Psalm 101:2 says, "I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way..." At times, we have to walk "in a perfect way" even when we don't feel "perfect." However, if I put off the "old man" and wear the armor God has given me then I will begin to"...walk within my house with a perfect heart."
If you study the rest of Psalm 101, you will find practical ways to help in putting off the old man. Such as, verse 3, "I will set no wicked thing before my eye..." How often do I think, "I'm so tired and frustrated I just need to sit down and unwind in front a good DVD." Is there anything wrong with watching an episode of "Green Acres" with my hubby? No! But the problem is, I put that before my eyes rather than God's Word to unwind. Maybe, if I had spent some quality time with God today, I wouldn't have felt so comfortable in the "old man" and I wouldn't feel the need to unwind so often. Then, I would be able to truly enjoy spending time with my husband and the folks of Hooterville (the hick town on "Green Acres" for those who've never seen it.) instead of staring blankly at a screen until I fall asleep leaving my hubby to keep himself company.
With God's help, I am going to put off the old man and live tomorrow dressed properly in the armor God has given me.
Forgive me for making one more comparison, but...
Most of the time my clothing is uncomfortable due to the fact that there is too much of me in it. And whenever my Christian armor gets uncomfortable, it's because I'm being selfish and I have too much of me in it. It's time to go on a diet spiritually and live for God and my family. Maybe, in time, my armor won't be so uncomfortable after all!