Friday, January 30, 2015

31 Days: An Interesting Exercise

In order to illustrate the difference between a list/rules mindset and a heart mindset, I think it would be fun to do a little exercise. I am calling this exercise: Choosing the Best Spouse.......

The first individual you have to consider is a very conscientious man. He never gets upset, angry, moody, grouchy or stressed out. He always remembers Birthdays and Anniversaries and buys roses and gifts for all the appropriate holidays. He is a hardworking man. He makes plenty of money and provides for his family's every possible need or want. He tithes religiously and gives his 10% to the church. He is the perfect gentleman - opening doors for the ladies, offering them his seat, helping the old man struggling up the church steps, speaking courteously and politely to all he meets. He washes the dishes for his wife every Sunday. He puts the children to bed at night while she rocks the baby. He makes certain to have Bible reading and prayer with his family every day. He helps at the soup kitchen, and is at every work project, disaster relief opportunity and church function he can possibly attend. In short, if you can think of an action that a "perfect" man does that I haven't mentioned, he does it. He checks every box on every to do list possible. By all appearances, he is the Perfect Man.

The next individual you have to consider is not quite so perfect. He *does* have a temper and can get very upset. It doesn't happen often, but when it does it can be very embarrasing. He is a conscientious man though, and tries to apologize and make things right to the best of his ability. He doesn't always give his wife roses on Valentine's day or presents for her birthday or anniversary. He isn't a big gift giver and mostly says "Happy Birthday" and "I Love You" as his way of remembering special occasions. He is a hardworking man and makes good money, but he has a soft spot in his heart for the unfortunate and so has given quite a bit of his money to help the needy people he meets along the way. His family is taken care of, but they never have the nicer or fancier things and their house is rather small and cramped. His bank account is not overflowing by any means and some people think he should learn to manage his money better. He is not a person who does well at lists. A set time for family devotions is not something he views as important. He tries to teach his family about God in their day to day activities, pointing out God's handiwork in nature or asking his children about the words of a song they just sang and discussing what it means. He spends a lot of time with his family. They do lots of things together. Little things, like going to the park or playing games together and big things, like Zoo Trips or a week spent camping in the summer. In short, if it's on a list, he probably hasn't checked it off. Generally he is so busy spending time with his wife and family he doesn't have time to worry much about lists.

Sadly for both of these men, their wives have died and they are left alone with a family and no mother. By some odd coincidence, they both have asked you to be their wife. Which one would you choose?


Anonymous said...

Ha! I think I see what you're doing here. That first man you described, well, he seems pretty much, as you said, perfect. Being married to him would lead to a comfortable, predictable, unruffled (boring) life. Life? Would that really be LIFE?
I think I'll take the second man. Frustrating as it can be at times. You'd know there's a heartbeat there. I know because I'm already married to him. It's kinda like how we get exacerbated when our children act "wild," but as soon as they don't seem interested in tearing around, we worry that they may be ill. Then we're glad to see them back to their lively selves again.
I've been challenged by this series, I'm thinking, thinking . . . some questions I have: Could it be that you could be a "heart" person in a "rules" setting? Or vice versa? Why,if it's an individual matter do churches split over the issue? So much more I could say but this is getting too long.

Miller scribe said...

"Why,if it's an individual matter do churches split over the issue?" Now that is a good question! A painful one in my experience. Why do rules people exert so much energy imposing their rules upon everyone else? Why can't we co-exist peacefully?

Anonymous said...

Can it be said that it's an individual matter if you are a part of a church where you have agreed to uphold the guidelines established when you joined? I would see it differently if it's an understood thing that how you are going to dress, etc is up to each individual.
Even so we as Christians need to work together and take to consideration any rebuke, or concern someone brings to them. The church is a body; we are to work together; not think that what I do is up to me and why are you worried about it!?! It really is a beautiful picture: the working together of the Body of Christ. The New Testament portrayal of the Body of Christ is a LIVING organism with each part working together for the good of the whole, NOT the individualistic concept of live and let live.

Bethany Eicher said...

Interesting thoughts here....... to the first comment -- Smart woman! :) I'm married to the second man as well and wouldn't trade him for all the "perfect" men in the world! I don't think God is looking for "perfect" people either, but for people who's hearts are perfectly turned toward him!

As to the individualistic idea -- I agree with you that if you are part of a church where you have agreed to uphold the standards when you joined, you are obligated to keep that agreement. And I agree that the Body of Christ is a beautiful picture, and that we are to work together but what do we do with passages like Romans 14 which seem to clearly indicate that the Body doesn't necessarily all need to be carbon copies of each other?

dorcas showalter said...

I would by far choose the second man. As a young girl, the idea of the first husband would have thrilled my heart. But I married the second. We are married almost 9yrs and I realize more and more that there is no perfect husband- it is an illusion I think that Satan uses to make discontented wives. The husband that brings lots of flowers, gives back rubs on a whim, washes the dishes with out being asked, ... I know has to have areas he struggles in. Maybe areas that the 2nd husband does not, because none of us are perfect. And the more I watch people that try to make their life look perfect to everyone else, I realize they have hurts and fears they are afraid to show. So just love that perfectly imperfect husband, and remember to thank God for him, he is the one that will work till his hands bleed to provide for you, he will give up his wants to make sure his family is provided for, and if you make it a habit of studying him and serving him - you will reap love and happiness among the imperfections.
Long ramble- I found you through Gina's blog. Wonderful post, thankyou

Bethany Eicher said...

And thank you for the comment, Dorcas! Amen to your thoughts. I am very thankful for my imperfect husband!