My sister-in-law and her kids just spent ten days with us. While it was quite the circus around here, I got pretty used to our evening dinners together and growing addiction to Call the Midwife. Parenting alongside another mom for ten days gave me a helpful perspective I've been working through since I became a mom two and a half years ago.
I don't remember exactly how old I was when I first watched Anne of Green Gables, but I know I've now seen it more times than I can count. For the longest time it was my go-to movie whenever I was sick. Who doesn't love the comfort of Avonlea when your fever is rising and your nose won't quit running? Because I am the only girl in my family, I even convinced one of my brothers to appreciate the story of Anne, Gilbert, Diana, Marilla, and Matthew (his wife can thank me for his enjoyment in classics like these).
I've talked about why I need this exercise in thinking through how I speak. I've also talked about who we are addressing when we use our words for good or for evil. But I've also been convicted lately about the need to restrain my speech. I'm a talker. I like to use my words. When I'm happy, that's a good thing. When I'm angry, not so much. In the heat of an argument or when my feelings are hurt, words fly like fiery daggers. I even would go so far as to say that I feel as if it's my duty to throw words in a moment of rage. If I don't, who will?
I have been really helped by reflecting on the image of God lately. Every human being, male or female, healthy or unhealthy, infant or elderly, bears God's image (Gen. 1:26-27). This has profound implications for how we live. It means that our life has value. It means our gifts and abilities mean something.
I'm a talker. My parents say I haven't stopped talking since I uttered my first words. I'm pretty sure all of my former school teachers and husband would agree. I've been known to get in trouble with my love of talking. From being told to go back to my cubicle at work for talking about "things that weren't work related" to speaking my mind in the heat of an argument, my words can hurt me sometimes.
As I've gotten older I've realized that every season of life affords us a new opportunity to better understand the character of God. Through every season we are given a greater glimpse of who he is and what he has done for us in Christ. When I was single I sensed his goodness as my all sufficient provider of all of my needs. When I got married I saw the depth of his sacrifice for me as my husband served and cared for me.
Earlier this week my students and I were talking about whether sexual experience is a necessary prerequisite for marriage. While they all agreed that sexual activity outside of marriage is a sin, some said they wouldn't want to marry someone who had never kissed anyone before. The general consensus among those students was that to experience your first kiss with your spouse (not your boyfriend or girlfriend) would just be plain awkward. In their minds, you need a little experience first.
I showed this video to my marriage and family class the other day and I thought it was too good not to share with all of you. If you haven't read The Meaning of Marriage, run (don't walk) to get it right now. Or go to Amazon and buy it immediately. It is worth it. A lot of what the Kellers say in this video is from their book, but I particularly loved how Tim Keller talked about the basis for relational intimacy in marriage. But don't just take it from me, listen to the whole thing (and get the book!).
Every young women has probably had it said to her on at least one occasion, “make sure you pursue your dreams now, because once you get married (or have children) you will no longer be able to get as much done.”
In college I had a list. You probably know the one I’m talking about. It was the list. The list that promised me I could (and would) find the man of my dreams. The list that held every quality I desired in a husband. The list that I tucked away for that special day—the day I met him and we lived happily ever after.