New Year, Same Me

With 2018 rapidly approaching, we are being bombarded with New Year’s Resolutions. Loose weight! Get healthy! Find happiness… the list is endless. Every year we as a society purchase weight loss supplements, gym memberships, yoga pants and bullet journals in preparation of becoming who we think we should be. The only problem is, all of these resolutions are based on the notion that we aren’t personally good enough. We all have this inner dialog that is constantly tearing ourselves down. Our self-loathing is never greater than it is on January 1st. So what do we do? We spend a ton of money and time planning to be a “new me” when what we should really be doing is learning to love the old one. New Year’s Resolutions encourage us to focus on the broken parts we see; body imperfections, insecurities, relationship struggles… things that every single woman on Earth struggles with. My hope with this post is to visit some common resolutions and instill a little self love in your mind.

Losing weight is hands down THE most common (and the most broken) resolution every single year. It’s easy to see why. This world tells women that we have to be a certain size and shape to be accepted and loved. I’ve fallen into this particular trap since I was in my 20’s. I’ve never been satisfied with my body, at any age. Right now, as you scroll through your social medial, you’ll see tons of posts like these…

all designed to make us feel as though our bodies aren’t acceptable in their current, cookie loving state. Now, I’m not advocating letting yourself go crazy on the junk food aisle; health is important but HEALTH should be the focus, not your jeans size. Eat a balanced diet, play with your kids… but learn to love the body you have for all that it has done for you. When we take a look at what God has to say it puts things into perspective.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

Another common resolution is to “fix” our marriages. There is no miracle cure for a struggling marriage and you certainly can’t fix relationship issues with nothing more than the will power that comes with January 1st. Happiness and contentment cannot be found, they have to be grown… through spiritual discipline. That being said, a healthy marriage isn’t a bad thing to work for but it takes Christ to breathe life into a failing marriage, not will power. Social media has created an atmosphere that breeds extramarital affairs and divorce. Have you ever been scrolling through your news feed and see a male friend post about how amazing his wife is? How beautiful, special, perfect… ect. Many of us immediately start comparing that husband to our own. Why doesn’t my husband bring me flowers? Why doesn’t he post on Facebook about how amazeballs I am? Ladies, I don’t have to tell you how this comparison chips away at our marriages. And you know what? Most of the things we see on Facebook are either greatly exaggerated or out and out lies. Very few of the people we follow are authentic (although I do know one or two special couples who are totally sweet in their facebook romance.) We get their best 5 minutes and even that is filtered. Real marriages have struggles because real people are selfish. Rather than vowing to have a better marriage, try vowing to pray for your husband every day. Rather than finding ways to change him, look for ways to serve him. Bringing the servants heart of Jesus into your marriage is the single best way to transform it.

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 
23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 
24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Ephesians 5:22 – 24
The Bible doesn’t stop there though… there’s a second part to those sometimes controversial verses.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 
26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 
27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 
28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 
Ephesials 5:25-28
The purpose of marriage is two fold; to bear and raise godly children, and for the husband and wife to help spiritually transform each other to be more Christ like. This means, quite literally, that your husband is a gift to you from God. Treat him as such. Pray together, worship together, talk about your sin, your struggles, your hopes. Don’t wait until January 1st to invest in the godliness of your marriage. That resolution can start today.
Many of us want to make more money in the upcoming year but I caution you to be sure to weigh what that financial gain actually costs you. Yes, you can work more hours, you can take on more responsibility and thus more pay at work, but who suffers if you’re away from home even more than you are today? Your family does. Are the extra toys, bigger home, and fancier vacations worth missing the best years of our children? How important is a healthy bank account when our teens are lost in a culture that encourages them to dive into sin? Children need our presence. They need chats around the dining room table, fishing trips on Saturday morning, family walks and bike rides. They need us to show them the way. If we are not present to teach our kids how to be godly, you can be assured the world will teach them how to be ungodly in our absence. Having money to support your family is certainly a good thing, but are you working long and hard hours to feel content in your possessions? That’s where evaluation needs to take place. I challenge you to make more memories with your kids in 2018, not more money for your savings accounts.
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Mark 6:21
Ladies, let’s ditch the resolutions to create a new me. Instead, let’s learn to love the one that Jesus is already smitten with. Our wrinkles show our wisdom, our imperfect bodies carried and birthed beautiful babies. We have a roof over our heads and food on our tables, let’s be grateful for that and spend time with our families. This year, be you, in all your glory. You were made in His image, and you are perfectly imperfect, and Jesus wouldn’t want you any other way.
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Proverbs 31: 30-31

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