Everyone wants that Disney storybook life. That life with one real trial that ends in finding ” prince charming” and living ” happily ever after” with the world right and easy…. but anyone in our near adulthood knows this never happens. Life is full of trials and pains… full of good times and bad. The luckiest of us find that ” price charming” (or in my case lovely princess) to spend our days with. Those not so lucky either brave life by themselves or share it with someone who is not an equal “partner” in life.
The thing is it is in us all to be a Prince Charming or a Lovely Princess. Everyone has the capacity to be the great husband/wife they are called to be. The fact is we are all princes or princess…we are all children of the King and made in His image. The unfortunate thing is we let the stress and clutter of life cloud our lives. As a society we are so busy and so stressed…constantly running around and living a complex and stress filled life.
Science has proven that when a person is in a state of constant stress they have a tendency to revert to their most quirkiest behaviors. This means is you are an introvert and tend to avoid conversing in social situations under constant stress you have a tendency to basically shut down and not talk. You will basically shut down and simply go through the motions of life. If you have a tendency to be outspoken and opinionated under constant stress you have a tendency to become overbearing, bossy, and hateful. We all have this tendency and at times these bad traits come out in all of us but when this behavior becomes constant and continuous there starts to become problems (been there,done that,got the T-shirt…trust me not a good place).
We must guard ourselves and our families against the threat of constant stress, clutter, and busyness. These constant pulls to be constantly connected, to always strive and work for better stuff and “keep up” with the best leaves us tired and spent. There is some stress we can’t control or have at least little control over…these are situations to give to God and trust in Him (still working on that myself)…but creating stress by busyness and excessiveness (if that is even a word) is dangerous to our lives.
The science is there to show how stress affects our health and relationships…but this has been know for centuries. It is not a new problem…it has been there since the beginning and warnings are even in the Bible. There are warnings to not stress about the future (Luke 12:22-29)…we are told to take all cares to the Lord (Philippians 4:6)…we are even advised to lead quiet simple lives (1 Thessalonians 4:11). It has always been know that constant stress can affect our physical and mental health negatively yet we do it anyways… believing the lies of the demons that if we only did more things would be better…happier…more fulfilling; and sadly some people believe this their whole life and wake up near the end of their days and see what was missed.
And now a specific word to the men out there (myself included because I struggle with this as well)
It is time as men of faith to stand up for our families…time for us to make our wife and children our priority. It is time for us to be an Ephesians 5 husband (Ephesians 5 25-29)…to love our wives as Christ loved the church. Sacrificially putting aside our own selfish (and childish at times) wants and desires for what is best for our family (1 Corinthians 13:11).It is time to not take the easy out and escape to work when our wife and kids are sick…it is time to stay and hold the puke buckets and nurture our love ones as best we can.
The hardest thing of course is knowing what to do…what is really best for everyone…that is where we must pray and seek wise council. It is imperative that we have that wise council. It took me years to find that wise biblical council and was not till I began attending the Orthodox church and met Fr. Steve and Sdn. Ephriam that I found this (but that is a whole other post). As husbands and fathers we must do right by God and our wife and children. Trust in the Lord and he will lead…It is scary I know…I have days I get scared of the future too. As I said earlier this is something I struggle with to this day…I am in no ways have it all figured out…If I said or thought I did I would be lying to myself and you. It is only by God’s grace and guidance and the forgiveness and steadfast love of my wife that I even come close to doing what is right.
If you are married strive to be that husband you are called to be…if you have yet to meet that special woman study and learn…learn what you need to become…stay pure and whole for that soul mate God has made for you…prepare yourself for the time you become married. Be the man you are called to be no matter what situation you are in. Those times where you are uncertain of the future…when you are scared of what is going to happen…pray to the Lord with the confidence that He will guide and deliver you from any evil. Pray to Him knowing his truth and know that nothing can really keep you from His love and truth. Here is a prayer I use during those times; I did not write it (not sure who did) but here is where I got it. There are many prayers there that I have found helpful. Maybe you will find them as helpful.
O Lord, You who steadied the hand of Peter as he began to sink on the stormy sea, if you are with me, no one is against me. Grant to me the shield of faith and the mighty armor of the Holy Spirit to protect me and guide me to do Your will. The future I put into Your hands, O Lord, and I follow You to a life in Christ. Amen