Transparency is necessary for anyone to see Jesus in me. I have to let people into the everyday messiness of my life, lest they think that I have it all together, unlike themselves, and have no need for a Savior.
Humans need acceptance. We want people to like us. So we put our best foot forward, often creating a facade of peace and joy over the reality of chaos and sorrow.
A clean & orderly house, joyful & obedient children, contented & loving husband~ this is what we hold up as the gold standard of success. Since our culture equates success with worth, we feel that in order to have value as a person, we must attain these things, or at least make it look like we have succeeded.
We crave approval and honor like a giant chocolate lava cake. Most mothers don't receive monetary reward for our work, therefore we are looking for a way to validate our vocation. We highlight our victories and accomplishments, yet we are not so quick to share our struggles and defeats.
With these omissions we do a great disservice to our sisters in Christ as well as the women in a watching world. We are promoting the destructive practice of comparing outsides with insides.
Lets say a woman visits my blog and sees lovely images of well constructed lesson plans, mason jars of home-made granola, and a lush backyard container garden. She looks around her own house and sees half-done worksheets on every surface, opened boxes of Cocoa Puffs spilling out of the pantry, and the shriveled remains of an attempted herb garden. She wonders what she is doing wrong. Rather than leaving my blog uplifted and full of encouragement that she has eternal value in Christ, NOT based on her performance; she leaves discouraged and defeated, AND with an unbalanced view of this woman's everyday life.
She sees only what I allow her to see; carefully chosen, edited photos of domestic felicity (my Outside). She compares this view to what she knows to be true of her own home (her Inside). It's not a fair comparison. Comparison in general, is not a good idea. The disciples often tried to play comparison-type games with Jesus. He never played along. In fact, he was quite stern with some others whose favorite past-time it seemed was comparison..the Pharisees.
With these omissions we also do a great disservice to our God. By leaving out the messiness, we rob God of the glory He alone deserves for making beauty out of our mess. People need to see, that apart from the work of the Holy Spirit in me, I would be one giant disaster~prone to anxiety, fear, perfectionism, pride, anger, & selfishness. Therefore, I will share my struggles, for His glory.
People need to see that while I strive for order, peace, creative beauty, and efficiency in our home, these things are not the MAIN thing. They can be wonderful byproducts of something else. Something much more important~ walking in deep communion with Jesus, every day. He is all I really need. When I'm centered in him, despite everything around me, I have:
- Peace ~ He will be called Prince of Peace...
- Joy ~ I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete...
- Love ~ Whoever who lives in love lives in God and God in him...
- Contentment ~ I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances...
He can make beauty out of anything (praise God). I want people to see the transforming power of Jesus Christ at work in me, in the midst of all my mess. Therefore, I will share my beautiful mess, for the His glory.