What Are You Willing To Invest?

Where do I start? Today’s dare has left me feeling very indignant. I am not pompous or proud (usually), and I certainly do not think of myself as better than others. But I must confess that I do have a generally good opinion of myself and a reasonably high self esteem. That is why this is considerably harder than the previous two dares. In fact, I am tempted to say that it is the hardest dare but I have not seen the rest; so only God (and Rosheeda) know what is coming next.

Like I mentioned in yesterday’s post, it is not so much the dares as the state of the heart while doing them. Without that heart-state, it is merely going through the motions. At this point, I am not sure I mind going through the motions too much. I think that is why God sort of took time out to pass a message across today, in the busy city of Kuala Lumpur.

Pavilion - Kuala Lumpur

My mum and I, driven by my brother decided to visit the heart of Kuala Lumpur. We went sight-seeing and generally hung out at the mall. On the way back, I brought out my phone and decided to do some catch-up listening to the Daily Audio Bible podcasts. The reading was from Joshua 10 and it was about the deception of the Gibeonites; when they tricked the Israelites into signing a peace treaty with them. When they were finally found out, they agreed to become servants of the Israelites (Let’s take a minute to note the word servant. OK).

What struck me about that passage though was the next part when one of the nearby kings heard about this peace treaty. His reaction was noted in Joshua 10:2 (NIV) –

He and his people were very much alarmed at this, because Gibeon was an important city, like one of the royal cities; it was larger than Ai, and all its men were good fighters.

I tried to understand why such men who were reputed to be ‘good fighters’ and who had the strength of numbers on their side would surrender even before battle. Why would they rather be servants than try their luck at the battle field? I did not get it. I was particularly entranced by the humility displayed by this people.

I knew there was a message but I could not seem to streamline it into coherent thought. So I shared with my mum and she gave me this Hausa proverb:

He who is patient will cook a stone and drink it’s broth.

Wow. What sort of patience will it take to not only cook a stone until it is soft but to also extract broth from that stone? Anyway, she further broke it down a bit. She said although the Gibeonites could have taken their chance on the battle field, there was a great possibility that they would lose and if they did, what would happen to their families? So they decided to humble themselves and make a treaty. They even agreed to become servants; they displayed great patience. Then she said something; that when you are patient and you know what you want, you will get it eventually. That struck a chord. I will get back to this.

As part of the reading, I also listened to a passage from Luke and this was what it said:

Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.'” Luke 17:9-10 (ESV)

I went to check out the meaning of servant and this is what I found (Forgive the many quotes but this is important):

  1. One who expresses submission, recognizance, or debt to another
  2. a person in the employ and subject to the direction or control of an individual or company

So how does this all tie with the Love Dares (LDs) and relationships? Let’s start with the Gibeonites. It did not matter that they were a strong lot and had many seeming advantages over the Israelites, they looked at the long term plan and decided they wanted to preserve their cities (their homes). So they agreed to become servants (submissive and subject to the direction or control) of the Israelites. They practiced patience.

What I gleaned from all this was that in doing the LDs, I would have to have the heart of a servant towards my husband. The Luke passage says that a servant is not thanked for doing what is commanded and even after the doing, his thought is one of unworthiness. So I am to have this heart towards my dh in patience because I have a goal, which is to preserve and build up my home. The man may not be all I want him to be right now. Matter of fact your man may be irresponsible and generally fall short of what a man should be. But if you bear the heart of a servant towards him and serve God by serving him patiently, you will eventually see the results you are praying for. Nobody said it was easy.

The LDs certainly are not easy. Yesterday’s dare though came in an unexpected way. Showing kindness at 5:30 am in a country where the sun does not rise till 7am is cruel and unusual punishment. But somehow, I was able to. In order to understand the grace factor here, you have to appreciate the fact that I am a morning person. NOT. I know the same grace will be made available for LD3.

The Verse:

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor. Romans 12:10

The Breakdown:

  1. Be committed to one another
  2. in unrestircted loyalty and unwavering commitment to what best serves another, as is natural and becoming of those related by common ties and interests,
  3. displaying the value and affection in which one is held,
  4. always acting as to protect the interest of another;
  5. give one another superiority in rank, position and privilege,
  6. with respect to the RIGHT to demand and to receive satsifaction of your commitment to another.
  7. Do these things as evidence that you hold eachother in a high postion and attribute to them special worth.

I said earlier that I was left feeling indignant; that line in red was the fella responsible for that feeling.

The Dare:

GO SHOPPING! That’s right. Go shopping. Make an investment in your man. It doesn’t need to be big or extravagant. Just get him something that says ‘I was thinking of you and want you to know’. (The first time I did this, I literally bought an extra candy bar because I knew Sweetheart would enjoy the treat; we like the same kind of candy, so giving him the extra bar was a sacrifice of a treat for MYSELF the next day. It cost me a dollar.) And if you can’t afford to really shop, invest your time. Make him something. Write him a quick note on pretty paper. Cook a nice meal. Just do SOMETHING to just to show him you love him – no matter where you are in your relationship or how you feel toward him right now.

I am still feeling indignant as I write this, but it is just surface indignation. What I am really feeling is overwhelmed. I am just a woman who is trying to get from one day to the next and make a positive impact in the process. I promise, I do not have a secret cape hidden somewhere. God is going to have to come through for me on this BIG TIME!

In our present cultural awareness as citizens of the world, do you think it is at all possible to have the heart of a servant towards your partner/spouse? Share your thoughts, let me know what you think. Are you doing the Love Dares or have you done them before? Please let me know; leave a comment.

This has been an extra-ordinarily long post. If you read till the end, thank you.

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4 Responses to “What Are You Willing To Invest?”

  1. “I’m just trying to get from one day to the next and make a positive impact in the process” … I like that!

  2. if it makes you feel ANY better, I was pretty unthrilled when I read the post too. I always put them together then go back and read/study as if i’ve never seen it. Indignant isn’t even the word. God has jokes on this one, seriously He does. But I’m gonna do this anyway. I told you we’ve been set up. This flies in the face of everything I think makes sense.

    To answer your question… it’s possible. but not without God. and even then, it’s a stretch to love as a servant.

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