I have an image in my head of what the perfect wife should look like. In my mind, the perfect wife would cook all homemade meals. She would never have a dirty house. She works out, has impeccable style and is always photo ready. She has a perfect calendar of events that she effortlessly juggles. She never forgets an occasion and she always knows what to say. If you can imagine a typical housewife from a black and white movie created in the 50’s – that is pretty much my “wife goals”.
Sadly, I am not a housewife from a black and white movie. I work a full time job that demands much of my time. When I get home, I spend my time working on ministry projects. I don’t cook nearly as much as I’d like. My house isn’t always spotless. I don’t work out nearly enough. My style could use some help and I rarely feel photo ready. I try to be organized, but I occasionally miss events (my nieces and nephew can attest that birthday gifts rarely come on time). Since I can’t live up to the image I have in my head, I immediately begin to feel like I am letting everyone down. When I feel like I am letting people down, I start to believe that I am not enough.
I currently have a “to-do list” that is literally pages long. My head spins between the things I need to do at work, the things I need to do that are ministry related, the things I want to do at home and on and on and on. For the past several days I have felt like there is not enough of me to go around. I feel stressed to the max with no room to wiggle. I am starting to feel like I can’t breathe.
This morning, I was lying in bed reading a quick devotional before jumping out of bed and I read Romans 3:23-24:
…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
I have read these verses a million times, but this morning as I read my world came crashing down. My mind got stuck on three words – “and fall short”. As I got ready for work, I let that sink in. I will never be enough. The word of God – a book that I believe to be truth – said it and it was impossible for me to let it go. No matter how much I try, I will always fall short.
All day today, those words have continued to haunt me. As the day went on, those words threatened to break me. Tonight, as I walked into house after a very long day, Dan greeted me with a smile. He followed me back to the bedroom and talked to me as I changed into comfy clothes. He helped me put fast food on plates without complaint. He pulled me close to pray for our meal, and then he hugged me. As he hugged me, all the lies I had been believing all day started to fall apart. Dan doesn’t care about the 50’s housewife image I have in my head. He loves me for me.
In Luke 10, Jesus is with Mary and Martha. Martha is busy cleaning, cooking and doing all these things for Jesus. Martha gets angry because Mary isn’t helping her, so she runs out to Jesus to complain. Jesus says this in verse 41-42, “You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one.”
Here’s the thing, God didn’t create me to be a 50’s housewife. Dan doesn’t require me to be a 50’s housewife. I am not letting everyone down. As a matter a fact, as I wrote these words, a dear friend called just to tell me she was thinking of me and she loves me. Just like Martha, I am worried about so many things, but few of those things actually matter. I am not created to be “all the things”. I was created to be Melissa Forster. Melissa Forster is enough, without all the extras. Tonight I asked Dan what makes me a good wife, and you know what… my actions weren’t on the list. All of the things he mentioned were personality traits.
2 Corinthians 10:5 says we have the authority to take every thought captive. If our thoughts don’t line up with what the word says, we can tell it to leave (You can read more about thinking Godly thoughts here.) When I have a thought that tells me I am not enough, I have the authority to tell that thought to leave.
Back to that verse in Romans 3 that threatened to break me… I let myself take the scripture out of context and believe lies. While Romans 3:23 says I fall short, Romans 3:24 says that the Lord has redeemed all my short comings. (This is why it’s important to read scripture IN CONTEXT! Taking just bits and pieces out can be dangerous! Especially when you twist it around like I let the enemy do today!)
Today, if you are feeling like you could never be enough, I challenge you to take a step back. Look at that to do list. Is everything on that to do list needed? Do you have to do everything yourself? If you are like me, I am sure there are a few things you can mark off because they aren’t needed or because someone else can help with them. Also, I want to tell you that just being you is enough. You don’t have to live up to the high standard you have in your head, you simply have to be you.