I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, an employee, but none of those things define me. I am a hot- head, a complainer, a gossip, a jerk, but praise God that none of those things define me either.
Over the past 4 months I have been sharing the story of my husband’s infidelity. In doing that, I feared I would become the woman who suffered and survived marital adultery, but that does not define me either.
When trying to sort through the grief, I prayed that my husband would never forget the pain he caused me, my family, and many others in the “ripple effect” of his choices. However, I now realize how my heart’s intent was sinful. I wanted him to see himself as an adulterer so that he would not hurt me in that way again. My motive was entirely selfish in that prayer. This is most certainly not his identity either.
So, what is our identity?
It is not the hardships we endure, but the one who helps us endure them.
There will be plenty more hardships to work though this side of heaven and those challenges will not define me either. It isn’t any of my world-given titles that will get me through those difficult times when they do come. It is Christ in me that is my hope. Apart from Jesus we cannot get through this life.
In 2 Corinthians 12 : 10, Paul says, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Christ is strong in our weakness.
In John 15 : 5, Jesus says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
It’s not the “good things” others might see in us, but that they see the character of one that is good.
Along this particular journey, God has given me so many rich lessons worth sharing that I thought this must be his purpose in ministry for me. Let me clarify, I know this is a purpose he has for me, but it is not my only purpose in ministry.
Life really is good between my husband and me. We are both walking with Jesus and seeing his grace over our lives in a new light. Although God has given us this story to share with others for his glory, it does not define either of us. Beyond that, my husband should look more and more like Jesus and less and less like his earthly self as God sanctifies his heart.
In Galatians 6 : 14, Paul says, “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”
John 3 : 30 says, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
He should be more magnified as we are more sanctified.
It is not our sin, but the one who died for that sin.
Because we belong to Jesus, when God looks at us, he sees the perfection of Christ who died in our place and not our failures.
“And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him.” Colossians 1:21-22
1 John 4:10 says, “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
Philippians 3:20-21: “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”
I love the list of “I am” statements that was referenced in one of Kim’s blog posts:
Praise to you, O Lord, that there are no records kept of our wrongs! Praise to you that you do not hang an “Adulterer” sign around our necks so that we won’t forget how we have sinned and fallen short of your glory.
If that were true we could not bear the weight of the number of signs we would have to wear. We would not be able to hold our heads up high enough to see you there with your outstretched arms.
Instead you see Christ. Perfect and pure in all things. Tempted in all ways, but without sin. His blood covers our inequities. Unfathomable, yet true!
Yours In The Round,
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."