Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Guilt and Mismatched Socks

The number one emotion that dominated me while I still lived in the bondage of legalism was GUILT.  I felt guilty all the time!  Guilty for not being a better wife.  Guilty that I wasn't a perfect mom.  Guilt because I couldn't give more time and commitment to people and church stuff.  Guilt, that I wasn't more disciplined in everything from my health, reading, art, studying, cooking, yard work, flossing, cleaning...you name it, I was wallowing in guilt because I wasn't reaching perfection in any of these areas.

I didn't understand how much I'd let perfection rule me.  Even when I'd read a verse like, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," I'd hear that through the filter of guilt.  I'd hear these words rattle around in my head, "You can do this, you can do this, you can do this..."  and I totally left off the part the second half, "...through Christ!"  I expected to be able to do it all, to perfection.

The maxim "Nothing but Perfection" may be                                                         spelled P A R A L Y S I S.                     -Winston Churchill

I believe part of the reason I had a hard time keeping my home neat and tidy was tied to this perfection. If I couldn't get it done to perfection, I'd just let it set because to leave it half way done was worse to me than just not starting it.  Paralysis.  My laundry would pile up because I assumed I needed to be able to wash and dry every load, fold them all-to perfection!-socks, underwear, shirts, all folded exactly the same size with no wrinkles, and tuck them away into perfectly organized drawer.  It was daunting.  Actually, it was paralyzing.

Daryl likes to keep "special things" in his top drawer and eventually, this became an issue, since his perfectly folded socks and underclothes didn't fit the way they were suppose to.  I told him that I wanted him to appreciate the nice job I did on his laundry.  He went on to say, very kindly (because that's just the way he is) that I don't fold socks and organize his drawer perfectly because it matters to him.  He said, "You do it because you like it that way.  You could just dump clean clothes into my drawers unfolded and it wouldn't bother me one bit."  I sat there with my mouth gaping, I'm sure, and my head spinning.  REALLY?

For the next week, I poured his unmatched socks and unfolded clothes directly into his drawers to prove to him that it was going to matter as soon as I wasn't  doing it nicely.  He never said anything!  He was right!  It didn't matter to him.  It was for me that I was doing all that!  Who knew that matching or unmatching socks could begin to show me that I had a problem with perfection.

I lived under constant condemnation from myself.  I wasn't measuring up.  But my laundry, yes my laundry, was the beginning to realize that I was measuring with a very obscure and improper tool.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus..."  Rom. 8:1a

1 comment:

  1. It's so awesome how God has given us spouses that are opposite of us just to help us with our imperfections and shortcomings and in return we provide the same service for them. So uncanny if you think about it. God sure knows what he is doing even when we don't!