Recently while I was washing dishes after dinner, I contemplated the value of my cookware. I remembered when I received various pots and pans as wedding gifts. After each time I cooked, I furiously washed them to keep them looking new. My obsession with clean pots and pans didn't last long, as cooking blemishes appeared faster than I could scrub them. I now know why my mother's pots looked messy. Good cooks have seasoned pots and pans, and they are usually the ugliest.
Scuff marks show a faith commitment
A kingdom woman understands that, at times, the stuff of life that she is required to "cook" may be messy. Life can be hard, parenting can be hard, work can be hard, and marriage can be hard, too. Some women want to stay put in life's cabinet to keep looking shiny and new. But the kingdom woman understands that, to be in God's plan, she must be available. God looks for whether a woman has learned to depend on Him, whether she knows the value of commitment and the supreme power of faith.
I often see women who seem to be perfectly settled into their marriages. Everything seems to be simmering along as if they have the "marriage thing" down. I wonder if they struggle as I do to be kind, loving, respectful and humble. Let's be real: Marriage can be messy. Offering mutual honor and respect is tough when you live with another sinful human being.
During the last 16 years of marriage, I have learned what it means to be more selfless, speak more thoughtfully and forgive more often. I've learned how to depend on God to help me develop as a kingdom woman in my relationship with my husband. Marriage doesn't allow a woman to hide — and I have often wanted to do just that.
However, relationship intimacy is the perfect test kitchen for God to mature us and change us into utensils He can use more effectively for His purposes.
God loves seasoned sisters
We tend to look at people who have life wounds and wonder what has happened to them. Many women with scuff marks are simply seasoned through marriage, parenting or other challenges of life. As a result, they are more available for God's purposes because of their imperfections, inadequacies or emptiness.
Like the widow in 2 Kings 4, who was down to her last jar of oil, many women know what it is like to be down to their last handful of energy, money, hope or joy and still hear God asking them to give it all to Him by giving it all to others. Yet when we follow His direction, we get to see Him show up in a way we would never expect. Granted, we may be externally a little tried and tested but so are some of the most treasured pots and pans in our kitchens.
Our Father values a seasoned sister, one seasoned through marriage and parenting relationships, who loves His plan for her more than she loves her plan for herself — even when His plan may leave scuff marks.
If you or someone you know needs marital help, Focus on the Family has resources and counseling to assist. You can contact us Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Mountain time) at: 855-771-HELP (4357) or help@FocusOnTheFamily.com.