I once had a conversation about married life with a friend. As husbands, we must do things we may not desire, but for the sake of peace in the home, we do them.
My friend shared a conversation he had had with his wife. She wanted him to do something for her, but to him, doing so represented a dark place in his past.
“It was a scar that still had not healed,” my friend admitted.
He shared how this wound had been created and why it had gotten so big. It came from what he had witnessed between his parents, and it affects him to this day.
As we walked in the cool of the morning, my friend let me know some dirt still resided in him that he needed the Lord to deal with so that he and his wife could establish a true connection. My friend had broken down in the confines of his safe haven, so he let me see the residue he still carried from this childhood wound.
Now in a large house, there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.2 Timothy 2:20-21 NASB
In the Kingdom of God, many desire God to use them in His service, but God knows they are not ready. Or maybe, God wants to use us within our environment, families, and community. He needs clean vessels without residue or blemish. We must address our dirt, so we’ll be ready for Him to use us.
In context, Paul wrote to a church, but he also speaks to all who follow Christ. We have been set apart and should not act the same as unbelievers. God has a greater purpose for us.
We often deal with issues in our personal and public lives that can feel overwhelming, but there should be something different in our spiritual walk. Some feel that once they marry, marital problems such as infidelity, lust, anger, depression, and other issues disappear. They don’t. We must continually yield to the Father and ask Him to examine and cleanse us so He can use us.
God will not force us to be clean, but He will set us aside and move to the next clean vessel if we don’t take our holiness walk seriously.
And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.~Joshua 24:15 NKJV
How we view ourselves determines how God uses us. If we don’t understand our value, we can’t expect God to use us in the way He designed. We must be invested in our marriages and understand we were created for a greater purpose than just living together and having a good life. God had our best interest in mind when He created us. Paul compares vessels of gold and silver with those made of wood and earthenware.
If we represent the best God has created, then we cannot respond as everyone else. We cannot remain angry because we had a spat with our loved ones. We must forgive our spouses and ask them to forgive us instead of becoming bitter. Imagine if my friend had decided to let his wife know where the residue was still stuck? His wife may have seen where he was, how they could have gotten through that minor setback, and how they could have avoided tension between them.
How we treat our spouses and children will stand out. So will how we deal with setbacks. Our responses demonstrate how well we have permitted the Father to craft us into a vessel of honor fit for His purposes.
How well do you represent the Father in your daily dealings? Is there dirt you need to address?
Father God, help me to remember my true purpose for living, which is to glorify and represent You. Where I have residue of dirt, clean this out of me so that I may represent You well. Let me choose to be a vessel of honor that brings Your Name glory and shows Your Son’s sacrifice to a dying world.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2021: Address the “Dirt“: Charles E. Maldon, Jr.: All Rights Reserved