Recently, while walking with a friend, we had a conversation about married life. As husbands, we have to do things we may not desire, but for the sake of peace in the home, we do. Men, can I get an Amen?
My friend shared a conversation he recently had with his wife. She wanted him to do something for her, but to him, it represented a dark place in his past.
“A scar that still has not healed,” my friend admitted.
He continued to tell me 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 continued to walk in the cool of the morning, my retired friend let me know that there was still some “dirt” within him that he needed the Lord to help him deal with in order for there to be a true connection to his wife. This pastor–my friend–had broken down in the confines of what appeared to be his safe haven as he allowed me to see the residue he was still carrying 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, there are many who desire to be used for His service, who are waiting for the Lord to use them in a mighty way. The problem is not waiting on God–it’s our readiness. Perhaps God knows we are not ready to be used. Or, maybe God wants to use us right where we are, within our environment, families, and community. He needs us to be clean vessels without residue or blemish. In other words, we have to address the “dirt” first in order for Him to be ready to use us.
You may be asking since Paul was addressing the church in this passage, “How does this verse apply to my household or my marriage?” In context, this was specifically written to the church, but he was speaking to all who profess to belong to the Body of Christ. The way God intends to use our giftings should be different from those who do not have a relationship with the Creator. We have been set apart. We should not act the same, because we understand God has a greater purpose for us. We must strive to be useful, as sanctified vessels, fit for the Lord’s best use.
We must strive to be useful, as sanctified vessels, fit for the Lord’s best use.~Charles E. Maldon, author of In the Beginning: Godliness through Marriage.
2 Timothy distinguishes two types of vessels under the same house. The two are in the same place, but they are used and positioned differently. The vessels’ physical positioning does not determine how useful they are, but the spiritual makeup allows them to recognize they are created differently.Charles Maldon Jr: Address the “Dirt” Click To Tweet
Every day we deal with issues or concerns in our personal and public lives that can feel overwhelming, but there should be something different in our conversation. There should be something different in our spiritual walk. Some feel that once they get married, there are never any marital problems and that infidelity, lust, anger, depression, and other issues disappear. Guess what? They don’t. We have to continually yield to the Father, ask Him to examine and cleanse us in order for Him to be willing to use us.
We have to decide what kind of vessel we will become. God will not force us to be clean, but He will set us on the side and move to the next ready, clean vessel if we don’t take our holiness walk seriously. Unfortunately, when we don’t portray righteous living, and we just fit right in with attitudes, actions, and habits that don’t please God, there is no difference between us and an unsaved person.
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 we are used. If we don’t understand our value, how can we expect to be used the way God designed us? God gives us free will to decide, but it begins with how we choose. If we navigate through life as everyone else does, for example, going to church, saying “I am a Christian,” but in conduct or character not representing the God we profess, those who we interact with don’t see the difference, nor do they see our value. If we never strive to set ourselves apart for Jesus Christ, then we are no different than a glass amongst plastic cups.
God needs us to be invested in our marriages and to know we are 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, and He wants us to live lifestyles that bring Him glory. Paul describes vessels of gold and silver, in contrast to vessels of wood and earthenware. The Craftsman allows us to choose which vessels we want to emulate.
If we represent the best God has created, then we cannot respond as everyone else does. When we view ourselves correctly, we cannot just be angry because we had a spat with our loved ones. We must forgive our spouses and ask them to forgive us instead of operating in bitterness. When we do not respond in the way God designed us, that is the residue the Lord sees on His vessels and He desires to clean us. Guess what? We cannot be used if we hold on to residue from unresolved issues. Imagine if my friend made the decision to let his wife know where the residue was still stuck? You may say, “What would it hurt to hide it?” She would possibly have seen where he was, and how they could have gotten through that minor setback, and avoided tension between the two. God wants us clean. In fact, He needs us to be clean and able to address the “dirt.”
Men, how we treat our spouses and children will stand out. Our work ethics–being on time, doing our best on our jobs–will stand out. Wives, how you treat your children, and how you are a helpmate to your husband will stand out. How we deal with setbacks in life will stand out. All of these display how well we have permitted the Father to craft us into a vessel of honor fit for the Master’s 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” to address, clean this out of me, 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. Let me strive to be separate from the majority, and help my spiritual walk to point back to You.
In Jesus’s Name, Amen.
Copyright 2021: Address the “Dirt“: Charles E. Maldon, Jr.: All Rights Reserved
Meet Our Contributor
CHARLES E. MALDON, JR.
Charles E. Maldon Jr., is an ordained reverend, speaker, writer and mentor. However, the title he is most proud of is a servant of Christ.
Charles is a devotion/article writer for VineWords: Devotions and More, specializing in the area of marriage, with the goal of helping men improve their marriages.
Charles’s mission in life is to encourage others to know their true value by developing an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ. As the Lord continues to mold him, Charles uses his colorful life experiences, both “good and bad”, as real-life ministry tools. He believes there are treasures to be found in every trial—perspective is everything.
The crux of his writing is to bring others to freedom through authentic transparency. In addition to his writing, Charles is the founder/administrator of Naked But Not Ashamed, a ministry, which focuses on helping the family, especially men, to become all that Christ created them to be. He enjoys helping men to fulfill their calling in life, relationships, and manhood.
He is currently in the process of revising his book, In the Beginning: Godliness through Marriage. He is a member of the Maryland Writer’s Association and Word Weavers. He also blogs on his ministry page, Naked but Not Ashamed, where his hope is to touch someone with the love of Jesus.
Charles is the proud father of two boys and resides in North Carolina with his lovely wife Lekeisha. In his spare time, he enjoys working out, traveling and spending time with his family.
CONNECT WITH CHARLES MALDON AT
(to be added)