A few years ago during my first year of marriage, I got lost in a whirlwind of striving to be the perfect wife. I defined that as cooking great meals, having the dishes done, the laundry folded and maintaining a precisely clean home. I found my value in that, but let me be honest, I’m not a good cook, nor do I really enjoy it. My sink often overflows with last week’s dishes and the laundry is always neglected. The value of who I was as a wife quickly diminished. There were frequent tears because I could not keep up. I wasn’t good enough…so I thought.
As my idea of being “the perfect wife” was shattered, my husband so graciously and gently walked through my insecurities with me. He reminded me that he did not choose to marry me because of my domestic skills (or lack thereof), but rather, because of who I am. He also reminded me that if the dishes were not washed and the laundry not folded, that it was okay. It did not define my value as a wife. I put way too much pressure on myself. My entire worth was found in what I did or did not do. The renewing of my mind was a process, but a worthwhile one.
So much of our identity in this world is determined by what we do and how well we do it. Think about it…one of the first questions we often ask when meeting someone for the first time is, ‘Oh, what do you do?’ From there, we unintentionally draw conclusions about who they are based on what they do for a living. Without realizing it, our tendency introspectively speaks the same; determining who we are according to what we do. Our doing is laced with striving to meet the unattainable goal: perfection. We put hours upon hours into DOING our best, yet do we equally prioritize BEING our best?
We need to reevaluate how we are determining our worth and identity. What do we find our purpose in? What is the condition of our hearts? Who we are should inspire what we do. It should be our purpose and it should influence how we do what we do. Mother Teresa was a woman of love, mercy, and generosity. She would not be remembered, however, for what she did, if she was not first who she was.
God is the same with us. He loves us first because that is who He is. He is love. His whole heart in creating us is to be loved. We can’t do anything to earn his love no matter how hard we strive to do so. Our job is simply to receive it. When stop trying to earn God’s love, freedom is found. When my husband loved me despite a messy home, it was a small glimpse of God’s heart for me. I am loved because of who I am, not what I do. Knowing that I am loved, releases my insecurities and, in turn, motivates me to do. I do, because I am loved.
My challenge to you is this: Discover your true purpose based on who you are rather than what you do. If that process leaves your chores unfinished, it is okay. You are worth investing in. Take a moment to soak in the truth of who you genuinely are. Remember these words should be positive and uplifting. They should encourage you. If not, then they’re not from the Lord. Write it down and post it as a daily reminder of who God created you to be. You can even speak them out loud as declarations. You were created first to be loved, not to strive to do, do, do. You have value. You have purpose. Live from who you are, not from what you do or what you have to do. Just be. Let it redefine who you are, and then out of that, go and do!