The last four years have been one crash course after another for me. I became pregnant with our first child and jumped into researching the “right” way to handle pregnancy and prepare for a natural birth. I began reading about the “right” way to parent and keep our marriage strong through this life-changing event. Once our daughter was born, my interest was sparked by herbs and I dived into learning about all the “right” ways to use herbs and essential oils. Then I began a good-sized vegetable and herb garden… I think you get the idea. After that, I learned about raw milk, Dr. Weston A. Price, and here I am pregnant again. All of the “right” things I learned about a healthy pregnancy diet last time are now things I know to be wrong! Besides all of these things that were new to me, there are always new “right” ways to do all the everyday things, like laundry, housekeeping, schedules, quiet time… life.
Christian women, especially, have a long list of “right” ways to live. Quiet time should be done before the sun and the rest of the family is up, we ought to be involved in several ministries at our church, we’re supposed to always be regularly attending at least one Bible study… and on the list goes. There are countless self-imposed rules that we each live by; “right” ways that we try to do things. But I was thinking the other day… how many of these things are really “right”? Good ways, maybe, but “right”? If I have my quiet time during my daughter’s afternoon nap, is that wrong? According to the “experts”, it is. I’ve heard it so many times over the years that I’m supposed to have devotional time first thing in the morning and if I don’t, then I’m really missing out. But guess what? I’m not a morning person. I’ve tried. At different times in my life, I have forced myself to have quiet time first thing in the morning, because I’m supposed to. I seldom got anything out of it. I was too groggy to focus, no matter how early I got to bed the night before. I don’t drink coffee first thing in the morning, so it takes me a few hours to really be focused and firing on all cylinders.
Then it occurred to me that maybe I should give God the best part of my day… and that isn’t right when I roll out of bed! It’s early afternoon or late evening. That is what works for me and God doesn’t seem to mind like so many people think He will! All of the times I’ve had extremely life-changing times with Him, it’s been in the afternoon or evening. (For you early birds out there, stick with the 0’dark hundred quiet time, if that’s what works for you!) So, realizing that only early morning as the “right” time to have quiet time was neither commanded by God in the Bible, nor was it working for me, I wondered, “What other “right” things in my life are wrong for me?”
Now, before panic sets in, let me explain what I’m saying. There are “right” ways that other people have convinced us to do things or that we have talked ourselves into, and there are RIGHT ways that God has told us. If He says something is right, it’s right, and we need to do our utmost to obey. But what about all the other stuff? Once-a-month cooking as opposed to a made-from-scratch meal every day? Is one or the other really “right”? From the way I’ve heard ladies… ahem, debate… the subject, you’d think we were talking about an issue on the same level as euthanasia! While pondering this thought, a verse popped into my head: “For FREEDOM Christ has set us free…” (Galatians 5:1). There are specific commands that God gave us. They are clear and they are not optional. Everything else is a matter of FREEDOM! We are free to look at all of the good ways to do something and then choose the best way for us! We often try to make ourselves “good” by being legalistic in life. We try to follow all the “rules” so we will fit some imaginary standards of a “good” wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, Christian… but we are just chasing the wind. We are striving towards a perfection that we are never asked to seek. For freedom, Christ set us free, and in Him we are perfected.