Today’s guest post is written by one of my most favorite human beings, my husband, Paul. I have been inspired, challenged, and led by his decisions to chase after God’s purposes, and to walk in humility. A few years ago when we made the scary decision for him to stay home with the kids and to pursue an education, we had no idea just how difficult it would be. God was doing far more than helping Paul pursue his dream; He was shaping Paul’s heart and character in brand new ways. I am excited to share his words below, and I pray that you are encouraged by them.
This is for men, who, by whatever circumstances are out of work and struggling with their role as “men”. This is for anyone who believes their self-worth comes from a “title”.
Just over 3 years ago God called me to stop working so that I could take care of the home and pursue an education. This decision didn’t happen over night, after all, we have 4 kids to take care of. More important than our finances, we were talking about my manhood. I’m the man of the house…I’m the provider! I can’t sit at home and change diapers, cook, and clean! What will I say when I meet another man and the first thing out of his mouth is, “Hi, my name is and I’m an engineer. What do you do for a living?” How was I going to tell my kids that money was going to be really tight for the next couple of years, so they could expect birthdays and Christmas to be much smaller, if at all? I could go on and on. I didn’t know where this journey was going to take me, or, for how long it was going to last. I was scared to death!
What did my walk look like? Many times, I felt inadequate as a man. Many, many times, I felt absolulty worthless! There were times I cursed God, and asked why? There were times I cursed my wife, and blamed her for my being out of work. And, there were times I just wanted things the way they once were. However, I didn’t allow those LIES to stop me. I surrounded myself with people who encouraged me, and I pressed into God for wisdom and guidance. God used these last three years to prune me. The lie that my only worth in this world was to be able to support my family financially, even if it meant putting my career before them, God cut away.
Our identity does not come from a job title, or any title. Our identity, comes from God! My “job” was to trust God that he had a plan for me in this season, and he did. My “job” was to provide for my family by changing diapers, cleaning, and cooking, and I did. My “job” was to find out who God really made me to be, not what the world says I should be, and I am.
1 Timothy 6:17 says, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”
Make a decision today…DO NOT put your hope in a “title”, put your hope in God. Let God enrich your life with joy! Today, I received my first paycheck in just over three years. It was $50.00. As good as it feels, my joy, comes from God. My joy, comes from the fact that this season brought me closer to God. My joy, comes from the fact that whatever I’m doing with my life, I want to do it to my best.
No matter what your present circumstances are, remember there is one God, and he loves and cares about you. You are his son or daughter, not a “title”
PS. God Delights in You!