"It doesn't matter what people think of you!"
"Who cares if they think that about you! You just need to be comfortable with who you are in Christ."
These are thing I regularly say now that I have a tweenage daughter. She has fully entered the phase of life where her peers' opinions of her matter to her, where she feels the need to impress her peers. Curtis and I are seeking to parent Elizabeth in such a way that reminders her to WHOM she belongs, and that HIS opinion of her is the one that matters the most.
A few months ago I was talking with a friend. In our conversation, it came up that someone had mentioned the kind of wife I was and how he "couldn't handle a wife like that" and was "glad my wife isn't like that."
Confession: I'm a TOTAL Pharisee. I am quite good at making sure the outside of my "cup" is clean while often neglecting what's on the inside of my "cup". (see Matt. 23:25-26) I am full of pride. So when I heard that my cup wasn't thought well of, it bugged me. A lot. Probably more than it should have.
As Curtis and I talked about it, he reminded me that ultimately, it didn't matter what people thought of me. He loves me and thinks I'm a great wife. I'm not sinning or even being accused of sin. He spoke all these words of truth to me, even using the words that I use to Elizabeth!
But I couldn't shake the feelings of failure. Was it just my pride being hurt? Was it the Holy Spirit convicting me of some hidden sin in my life? While I think each of those things is partially true, I was finally able to pinpoint where my hurt feelings were coming from.
Her husband is respected at the city gate,
Her children arise and call her blessed;
My concern in the matter of what a couple people thought about the kind of wife I am is that I was reflecting poorly on Curtis.
So maybe it really does matter.
Before going into a store, doctor's office, Curtis's office, or out to eat during the middle of the school day, I give my kids the same lecture. I reminder them that they are representing themselves, our family, homeschooler, Christians and ultimately Christ. Are we shining the light of Jesus when we are unkind to one another?! Elizabeth, who is often too smart for her own good, will occasionally remind me of my own words, that it doesn't matter what other people think.
"Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God." 2 Cor 5:20
"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." 1 Peter 2:9
"I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Eph 4:1-3
I could go on and on listing bible verses about living a godly life and walking in a manner worthy of the calling upon us as we represent Christ to a fallen world.
So where does that leave me?
All this reminded me that I do represent Christ in my daily life. And part of that is being the kind of wife who brings her husband good all his days. And though I don't like it, when it comes to some people not liking my personality, it really doesn't matter what they think of me. My calling is not to have everyone like me, be impressed by me or even think highly of me. My calling is to represent Christ in the way I live, to shine His light in a dark world. My calling is to be the kind of wife who brings her husband good and who encourages him in the leadership roles God has put him in.
That's when it matters.