If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
I recently asked this question to a group of my students and had them make a vision board using their three words and cutouts of pictures that demonstrated those words. It was a fascinating exercise. Overall, most of their words were positive and encouraging.
But this got me thinking, what three words describe me?
After much consideration, (well not really, these popped into my head pretty quickly,) I came up with:
These three words describe me and my stage in life right now. So let’s take a look at them and see what they mean.
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their lifewill lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. Mark 8:34-35
For me, this is where my life begins. I had the blessing to grow up in a Christian home with parents who taught me to love and fear the Lord. They kept us in church and helped us stay surrounded with godly friends. I have always pursued Jesus because he pursued me first. So the word disciple is a perfect description of my life.
I like the verse above because Jesus is completely honest with his disciples, (and by extension you and me.) He lets us know that to follow him is to deny ourselves. This means we have to put aside what we want and focus on what He wants for us; things that will further the kingdom. This isn’t always easy to do, but I have found that the more I focus on God, the less I am concerned with the things of this world.
My desire as a disciple is to be conformed into the image of Christ. When Jesus died on the cross for my sins, his blood washed me clean. Now when God looks at me, he doesn’t see me as the sinner that I am, but rather he sees me washed clean. This amazing transformation is ongoing. I continue to sin, in spite of myself, and he continues to shape me and mold me more closely to the image of Jesus. This is what being a disciple is. However, this is not all that it is. Being a disciple means I must continually seek to share Jesus with those around me. It may be through words, it may be through actions, it may be through this blog, but a disciple of Christ sits at his feet and then goes out into the world to share him with others.
Disciple defines every other component of my life.
The next word that describes me is husband. I have been married to my bride for almost fourteen years. She is a perfect fit for me. I know that God provided her to be my wife and me to be her husband. It is amazing the way God created us. Where I have a weakness, she has a strength. When I don’t know the answers, she is there to help me find them. I always tell people that my wife knows me better than I know myself.
This word defines me because God put us together for a specific reason. We are made to go together and work out his will for our lives. I take my responsibilities as a husband seriously. I know that I am to serve my wife, to give my life up for her if necessary. This is what the Bible says in Ephesians 5:25-33. First Peter 3:7 also says that I am to treat my wife with tenderness and consideration so that nothing may hinder my prayers.
I will be a husband until the day that one of us places the other in the arms of Jesus. It is more than a word, it is what I am called to be and a commitment that I have made.
The third word that describes me is father. I am so incredibly blessed to be a Dad. Every day when I come home, my kids greet me with genuine excitement to see me. This too is a huge responsibility. I can remember when my daughter was born my grandfather told me congratulations and then told me that I had created a life for eternity. Talk about an eye-opening statement! Now, years later as I try to teach and lead and love my kids, I realize the truth of that statement. Like many things in life, what I do with my kids while they are young will stick with them for the rest of their lives. They will hopefully hear my voice in their head as they grow up and make decisions and choose careers and spouses and lives. I hope that I have followed Proverbs 22:6. Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. This is my awesome task that God has given me to accomplish.
I encourage you to take a look at your life and find out what your three words are. Are the positive and what you want them to be? Are they negative and need changing? It is up to you to decide, today, what your words are and how they will affect the rest of your life.