Perfection. A nasty word. And oh, how I’ve fallen prey to the lie of perfection.
One of my dearest friends will say that ‘perfect’ is a bad word; if someone in the house responds to the question, “How was your day?” with the word ‘perfect’, everyone knows it was an awful day.
As a woman, a wife, and a mother, society demands perfection from me. I need to have this certain body type in order to be beautiful, I need to be gracious and submissive, and keep a perfectly clean house all the time in order to be a Biblical wife (Proverbs 31 anyone?), and I need to do all the crafts, read all the books, teach all the things, and not mess my child up too much in order to be the perfect mom.
There are a couple of HUGE problems with this type of thinking:
- Society does not rule me, God does. He tells me through His word who I am, not society. I am a daughter of the King (Revelation 19:16, Romans 8:16-17). I am enough just the way He made me (Genesis 1:31a). I am a good and helpful mate for my husband, because God made me for him (Proverbs 18:22, Proverbs 19:14, James 1:17). I am the best mother to my daughter, because God hand picked me to bring her up in the way she should go.
- No one is perfect except for Jesus. No, not you, and not me. So why do we as women constantly put this pressure on ourselves to be “perfect”? This idea of being perfect at anything is absurd. What feelings well up inside you when you hear the word ‘perfection’? I used to cringe, feel guilt, shame, and disappointment. Why, though? I shouldn’t have. I should have been thinking of the wonderful Savior who is perfect. Satan would have you and me believe we should be perfect in all our roles all of the time, because then he has a foothold to defeat us, and eventually we can become ineffective for God’s kingdom if we allow that defeat to overtake us. Trust me, I have lived the past several years held captive by this idea of perfection.
So then, Sister’s, what do we do about this lie? We demolish it. 1 Corinthians 10:5 says we must “destroy speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” The only way to destroy, demolish, and tear down a lie is with the truth. God’s word is truth; be in the word. Talk with God. Confess that you have sinned against Him by trying to be perfect; it’s not your job, it’s His job! Share your heart with your Friend. Let Him come in and help you tear down the lies that plaster your heart and mind.
The next step in demolishing the lie of perfection is to be consistent. You are going to have to consistently, and sometimes constantly, attack and defend against this lie. So put on your Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18), pray all of the time (1 Thessalonians 5:17, James 5:13, 16), write scripture on your heart, post it in your house (Deuteronomy 11:18, 20, Proverbs 7:1-3). Use these tactics to battle the nag of perfection. Consistency is not perfection. You’re going to mess up, you’re going to cave to the lie, you’re going to forget to pray or read your scripture. And some days you’re going to all the things but you’re just not going to “feel it.” Be encouraged in doing good for in due time you will reap good. Sister, God does not want your perfection (because you don’t have any), He wants your heart. Give it all you’ve got my Sister and feel the warm, joyous reward He has waiting for you. Freedom! Freedom from the captive lies of perfection.
I do not have it all figured out, but I have begun a journey of taking my thoughts captive before the Lord, laying them down, handing them over, and replacing them with God’s truth. It has been a process! Long. Arduous. Painful. With many slides, and self-made detours. But it has also been so freeing, so wonderful, and so empowering as God has been faithful to complete the good work He placed on my heart to begin (Philippians 1:6). And when I think about how far this new found freedom is going to reach I am so humbled. I’m not even thinking about the few women who might read this blog post, I’m thinking about the affect I am having on my daughter, and how that could affect her children and many generations to come. Oh, thank You, Lord!
Let your soul rest in the Lord, because you know that He is good. And give it a rest: let God be perfect, just learn to be who He made you to be.
Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that You would mightily use the women reading this to teach herself and her children, her grandchildren, her spiritual children that You alone are perfect. Lord, if anyone today is held by the captive lies of perfection I ask that You would begin to loosen those chains, that you break them free. Send an earthquake like You did for Paul and Silas’ physical chains to break the chains my Sister has. Replace it with Your truth, and meet her needs when she is feeling weary. In the Name above all names I ask these things; may it be so!