Why it’s not okay to let our feelings define us.

“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.”
Proverbs 31:25

I wish I could say this defined me today. Clothed in strength and dignity. Laughing at the time to come.

But that’s not what I’m feeling and maybe therein lies the problem. That’s not what I’m feeling. I’m not wearing it on the inside, so I can’t wear it on the outside.

Feelings are dangerous. If we let our feelings define us, we are not letting our relationship with God define us. And if we have no relationship with God, then we have no other recourse than to let our feelings control our life.

But in Christ, we have a different choice.

I want to be the picture of strength and dignity defined here. I want to be strong in the eyes of my husband and children. I want to be dignified in my words and actions, but I fail more often than not.

Matthew Henry’s Commentary has this to say about this verse,

She enjoys a firmness and constancy of mind, has spirit to bear up under the many crosses and disappointments which even the wise and virtuous must expect to meet with in this world; and this is her clothing…”

So many days I feel much less than constant in my mind and much less than able to bear under the many crosses and disappointments.

Disappointments in myself, my children, my husband and people I hold close to my heart. Those are the only people that can truly disappoint us anyway. Those we hold close. Those are the ones that matter. And how we react to the disappointment says a lot about the condition of our heart.

I find myself withdrawing when my feelings are hurt or I can’t measure up to someone’s perceived expectations from me. I would rather dig a pity hole, curl up in it and wallow around for a while than face it like a poised and dignified woman and “get over it.”

This is not the picture of strength and dignity that I want to model to my children or husband or anyone else watching me. And, oh, people are watching me and they are watching you.

The little eyes in my home are watching how mama reacts and learning from every reaction. Good or bad.

The eyes of my husband are watching how I react to the crosses and disappointments I encounter and seeing whether this God I follow is worth following or not, based on how I react. That’s truth. And that’s the reminder I need today.

Crosses will come. Disappointments will be had. But they don’t have to define us.

feelings-christian-blog

When feelings define us, we leave faith behind us.

These trials are actually wonderful opportunities to shine for His glory. And in the end, that’s what this Proverbs 31 woman being described does in every facet. She shines for His glory. Even if she doesn’t feel like it.

And even the “wise and virtuous” have “bad” days. Jesus did. And He always chose to react with strength and dignity. So can we. It just may take some of us longer than others to learn how to wear these clothes…at least it is taking some stretching for me.

So for now, I’ll keep reminding myself why it’s not ok to let my feelings define me. And why it’s so very important that I learn to wear these clothes of strength and dignity. Not only for the sake of the eyes watching me, but for Christ’s sake.

For His Glory,
Meredith

woman 2 woman

{It’s Woman to Woman Wednesday on the blog and we would love to have you link-up with your thoughts on any verse in Proverbs 31 today. We also invite you to visit the others that are linked-up through the cute blue frog below. If today is too short notice, plan on joining us next week to discuss any verse from Proverbs 31 and we’ll look forward to your words. Hash your thoughts out with us using #w2w and please link posts back here. You can also grab the W2W button for your site if you wish. Graciously and For His Glory, Meredith}

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16 thoughts on “Why it’s not okay to let our feelings define us.

  1. This is such a wonderful sticky statement, Meredith: “When feelings define us, we leave faith behind us.” It is so true. I’m struck by the fact that I also posted today on feelings, but your take is so different than mine. I loved reading this.

    • Thanks for reading, Betsy. I will go visit your take on feelings, too! Funny how God speaks to us on the same topics at time and helps give new perspective through one other. Yay God!

  2. Feelings will eventually drag us down every time, won’t they?! I know I settle in to a pity party all too often. Thanks for the reminder to stay the course, no matter my feelings. It’s truly the only way to bring glory to God. Praying for you this week!

  3. “When feelings define us, we leave faith behind us.” Love love love that, Meredith. It sticks in my head, for sure. How often I have let feelings dictate my behavior and reaction to my circumstances, much to my detriment instead of my growth. Praying we will both remember that God’s ways are always better. 🙂

  4. “She shines for His glory. Even if she doesn’t feel like it.” I lived out one of those “feelings weeks” last week. Thank you for pointing us to our source of strength and dignity. I can’t imagine life without Him! Bless you, Meredith!

  5. This is something God has been teaching me during this time apart from my husband. There are many days I’m not feeling all that chipper, but He reminds me to find the blessings in the every day moments. I want the way I hold myself during this time to reflect the strength He is giving me to keep moving forward. As always, beautiful encouragement, Meredith. {Hugs}

  6. This is one of my favorite verses- such a great reminder. So glad that the Lord is able to make this a reality in our lives by His grace. It “feels” impossible to us, but with Him it is possible as His grace covers us strong. Love to you friend!

    • It’s funny you say that, LeeAnn. I was just thinking this morning, “What if I’m the only one having this kind of week? Well, so be it.” And though I’m sorry you are having this struggle this week, I’m glad to not be alone. 😉 Maybe we can work our way out of it together…hugs,
      mb

  7. “When feelings define us, we leave faith behind us.”
    I needed to hear this today, and won’t soon forget it. Thank you for reminding me that my actions and beliefs are not just about me. Thank you!

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