By Lana Leigh Wilkens
How do you shine God’s light on others – your husband, family, friends and community? It’s important to shine the light so others can see. Here’s my story about learning how to shine God’s light.
A Light Different from What We Expect
When I was young, my dad drove me on a country road to see Halley’s comet. The night sky was free from light pollution. I recall a small crowd gathered to observe this once-in-a-lifetime event. The next chance I’d have to see Halley’s comet would be in my sixties, so I thought I’d better go for it. At six years old, sixty seemed an eternity away.
As I looked up at the sky, the comet’s light was dim and unimpressive. I knew inside this was a momentous occasion, but it honestly felt a little anticlimactic. A huge telescope was set up on the edge of a grassy field. I peeked through the eyepiece as the ball of ice moved millimeters at a time across my field of vision.
I’d imagined the comet to be this massive, lit-up ball travelling so fast you could see it slashing across the night sky. But it wasn’t like that at all. Instead, I saw a dim light, a little pinpoint moving very slowly, from my perspective.
Now that I’m older I see the comet differently. The comet wasn’t the source of light and I was too far away to see how bright it actually was. The light I saw was reflected light from another source — the sun.
Getting Our Light from God Himself
Worldly wisdom tells us to look within ourselves for the light. But God says we get our light from him. We are children of light. God’s Word tells us in Ephesians 5:8 (ESV), “for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.”
Being a child of light means that we’ve been freed from darkness and God has changed our very nature. Later in that same chapter of Ephesians 5, God tells us to be a light by singing to God, not getting drunk with wine but being filled with the Spirit, submitting to our husbands as to the Lord, submitting to one another, giving thanks to God and more. Letting go of my ideas or control doesn’t come naturally, but that’s the point.
Being a child of light isn’t natural. Our flesh can’t do it. It is a supernatural act for us to shine God’s light on others.
I can’t submit to my husband, stop yelling at my kids, or stop complaining without the power of the Holy Spirit. Without his light shining on me, I’d be in darkness. But because he’s made me a child of light, in his power I can do what he asks. I can only shine like he wants me to with his light in my life – the Holy Spirit living in me.
In my younger years I thought doing what God said meant I had to focus on my performance, keeping track of my rights and wrongs. When I became a mom, I wanted approval. I compared myself with others instead of just desiring to be close to him. I was focused on the results of what God could give me, not on developing our relationship.
Matthew 5:16 says that we are to shine our lights before men so they will glorify God. Our lights aren’t about us. We are lights to our kids and our husbands when they aren’t acting in ways that please us. Through God’s power, we can shine light in whatever darkness is around us.
If I’m not careful, I get caught up in how bright I am instead of whose I am. God’s light is bright. The closer to him I get, the less focused I’ll be on how much I shine. And I will shine, but it will be for his glory instead of mine.
Wife Step: Ask yourself if you are a light to your husband and to your kids, pointing them to Christ. If you aren’t, get closer to the God, the source of light, by reading his word daily. If you already do this, ask God for opportunities to shine brighter to whom he has placed in your path.
Lana Leigh Wilkens, author of Knee-Jerk Mom, helps women discover their authentic family values and challenges them to ask the right questions so they can decide with confidence, not comparison.
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