I recently watched the unfolding of a social media saga: a “venting” for how horribly disappointed a mom was with their Mother’s Day. By Monday afternoon 150 people had seen the rant and over thirty comments had been made. Several people chimed in at how they too were let down, or how they have learned to cope after years of being disappointed. Mother’s Day, anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day – all ruined by shattered expectations.
He didn’t put any preparation or thought into her special day. He didn’t whisk the kids away so she could have alone time. He didn’t help the kids make a craft for her. He didn’t clean up. He didn’t take her out to eat. He didn’t make her breakfast in bed. He didn’t buy her anything. He didn’t send her to the spa. He didn’t take her on a date. He didn’t play board games with the family. The list goes on and on, different offenses to match each individual’s preferences.
But what if the offending spouse had done everything she desired for the perfect Mother’s Day? Would that really have been enough? One blissful Sunday of his and the children’s adoration, a shining beacon to light up all 364 other days of the year?
Gifts and doting would certainly make that one day memorable. However, while the glow probably would last a few days, it would certainly not be enough to fuel a year of dismal interaction and somehow make it happy and contented. The problem isn’t so much that the one day was fumbled as that each and every day should contain expressions of love, devotion, and appreciation. One can’t expect their marriage to be healthy with just a few days a year to express love, while maintaining a lifestyle of self-servicing. It is in regular, daily affection and attention that a relationship abounds.
That doesn’t mean that every day is spent completely focused on one’s spouse, of course. But there must be frequent meaningful interactions, encouraging words, listening, acts of love. And this is exactly how a flourishing life in Christ is found: daily surrender and attentiveness to His Spirit even while we go about our daily tasks. He is waiting to produce in you love, joy, peace – all the fruit of the Spirit and fullness of life in Him. But they are only found in Him. We set ourselves up for disappointment in our spiritual growth if we only go to God on Sunday mornings. The most fruitful and pleasing life is one in which there is moment-by-moment sanctification, not “special occasion” sanctification.