Remember when I mused on the idea that God cares about EVERYTHING we do in a day? Well, I’m still thinking about it. This time, though, it has a little different cast to it.
Not My Routine
I do not wake up at a set time in the morning. I have never been a person who likes to get out of bed or cut short my sleep time. This used to be a problem in high school, not because I was late for class (it’s very hard to be “late” for class when you’re home-schooled), but because in my family, a lack of routine was seen as sheer laziness. My dad was one of those people who woke up every day at 5AM, had the same thing for breakfast every day (Cheerios and orange juice), went to work, came home at the same time every day without fail (he never worked late), had dinner, did the same thing every evening (watched TV no matter what everyone else had to do or wanted to do), and went to bed at pretty much the same time every night (around 10PM). My dad was the model for routine in our family and somehow he became the standard by which we measured our own days.
But my mom and my brother and I never had a set routine. We would get bored. We would get busy. We would get sick. Or some other kind of intervention would stop our good efforts at being regimented people. We always thought there was something wrong with us and I can remember how we beat ourselves up about it. We thought that we were failures and we never examined everything we did get done in a day, which, honestly, was a lot more than my father ever did.
Routine is not the measure of productivity or energy. Just because someone has a routine that they follow does not mean that they do more or are better than people who do not. I’m one of those people who doesn’t have a routine, if by routine you mean set times for things. I generally do the same thing in a day, but I don’t have a specific time period when things happen. For instance, one of the first things I write on a day is a blog post for The AQ Blog. I enjoy starting my day off that way because it puts my mind in the place I need it to be, both as a writing warm-up, but as a brain concentration. Many days, what you read are my first thoughts and the ideas that I spend time mulling for the rest of my day. That is my routine and I like it.
Me Me Me
But part of my routine includes the things I do to help my wife, to show her that I love her and support her. Today, I have to tidy up the upstairs of our apartment, do the dishes, clean the kitchen, and make dinner. The only thing on that list that is not a self-imposed chore is the dishes. We have a deal, my atheist wife and I, that dishes are mine for the most part. Today, she told me the dishes were my job. Actually they were my job yesterday, but the lingering cold I have kept me from getting to it that evening. So after this blog post, I’m going to do the dishes. Why? Because I love my wife and I want to support her in the ways she needs. (You didn’t really think it was because they needed doing, did you? I hate dishes.)
But I’m not always good at that. In fact, one of the issues in our relationship has been that I’m so focused on my own things during a day that I don’t support her in the ways she needs. Because I hate doing the dishes, we clash over that. I’ve been very much convicted by the fact that I prioritize myself (my job, my likes and dislikes, my needs) over those of my wife.
This is not a Christian attitude. Growing up, I heard a lot about the relationship between Christ and his “bride,” which in the common Christian analogy is the Church. Christ would do anything for the Church, and he already died for it. Therefore, he is the example that all Christian husbands should follow in their relationships with their wives. Through my own fault, I have not met this example. In fact, I have failed it miserably. In the words of confession, through my fault, my own fault, my own most grievous fault.
God Cares About Everything
This is a specific relationship issue. It’s something that my Christian belief convicts me of and that I am trying to fix. I am not being the partner that my faith would have me be or that I want to be. But when I think about how to fix it, I have another thought. Does God care about my relationship problems?
I’m gay. I am in a same-sex relationship. Many religious people say that I am in direct contradiction of God’s law. So when I’m trying to make my relationship a good one (and one in line with what my faith would have it be), how much can I rely on the fact that God cares about everything I do, no matter how small? Does God still care when what you’re doing is wrong?
I do not believe that my relationship is at all contrary to a Christian faith or Christian belief. But I don’t want to argue about that. Instead, I want to pose the question not just to you, but to myself. I know that there are some people who will say that God’s caring does not extend to me. There are people who will say that it does, but the only reason it does is because God disapproves. There are also people who will have far more supportive words to say about it.
Nevertheless, I wonder about these things. And in the meantime, I have a kitchen to clean up because I love my wife and she’ll be home soon. And then we’ll cook dinner and make fun of politicians in Australia. Because we’re in love *googly eyes*