My handy, dandy husband is good at many things – but decision making is not one of them. We joke that if asked at a restaurant what he’d like to drink, iced-tea or lemonade, his answer would most likely be ‘yes.’
It’s hard for him to choose. Taking the one means forsaking the other and that feels rather like a dilemma.
Does taking always require forsaking?
It certainly did on our wedding day so many moons ago. In his vows to me, Dan (decidedly!) said he would take me (in sickness and health, etc) and forsake all others.
Take and forsake is what we both pledged.
In these vows, take was defined as to have and to hold.
Forsake, then, implied a laying down, letting go, or leaving behind.
Taking required forsaking.
When Dan and I were in a serious dating relationship, another man proposed to me. Suddenly I had a choice to make. Winner takes all was not an option?. Taking one meant forsaking the other and I took Dan.
Sometimes there are both/ands, but not always. Often our taking informs our forsaking, be it lemonade or lovers.
What, then, enables this forsaking? This loosening of our grip? As in marriage, I believe it is only a great love of one that enables the laying down, letting go or leaving behind of the other.
Our desires inform our decisions. And in order to take we might need to forsake.
The apostle Paul drops a little mention of this in his letter to the church in Ephesus when he urges them to live:
“with all humility [forsaking self-righteousness].”
Ephesians 4:2 (Amplified)
Hm. This taking/forsaking applies not only to people, projects, and priorities. It reaches to the depth of our personhood.
Which will I love more, humility or self-righteousness? It’s an honest question! I can’t have both/and.
Which will I have and hold:
- Rightness or relationship?
- Mercy or judgement?
- Truth or my own home-spun narratives?
What will I take? What forsake?
My choices reveal my true loves.
Take and Forsake: Our Little Life Words of the week.
- I’ve heard every ‘yes’ demands a ‘no.’
- What/who are you saying ‘yes’ to, and what ‘no’ will that necessitate?
- What do you need to forsake in order to take?
- Name a time you chose to hold onto the wrong thing. What did it cost you, and was it worth it?
- Read the story of the Rich Young Ruler in Matthew 19:16-22. How do you see ‘take and forsake’ play out in that story?
- The next time you ‘take’ something (be it a task, commitment, attitude or person) ask yourself if it necessitates a ‘forsake’ and if so, what.
- Our song of the week is: Maybe by Nichole Nordeman
- Ask God to show you what to take and what to forsake.
Sometimes in life we must choose what to take and what to forsake. May love loosen our grip on the lesser things. What will you have and hold?