I am married to a man who could use a little work. Don’t misunderstand me. My husband is a wonderful Christian, a Bible class teacher and a man of high morals. He is successful in a highly respected profession. He’s also a terrific husband and father, a great provider and generally an all-round good guy. But he could use a little work.
He watches too much television. He stays up too late, spends too much time in the bathroom, fails to exercise regularly or to maintain a healthy diet. He habitually runs behind on every schedule he tries to keep, starts new projects before finishing old ones, takes on too many tasks at work instead of delegating to subordinates, drives too fast, procrastinates, and bites his cuticles.
My kids could also use a little work. My daughter spends money impulsively, eats too much junk, wastes time, kills her houseplants, mooches meals, drives too fast, puts off tasks until the last minute, and whines. Her brother, my son, stays up too late, leaves lights on all over the house, misplaces his dad’s tools, trashes the inside of his car, spends too much money on-line, loses things, drives too fast, and makes excuses. I wouldn’t take a million dollars for either of my kids, or give you a nickel for two more just like them.
Several of my friends could use a little work too. Some spend too much money on clothes; others are too lenient with their kids, fail to follow through with promises they make, talk on their cell phones while driving their cars, gossip, borrow things they forget to return, interrupt others who are talking, and run late for church.
As the wife/mother/friend of the above-mentioned folks, I can’t help recalling Matthew 7:3, in which Jesus cautions me against looking at the speck of sawdust in my brother’s (or husband’s or kid’s or friend’s) eye when I have a plank sticking out of one of my own. As followers of Jesus, let’s commit ourselves to improving the person who probably needs as much work as anyone else and the only person we have any hope of changing. For me, that would be the person writing this article. For you, it is the person reading it.
(This article was written in 2006.)