Because I have chosen to line my life with the Word of God (and that’s the goal, not my current reality), many have accused me of being a poor example to my children…especially to my girls. I’m a doormat who will inevitably raise doormats, at least that’s the outcry. Obviously, I disagree. And, on Friday, I’ll go into more detail about what I hope my girls do learn from me. Today, though, I’d really like to breakdown, flesh-out, this whole idea of doormats.
Who are they?
How does one become one?
And is that a bad thing?
First, the word “doormat” is not actually in the Bible. Did you know that? [Ha.]
“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.’”
“If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”
Hmmm. I guess, technically, I could just end the post right here. Especially because those are not the only three scriptures which suggest blatantly command that the Christian life revolves around forgiveness, servitude and an unswerving dedication to refusing offended thoughts and responses at every turn.
The Doormat Doctrine? Not in Scripture. However (and anyone who knows me knew that a however was coming) a doormat is laid down. A godly woman lays herself down.
A doormat [always] responds out of fear of man. Her actions are responses [to man]. Her thoughts are someone else’s. But a godly woman*, on the other hand, willingly turns her cheek (and I do not mean literally, don’t rail on me in the comments and accuse me of telling women to stay with abusive husbands or in abusive relationships!) because she has given up the right to be offended. She fears the Lord [only], and her actions are in thoughtful and obedient response to God’s Word. A doormat lives in a state of turmoil because she is controlled by fear and man. A godly woman abides in peace as she daily hands her life to the control of her Father.
*Of course, a woman can be godly and still be living her life as a doormat. I’m simply using these two terms to differentiate between the motives.
I live with and deeply love a man who has done things that some feel should offend me. But my willingness and excitment to serve him and love him and forgive him and seek his forgiveness does not come out of fear. I am not afraid of being single or of the stigma of divorce [anymore]. I love my husband because I’m called to love. I’m called by God, and only blessing has come from asking for and following His direction in my life. I answer only to God. And willingly laying down my life for the sake of God’s Kingdom is [continues to be] the richest, most incredibly rewarding experience of my life.
On the outside, looking in, that might make me look like a doormat. But I encourage you to take a closer look. Not at me, because I will only disappoint you, but at the high call to holiness and love that the Church has all but abandoned today. Your path will probably never look exactly like mine, but if you’re a Christian, your life should be laid down…
And the laying down should be done by you. Not by any other man.
“And he said to them all, ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?’”