Is Living on a Houseboat Reasonable?

IMG_9507This morning I received an encouraging message from a friend who visited my church last Sunday. The sermon had been especially encouraging and we marveled at God’s power to intertwine our lives through personal Bible study & the seemingly unrelated sermon that often packs just the punch we needed. Only God can have that window in our world.

As I pondered the blessing of her message to me and the joy we share in Christ, I began my own Bible study for the day: Philippians 4:5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand. (ESV) Reasonableness: not a word I use often. It means a gentle forbearance with others. Forbearance: a holding back, restrain or tolerance. It is the opposite of being contentious. Contentious: tending to argument or strife; quarrelsome; causing, involving, or characterized by argument or controversy.

In order to let our reasonableness be known to everyone, we have to have some in the first place! This is to be displayed through graciousness and a gentle spirit with those inside and outside the church. Can I give up my own preferences in order to show grace to others? Do I desire that?

While reading The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines, I was struck by the fact that the television producers were not instantly drawn to the Gaines’ story. In fact, from Joanna’s perspective, they were going to be disappointed by following the couple on their normal day…until their normal day {that is normal for them, but not normal for the rest of us} turned into a day with a disagreement over whether or not they were going to LIVE in a houseboat Chip had purchased sight unseen. Who purchases a boat online anyway? {Chip does!}IMG_9748

“There was something about Chip’s impulsiveness, his riskiness, combined with my reaction to his riskiness and the way we worked it out as a couple, that landed us the show.”
-Joanna Gaines,
The Magnolia Story

I imagine that “something” is like reasonableness, forbearance, not tending to argue or be quarrelsome, but being opposite of that. Their reasonableness was on display for all to see. Joanna was being reasonable by agreeing to live on a houseboat. It was evident to all the cameramen anyway…..and then the rest of the world through Fixer Upper.

Lord, help us today to DESIRE to give up our own preferences so that we can extend grace to others. Especially in settings where we are most challenged with our family, our workplace, church, or among friends. Give us abundant grace and let it be known to everyone. Let your power be evident in our lives as you are our strength, our joy and our King. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.