Break Out the China

Not long ago, I read a touching true story about a woman who passed away. She left her daughter a haunting legacy of “special occasions” that never came to pass. Crystal goblets bought but untouched, Irish linen looked at but unused, a blue silk dress with the tags still attached, and fine china. I was moved to tears. I too, have been guilty of being blessed with beautiful things and not putting them to good use. China, stemware, clothes… what are they for? To be eaten from, to be drunk from, to be worn. If they are not put to use, we have wasted our time, our money, and the opportunity to teach our children a valuable lesson. People are more precious than things. No matter how much something costs, it is not more valuable than a human life. Mary demonstrates this to us in the book of Matthew when she pours the costly ointment onto the travel-stained feet of our Savior. What a beautiful way to demonstrate to Jesus her love and devotion to Him. No matter the cost of the perfume, He was worth more.
What are our families’ worth to us? More importantly, what is their perceived value? Do we shy away from our husband’s embrace after a long day at work because we are afraid to get dirt on our nice outfit? Do we yell at the kids for accidentally breaking a dish? Or do we not use the nice dishes because they are only for guests, or “special occasions”? I urge you; don’t wait for a special occasion. Every day is a special occasion when you are surrounded by the wonderful husband, children, family God has blessed each of us with.
My children have beautiful clothes that they seldom get to wear more than once or twice. I also have some china, which, until recently, sat in a cabinet. After God opened my eyes, through that poor woman’s story, we started doing things differently. Instead of waiting for a “special occasion” (Easter, Christmas, a wedding…) to let the girls wear their fancy dresses, we have a nice dinner every week or so to which they can wear the dress of their choice. I put a tablecloth on the dining room table, light candles, get out the stemware, and break out the china. I put on a fancy dress, too. The kids absolutely love it. The first time we did this, my husband had no idea what was going on. When he got home from work he said, “Where are you guys going?” To which I replied, “Nowhere, we’re having a nice dinner tonight in the dining room.” When he saw the dining room decked out, his eyes lit up, and the mood was set for the entire evening.
So far, nothing has been broken. I have a feeling that will not always be the case, but in light of what I have learned about the value of things, I don’t think I will mind it so much.

Article by Kristin Sweat, Evangelist’s Wife,
Pine Haven Baptist Church,
Jamestown, Tennessee

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