Now here’s something I never thought I’d write: I’ve been put to shame by Davina McCall. Yup, the shouty one from Big Brother.
But something she said in Stylist really struck a nerve. She was their Queen of Everything, revealing the laws she would make if she was in charge for a day.
“Everyone would give more than is expected,” she said.
“It’s our family motto. If my husband comes home from a big bike ride and says, ‘Please could you make me a cup of tea’, I’ll make him a cup of tea and a bagel. If he runs me a bath, he lights some candles. It’s about doing that little bit extra.”
I’ve got a 15-month-old son. I’m learning to juggle life and work and trying to figure out how the heck I can be a mum, a wife and a strong 21st century woman all at the same time. I can get a bit spiky.
When my husband Aaron asks me to make him a cup of tea, instead of bounding to the kitchen in search of a sweet treat, too often my inner voice says something like this…
How many times have I made the tea recently?
Is he pulling his weight around the house?
Can I be bothered to get off the sofa?
And I tell him to make it himself.
It started with sleep, when the wee lad was a couple of weeks old. We began trying to outdo each other in terms of how few hours we’ve had and who should be entitled to stay in bed while the other changed his nappy.
Don’t get me wrong, we love each other a lot, we’ve just both gotten out of the practice of giving more than is expected. We want to, and sometimes we really try. But being selfless can be hard work.
Which leads me to Francis Chan and his book Forgotten God. He wrote it because he was struck that although as Christians, we say we’ve got the Spirit of God living in us, we often don’t have a lot to show for it.
I’ve been a Christian for most of my life. As such, the Bible tells me I should be filled with the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.
I’m not sure my inner voice has got the memo.
“I want to live so that I am truly submitted to the Spirit’s leading on a daily basis,” says Francis. “I want to be different today from what I was yesterday as the fruit of the Spirit becomes more manifest in me.”
So do I, Francis. I’m telling my inner voice to start consulting more with the Holy Spirit. I’d really like our family to have the same motto as Davina’s.
So I’m off to make Aaron a cup of tea. And to subtly remind him where the candles are.