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The Case for the Ugly Coffee Mugs - The Crosswalk Devotional - July 25

The Crosswalk Devotional

The Case for the Ugly Coffee Mugs
By Lynette Kittle

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’--Matthew 25:21

Glasses, cups, and mugs pile up pretty fast at our home, so loading up the dishwasher can feel like a forsaken job at times. Although it may sound silly, these piled up dirty dishes can cause someone to start feeling unloved, unappreciated, and uncared for real quick.

Even though dirty dishes are no indicator of being unloved or appreciated, the enemy is relentless in taking opportunities to try and plant those thoughts in our minds, especially if we aren’t aware and alerted to his divisive ways and tactics.

Add to these “poor me” feelings, a husband who insists on bringing home random coffee mugs to add to our mismatched collection. Loading these throw-offs into the dishwasher rack just seems to make it even more of a tiresome chore.

My Plans to Pitch the Mugs
With plans to quietly pitch my husband’s eclectic collection of coffee mugs one at a time, Ephesians 5:24 keeps reminding me, “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” But surely "everything" doesn’t include keeping these ugly coffee mugs? Does God really care one way or another? Why would something so insignificant matter to Him?

But in my heart I know God cares about my attitude and how I honor my husband in even the smallest of things, because how I respond to my spouse reflects how I’ll respond to Him. Additionally, Colossians 3:18, is relentless in reminding me, “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.”

God Cares about the Condition of My Heart
In the long run I’m sincerely grateful God is concerned about the condition of my heart, and of my willingness or reluctance to yield to Him. Still it doesn’t seem like ugly coffee mugs would be a test in respecting my husband or in obeying Him (Ephesians 5:33). Yet God calls me to be willing to surrender to His will and to be respectful to my husband, even when it comes to his love of tasteless coffee mugs.

Reluctantly, I recognize my hesitation reveals a deeper issue in my own heart, rather than shining a spotlight on my husband’s insistence on bringing ugly mugs home, a practice he knows I dislike. My reaction reveals an unwillingness within me to obey God in the everyday little issues in life, to justify ignoring them because they just don’t seem like they would even matter to Him. 

Likewise my mind struggles with it seeming unfair that I’m the one who is supposed to change my attitude in the situation. What about my likes and dislikes? Shouldn’t my husband care more about my preferences than his own?

Picking and Choosing Obedience
Seeming like such an unimportant issue, it’s easier for me feel like it’s okay to pick and choose whether or not submission to my husband’s preference is required in this situation. It seems like a non-issue, having no relevance in the big picture of life and faith. But yet isn’t that’s where the devil often gets us at times? Situations where we choose to follow worldly misconceptions that tell us, “Don’t sweat the small stuff in life,” rather than paying attention and yielding to biblical truths. 

I’ve come to the conclusion that it is quite possible God is working through my husband’s persistent determination to collect lost coffee mugs, in order to refine me in ways that wouldn’t come through any other way. Even so, I do believe it’s okay for me to pray God will be at work refining my husband, too. For Him to be at work convincing him to take my thoughts into consideration and leave the coffee mugs where he finds them, rather than bringing them home for me to wash.

However when it comes to obeying God’s Word, Luke 16:10 explains how God does look at the ways we handle the small stuff. He considers how trustworthy we are based on very little things and as indication of whether or not we can be trusted with bigger stuff.

Intersecting Faith and Life:
Are you dealing with any “little” issues where you’re resistant to following God’s Word over your own likes and dislikes? If so, ask God to help you. If not, ask God to reveal any areas in your life, ones maybe you’re missing, where you may be following your own will over His will.

Further Reading:
Matthew 25:21; Luke 19:17

Photo by Amy Parkes on Unsplash

Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman,,,, and more. She has a M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.

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