My three enjoying Christmas many years ago, definitely at peace with one another.
The “one anothers” of Scripture, although not written specifically for this purpose, give us wonderful direction for our family relationships.
Take, for instance, Mark 9:50, which says, “Be at peace with one another.”*
When I was growing up, my parents would sometimes come to the end of their patience. Although neither was physically abusive, they would often threaten and yell at one another. Being the youngest and the only child still at home, I wanted very much to be the peacemaker. In fact, to this day, I do my best to steer clear of conflict. Even conflict that doesn’t directly involve me stirs up old feelings.
My parents both loved me and we had many good times together, but these unsettled times, times without peace, had a lasting effect. But somewhere along the way, they truly loved one another. I saw this when my mom sat by my dad’s open casket and spoke of her love for him. It was precious to observe.
Peace in our homes is very important and it is up to us who realize it to do what we can to keep the peace while, at the same time, resolving, not merely denying and ignoring, conflict.
And a great way to foster a peaceful environment is to consider others as more significant than ourselves, as it says in Philippians 2:3.
Before you think I’m talking about becoming a doormat for others, let me clarify. Consider Jesus’ actions and His words in John 13. After Jesus’ had washed His disciples feet, a task normally reserved for the lowliest of servants, He commanded them to do the same. While He may not have been referring to literally washing one another’s feet, He was clearly saying that they were to serve one another and put the other person’s needs ahead of their own.
Later in the chapter, in verses 34-35, He says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
If we seek to love the members of our family as Jesus’ loved the church, what a difference it will make!
Very much in keeping with Jesus’s command to love as He loved are the directives we find in Romans 12. Verse 10 says, “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. “
What a great contest that would make! Who can outdo whom over the course of a week? Who knows? Maybe it could become a regular thing . . . until it actually becomes a way of life.
Romans 12:16 goes on to say, “Live in harmony with one another.” If we are seeking to love as Jesus loved, to serve one another, and to outdo one another when it comes to showing honour, harmony is pretty much a given.
Mind you, let’s consider harmony from a musical perspective. In a musical composition, different notes blend together to form a beautiful, resonant sound. The notes are different, as is each individual in a family, but they form something better than if they each went it on their own.
The second half of Romans 14:13 is a wonderful follow-up to this idea. “Decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. “
Are we getting in the way of one another’s spiritual growth? Are we actually placing stumbling blocks in our spouse’s path, in our children’s? Are we putting our needs above theirs? Are we pursuing our own dreams and aspirations at too great a cost?
If each of us was to take the one anothers of Scripture seriously and, with God’s help, sought to live them out, what peaceful, happy places our homes would be! And what wonderful examples we would be to those who know us!
*All scripture passages are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.
Goals for the coming week and check in to-date . . .
Keep up with writing and recording for HopeStreamRadio
~ doing fairly well
Keep on schedule with work for my clients
~ on track
Finish prepping to co-teach a Creative Nonfiction Intensive at Write Canada
~ motoring along
Do the reading and attend three births by the end of August to maintain my doula certification
Read the 10 required articles
I found out my certifying organization no longer requires attendance at births for re-certification. I may be able to fulfill the requirements before the end of May and, therefore, save the extension fee. Woohoo!
Keep up with my current blogging schedule
Pleased, for now, to add a devotional to my weekly check-in and keep up with my guest posting
Stop neglecting the housework
<averts eyes and hums>
~ this week . . . this week for sure . . . maybe
I have a physical later this month. That should motivate me, right?
Last but not least . . .
Check in with my fellow ROWers regularly