God’s wisdom scrapes against the world’s, doesn’t it? He says things like, “Love your enemy,” and “Think of others first.” Weird! (At least to the culture at large.)
But when I’m looking for help to create a godly home, I LOVE the radical words of the Lord found in Scripture. So, with my eyes set toward the new year–and a renewed desire to reflect Christ–I thought I’d share nuggets from God’s word that I pray, cling to, and (try to) trust God for.
1. The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. (Ps. 145:8)
Slow to anger. Slow to anger. Slow to anger. I can’t do it! My only hope is to fill up with his patience and love toward me. Then it naturally overflows to my family.
2. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. (1 Cor. 13:4-8)
Have you ever noticed how each of these glorious descriptions of love also characterize our dear Jesus? That’s some intense kind of love—just starting with the first one! Lord, help me to love like you love.
3. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 1 Pet. 3:9
Again, doesn’t this look like Jesus?
4. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. (Phil. 4:4) The joy of the Lord is your strength. (Neh. 8:10) This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Ps. 118:24)
Three for one! I can’t tell you how many times these verses have gotten me through that stressful before dinner hour!
5. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Ro. 8:1)
If Christ doesn’t condemn me, should I be condemning my kids? I want my home to be one of encouragement, not condemnation. We all get enough of that from the world.
6. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:6-7)
Oh man! Don’t worry. Pray instead. I need to be reminded of this every day!
7. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ. (Eph. 4:15)
Speaking the truth in love. Yes, I need to use discipline with my family. My children need it, sometimes my husband needs his wife’s gentle rebuke—but not in anger. In love. What does this look like? I need to learn this more, Lord!
8. Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. (Matt. 18:22)
He forgives me even when I sin over and over again—falling in the same way. Me? I get frustrated when my kids continually disobey, but as I fix my eyes back on Christ, I’m reminded of his grace given to me, and I desire to spill it onto my family.
I told you they were radical! But even more crazy–we can’t even do these things on our own. But the more we ponder the Scriptures–hide them in our hearts–the more the Holy Spirit re-creates us to reflect Jesus in our families.
Have a wonderful New Year’s Day and a blessed year to come.
Remember, he loves you like there’s no tomorrow.
Shine Your Light: What verses encourage you in family life? I’d love to hear and I know it would encourage others!