“Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21).
The Bible presents clearly defined roles for family and church. In the family, the husband leads his family in loving relationships, while the wife submits to his leadership, as do the children. But the Bible offers additional wisdom in addition to defining roles within a relationship. We submit to one another in our God-assigned roles. In other words, the spirit with which we serve matters.
How can we reduce family turmoil?
1. By modeling a Christ-like spirit.
Even a casual glance at the life of Jesus can yield much fruit. Not only was He God in the flesh, He modeled human perfection. He treated each person with dignity and respect.
Knowing this, we should walk as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6). We should pay attention to those who may not be in a position to directly benefit us. We should demonstrate sensitivity to those who are weak (Romans 15:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:14). We should apply this principle to family situations. For example, in applying correction, we should take care not to injure the child’s spirit. Husbands should dwell with the wife in an understanding manner, taking care to honor her (1 Peter 3:7). Wives, too, need to love their husband and children (Titus 2:4). When we demonstrate this spirit, we model Christ to others.
2. By exercising patience.
The root idea of biblical patience compels us to endure much with a gentle spirit. When we consider God’s patience with us we should, in turn, exhibit patience toward family members. Family members represent many moving parts, making occasional clashes unavoidable. To survive, we need to forgive others and patiently endure their failings. After all, do we not want them to patiently endure our own failings?
3. By putting God first.
In this series, we spoke of the freewill offering which we make to God when we serve Him. When we place Him first, He will come alongside our stressful lives and point us the way forward. He will meet every need, protect us from enemy intrusion, and forgive our sins. Furthermore, He will sweeten our relationships and create a home environment that invites, not repels, healthy interaction.
No family this side of heaven can expect a flawless home life. Until Jesus returns, we face ongoing struggles with the world, the flesh and the devil. But God will grant us strength to endure, hope that inspires, and love that blesses others.
Posted on Thu, May 18, 2017
by Diane Hultgren