by Rev Bill Brown, Senior Pastor, Syndal Baptist Church
We are called to love others and live responsibly as members of the family of God.
‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.’ (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV)
As one who continues on the learning curve as a child, a spouse, a parent, a pa and perhaps a significant other adult in the lives of some younger people, these come as reflections on marriage and family matters.
In life there are many things that we get to do that many others could do. There are some things that we do that perhaps some others can do. But then there are a few things that we are called to do that no-one else can do the way we are called to do them. No-one else can be the child, the spouse, the parent or grandparent that God has called you to be. So don’t dare delegate to others what you need to do. However we can’t fulfil these few things properly in our own strength nor were we meant to! We can only do them well as we draw on the resources of the one from whom every family in heaven and on earth receives its true identity (see Ephesians 3:14), namely our loving and compassionate God.
Here are some axioms that, for me, are helpful reminders of these responsibilities and privileges
Seek to add value to everyone you meet. Ask God at the start of a day to help you see and respond to people and situations the way Jesus did.
Honour, look out for and care for your Mum and Dad
Listen carefully. It is the rarest form of love and helps a person to know that they are valued.
Love your spouse. Tell them often; show them by finding out the ways that that they like to receive love e.g. words of affirmation, physical touch, gifts, acts of service, quality time.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 also has some great clues. Try putting your name in the place of the word ‘love’ and see how it stacks up.
Keep romance alive in your marriage. Make the grass in your marriage patch so green that every other patch looks brown by comparison.
Model what you want caught. You are being watched!
Co-operate with the interests and aptitudes of your child. They may be different from yours.
Encourage! Encourage! Encourage!
Be consistent with natural and logical consequences when building discipline into the life of a child and remember to keep building trust. Over-protection is a form of rejection.
Be there for your spouse and children at important moments.
Prioritise your discipling and that of your spouse and child(ren). Learn together and help each other know what it means to love and follow Jesus!
Be fun and have fun!
Build many special memories. Life is not a dress rehearsal!
Take time to climb the stairs … sit on the bed …read the stories … explore the questions.
Affirm your love for your child or grandchild as often as you see them!
Don’t waste a good conflict. Use it to get to understand one another better, creatively solve problems, say sorry, surrender the right to hurt back, speak in ways that build up. Use ‘I’ statements rather than ‘you’ statements.
Connect with a village … other families, friends, church, grandparents and significant other adults.
Loving and compassionate God, God from whom every family in heaven and on earth receives its true identity, please help me today to see and respond to people as the Lord Jesus would. Please fill me with your Spirit to enable me to do so. Amen
Watch Encourage Others | Speak Life to People www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ap-XDGqME0
Canberra Declaration Daily Prayer Points for October
- AWAKENING to Christ: Renewal in the Church and Revival in the Nation – with millions coming to Christ. John 3:16
- AWAKENING for Marriage: Renewal of marriages and restoration of marriage. Ephesians 5: 25 -32
- AWAKENING for Family: Renewal and healing for families. Isaiah 61:1
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