What’s it like in your home, when no one but your family is there? Is there a “sweet aroma of kindness” wafting through the air, or is it more often sounds of anger, strife and discontentment?
God is always right. And when Jesus said that the greatest commandment is “to love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind and your neighbor as yourself”, He was tapping into something monumental as it relates to family life:
The practical application of “loving your neighbor as yourself” is courtesy. Courtesy will transform the atmosphere of your home.
Since the storm, obviously we’ve had some added stresses (and my Dad was hospitalized last night for the 3rd. time since his initial heart attack the morning of the tornado).
Our routines are upside down. My hormones have been weird. My husband is carrying a huge load on his shoulders. My children have their struggles. I’ve noticed an increase in the tension of our home…little things, but maybe not so little all added up.
It’s easy for even normal life stresses to wear on family members. We all know too well that we are more comfortable around each other which often allows us to leave off common courtesy. And little by little, our relationships suffer, we drift in heart, and can even become bitter.
But, as the children of God, we are called to love…really love and that love MUST manifest itself in our home if anywhere!
“The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”.
We need to train our flesh to meet our spirits. And how do we do that? By transforming our minds!
Aaron and I have decided to “study courtesy” each night with our children. Study it. Talk about specific traits and how to apply them in specific circumstances. A kind word instead of a harsh one can make ALL the difference in building and maintaining our relationships. It is our duty to show love in the small things to our family each day.
The kindness of the Lord can grow in our hearts and homes if we are deliberate in battling the flesh that wars against it. And when our homes are filled with the sweetness of Him who is Love, it will spill out to all those around us.
That’s true transformation of the world–the Great Commission at its best.