One Thing That Will Totally Change Your Family

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.


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16 Responses to “One Thing That Will Totally Change Your Family”

  1. Mrs. Santos says:

    So true! I’ve been training my children in this very diligently lately and then the Lord revealed that it would be much easier for them to learn it if I was curteous myself. OUCH! You are a blessing.

  2. Narelle says:

    ooh – you’ve just reminded me that I have a book around here called ‘uncommon courtesy for kids’… think we need to dig it out and put it to use!
    WTG on working out what’s not working in your current situation that you CAN change :)

  3. thanks for this post, Kelly… I think that most of the books to teach kids should be used for us parents first! Sometimes I feel like I am growing up all over again, that I am actually learning how to be a better person now that I am a parent. Maybe parenthood is the way to holiness!!??? :)

  4. brenda says:

    Oh we need this at our house. One child in particular is always getting my lecture about “you wouldn’t treat a friend that way! How can you treat your sister that way???” Yes. If they can’t be courteous in our home to family members then they actually haven’t learned courtesy!They’ve just learned to put on airs while in public.

  5. Tiffany says:

    That is a great idea Kelly!! I know we need to work on this as well. Let us know how it goes and if you use anything to help in your study. God bless you and we are praying for ya.

  6. Lora says:

    Kelly, I just want to send you a big “high five” or “fist bump” as our home would do it these days! Seriously, you are such a great example of walking in refinement! While we all know that the pain of refinement can be searing, you are doing it with such beautiful grace. Especially at a time when you could be saying, “considering our circumstances…”! Thank you for encouraging us daily! Much Love and prayer for countless blessings!

  7. I’ve been reading some booklets by Marilyn Howshall of “Lifestyle of Learning”. She has great insights on this very issue. Thank you for the reminder. Her books “Parent as God Parents” and “Transformational Education” are valuable and helpful but of course the truly only “transformational” power comes from God’s Word…it is sharper than a two edged sword. I’ve always thought of how I “use it on others.” Really, it cuts me going in and coming out.

  8. Ruth Adams says:

    I have been studying with my children about loving each other, treating each other with respect, gentleness, etc…….We are using a book by Sally Clarkson “Our Family Ways” and also a little handbook by Doorposts ministries. We are also trying to play act some of the scenarios and demonstrate the wrong and right ways of handling situations with courtesy and respect. The training is such tiring work but soooo worth it. Some days are better than others. Yesterday my children were all being polite, and today they have been at each other. What a blessing that the Lord’s mercies are new every morning.

  9. Laura says:

    Thank you for the inspiration. Helps when we struggle each day to do the right thing.

  10. Rebecca says:

    I don’t know that I’ve ever left a comment for you before, but I want you to know how much your posts (including this one) bless me! We have been praying for your family during this unbelievable trial and will continue to do so! Thank you for letting the Lord lead you through life and being a witness to the rest of us. I know that the Lord will fulfill His promises of bringing you through. “…As your days, so shall your strength be…”

  11. Kelly L says:

    Wonderful post. Common courtesy is too uncommon and shocking, even. Let it begin with the Body of Christ!

  12. Kimberly says:

    Excellent post! Thanks so much for the awesome reminder!
    Are you using a particular book, or the Bible?
    Our family seriously could use help on this one!

    I am a new reader and I haven’t looked back yet to see what your family has gone through… But, I will keep you in my prayers!

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