Walking in His Ways
When we live together as family it is inevitable that issues are going to crop up. We are, after all, self centered beings who want our way, we want for ourselves to be most important.
The Bible tells us that "God sets the solitary in families..." Ps 68:6. God has established the family and the home to be a place of learning, comfort, encouragement, forgiveness, service and sacrifice. Not that these are the only place that these things take place, but they are the main place.
God has made the family a special place for learning life lessons. He has given us at least 18 years to walk along side our children and to disciple them, teaching them the things of the Lord.
One of those things is Ephesians 4:32 - "And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christs' sake has forgiven you."
This is a hard lesson to learn, one that tends to be on going because it clashes with our selfish nature. Have you ever noticed that people in a family are not all alike? (grin) I believe this is part of the genius of God - He puts us together, makes us different from one another, and then tells us to love one another, prefer one another, forgive one another...He puts us together into families because of the ability to live in close relationship with one another and to do some iron sharpening. Proverbs 27:17 -"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."
I love to see wrongs made right, hearts made tender after hardening, love where there was a root of bitterness. I love to see it among all people, but I especially delight in seeing it in my family.
If you have children who do not get along, or children who do not help each other, or children who are selfish, you have been given the great opportunity to train and disciple your children. Don't neglect it. Don't listen to those who would say "oh, that's just how kids are." If children don't learn these lessons while in their training years, when will they outgrow these tendencies? Adulthood? Take a look around you - if they don't learn it as children or purpose with God's help to change as an adult, they are going to walk this way their whole lives.
God wants us to walk in His ways - here is what God says about Himself in scripture:
Joel 2:13 - And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn to the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness
Psalm 103:8 - The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy
Psalm 145:8 - The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.
Exodus 34:6 - And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth
Numbers 14:18 - The LORD is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.
Nehemiah 9:17 - And refused to obey, neither were mindful of your wonders that you did among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but you are a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsook them not.
In Proverbs 16:32 we read - He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that rules his spirit than he that takes a city.
Being angry at someone isn't the only reason we need to learn to forgive others. Life is hard and sometimes through no fault of our own difficult things happen to us. However, the Lord would have us do what it says in Matthew 11:29 - "Take my yoke on you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest to your souls."
I love that phrase "you shall find rest to your souls." Don't you want that? Don't you want that for your children, your spouse, your neighbors, the world? When we learn to walk in His ways, it can happen. At least in your own home.