Being in close proximity to someone day in and day out can make it more difficult to exhibit the fruits of the Spirit, but it’s not impossible. With that in mind, here are a few examples of the do’s and don’ts of a Christian family life found in Romans 12:9-13.
- “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.”
Have you ever done something that looks like you’re being loving but in reality you’re not? Something like taking out the trash when it’s your sister’s turn because you want to make yourself look good? Instead, why not just take out the trash because you’re trying to do something nice for your sister because you really love her.
- “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”
To honor someone means to hold them in high respect. Respecting family members can go a long way. Just think how many arguments could be avoided if everyone respected everyone else.
- “Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.”
Somehow this brings to mind the image of a teenager sitting on the couch with a game controller (or phone, or T.V. remote) saying, ‘Whatever’. In a family, everyone needs to pitch in. Making a family successful requires hard work, and it works out better if we show enthusiasm instead of apathy.
- “Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.”
Sometimes, like it or not, trouble will come your way. Whether it’s a crying toddler who has just had enough or you realize that you have let that bill slip through the cracks. You just need to remember to keep on praying, and if the trouble isn’t your own, but your brother’s, or child’s, or spouse’s instead, keep on praying for them too.
- “When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them.”
Is your mother stressed out about company coming over for that big dinner? Help her get things ready. Does Dad usually mow the yard, but he’s been working overtime? Surprise him by getting it done before he gets home. Is your daughter worried about passing the big Algebra test tomorrow? Help her study.
When you try to live your Christian family life, remember the line from that old song, “For I’m part of the family, The Family of God”. If you do that, then you should be all right.