What Would You Do Differently?

Most people do not want anyone looking in on their private life, their marriage, their family is not up for discussion. They put on a good front while out in public, but if you look closely at their lives inside their homes you might see something different. Most everyone wants a good marriage a
spouse that they can love and respect, someone to grow old with. And anyone who is married or has ever been married knows that it takes work. A good marriage is cultivated, nurtured, important, as is a good loving family.

You simply cannot treat someone in a way that you wouldn’t want to be treated, say things to them that you would never want to be said to you. Words hurt. And too many are too free with their unkind words inside the walls of their homes. Lives and hearts are broken every day by careless hurtful words.

It seems that people are always treating others outside of their home better than the ones inside their home. The people in your home, namely
your husband or wife usually gets the worst of you, that side you don’t want others to see, and sometimes even the children in the home suffer. My grandmother told me that if we treated our family the way we treated other’s marriages and homes would look much different; but also, if we treated our family as though they were Jesus in our home, we would act differently and speak differently to them. Would you do and say things differently if Jesus lived with you or came for a visit?

Would you get angry less often? Would you be careful with your words and your attitude? Would you give a gentle answer? Would you go out of your way to make sure his or her needs were met? Would you make time for him or her? Would you cook for him or her? Would you do your daily chores with a good attitude? But maybe more than any of these, would you extend love, speak softly and sweetly? Would you do your very best in all circumstances for those under your roof? Just a few things to think about. Instead of giving our families or our spouses the worst of us, why not give them the best of us!

My grandmother a wealth of good Godly advice told me that we need to love and serve in our homes mindful that we are ultimately serving the Lord! I have never forgotten this. It is good advice to live by.

Ephesians 5:25: “For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.” Christ loved the church sacrificially, unconditionally, with great joy and
passion. Husbands do you love this way?

Wives here is what scripture tells us that we need to do, 1 Peter 3:1 says, “Wives, in the same way, be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives.” What does your behavior say about you?

What does scripture say about marriage?
Ephesians 4+2-3: “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

1 Corinthians 13+4-5: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” I know I want to be Jesus to my family and friends do you?

I grew up in a home where words were many, they were usually yelled and many of them were very hurtful. My dad loved himself more than anything. He inflicted harm on each of his children in different ways. My mother maybe simply by trying to survive was quick with a temper and very free with unkind hateful words. Fighting was normal, kind words were very few and far between.

Here is an example of a remark that stayed with me for years, I am talking about thirty years. I was a sickly child. I had asthma really bad. Also, unknown to anyone I was being sexually abused. I cried a lot, matter of fact my nickname was”water-faucet”, each time it was said I cried more. I was skinny, had dark circles under my eyes, buck teeth, pigeon-toed, even had to wear special shoes. In addition to all that I was a huge tomboy, always wanting to do what my brothers were doing, they had more fun than being inside playing girl stuff. A little sweat and dirt are good for the soul. Anyway, you get the idea, I was no beautiful fair princess. One day my mother was looking at me and offhandedly looked at me said,”you will never look like anything.” It felt as if I had been stabbed in the heart. My thoughts toward myself which were already pretty bad were made instantly worse. Another label attached to me.

She says that she did not mean it to be hurtful, just a jesting remark. However, for the next thirty some years that is the first thing I thought of every morning when I looked in the mirror. Those words defined me, hurt me, cut me for years. I believed them to be the absolute truth of my appearance and that no matter how I dressed me up, I was just a messed up somebody.

There are many things I have had to work through at the foot of the cross or sitting in my Heavenly Father’s lap crying, questioning, asking, begging for help. This was one of those. I never accepted any compliment at face value, I figured people were just trying to make me feel better. Even though they did not know how I felt, even though I was the only one who knew what had been said.

I was finally able to lay this down on the altar one year when our ladies from church went to The Cove, in the NC mountains for a weekend retreat. It was there with sobs I went to the prayer room in the chapel, got on my knees and told Jesus I was tired of the label, tired of feeling bad about myself, tired of these words haunting me every day. I stayed until the tears were spent and my heart was at peace. I can tell you that those words do not haunt me any longer, I can tell you this story with no tears and no pain attached to it. God healed me that day and began to show me that to him I was beautiful, created in his image, his likeness, a daughter of the KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

So, I will tell you, let your words be kind, serve those in your family with love. Let them be the first to see Jesus in what you say and what you do. It matters! I have made it a point since I have been married and had a family to be very careful with my words, to use them to build up and not tear down. I never wanted to bruise my children’s heart with even one offhand remark, that would attach a label that could hurt them. This is just an example how something bad, something hurtful God has used for good in my life.

Be Jesus to those closest to you and then to those you meet along the way. Treat each person with the kind of love and respect that you would give Jesus if he came for coffee at your house. My grandmother modeled this better than anyone I have ever known.

I want everyone to see Jesus in me, and I want those nearest and dearest to be the first!!! Will you join me?