Families should say encouraging words and do things to build each other up. Love your family the way you love yourself.
At home my kids have been known to intentionally bicker and annoy one another. At school, however, the oldest one has marched up to schoolmates and declared, “No one picks on my little brother but me!”
Are you guilty of the exact same thing? Do you defend your brother and sister in public, but in private look for all the things that drive you bananas? Or do you poke and poke at them to try to get them upset? The place where we should love one another deeply is actually the place where we often judge each other harshly.
The apostle Paul had an important message for the members of churches who lived two thousand years ago, and it still fits your life today. “All of Moses’ Teachings are summarized in a single statement, ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ But if you criticize and attack each other, be careful that you don’t destroy each other” (Galatians 5:14, 15).
Part of your job in a family is to love, not to criticize and attack. Let’s make it our goal to use words to “encourage each other and strengthen one another” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Satan prowls around looking for people to devour. Let’s not do his job for him—especially in our families.
Chomp on this!
What are some things you’d like for your family to say and do to build each other up?
Dear Father, you tell us that we are to love one another the same way we love ourselves. When we are tempted to criticize and attack, let the Holy Spirit remind us to love each other most. Amen.