How Family Members Help Each Other Grow
“Since I . . . have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you” (John 13:14-15 NLT).
If one of the marks of an awesome family—whether it’s your biological family, your adoptive family or your church family—is that you help each other grow, then how do you do that?
Let me give you two methods that help people grow and two that don’t. This applies in every area of life.
You help each other grow:
- Through example. Jesus did this in teaching his disciples. John 13:14-15 says, “Since I . . . have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you” (NLT). Your kids don’t want to hear a sermon. They want to see Jesus’ example in your life.
- Through conversations. If you’re not having critical conversations with your kids about real issues, they’re not growing. Unfortunately, most conversations we have with kids are about schedules, eating, or homework and not about the stuff that really matters in life.
The Bible says in Deuteronomy 6:7, “You must teach [God’s commandments] to your children and talk about them when you are at home or out for a walk; at bedtime and the first thing in the morning” (TLB).
Now let me tell you two ways that don’t work to help people grow:
- Through criticism. Nagging doesn’t work. Condemning doesn’t work. Criticizing and complaining are totally ineffective in helping a person change. Why? Because when you criticize, you’re focusing on what you don’t want rather than what you do want.
Ephesians 6:4 says, “Don’t keep on scolding and nagging your children, making them angry and resentful. Rather, bring them up with the loving discipline the Lord himself approves, with suggestions and godly advice.”
- Through comparing. Everybody’s unique. There’s nobody in the world like you! That’s why comparing never, ever works. In fact it’s lethal to any relationship. The Bible says, “Each person should judge his own actions and not compare himself with others. Then he can be proud for what he himself has done” (Galatians 6:4 NCV).
The Bible says 58 times, “Love one another. Care for one another. Pray for one another. Encourage one another. Help one another. Counsel one another. Support one another” and on and on. That’s the way God meant for it to be. In the New Testament, we’re told to “encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact [we] are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV).
Talk It Over
Think about the conversations you had with your family yesterday or today. Were you talking about stuff that really matters in life?
What was the last thing you corrected your children for? How are you being a daily example of the right way to live instead of that wrong behavior?
Instead of comparing or criticizing, how can you build up the people in your family?
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This devotional © 2019 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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