Relating to One Another
Several months ago, our pastor did a series on the “one anothers” in the Bible. I wanted to do a message on that topic, but relate much of it where many of us live on a daily basis as stay at home moms.
Col. 3:16 tells us that we are to admonish and teach one another. Maybe God hasn’t called you to teach a Sunday school class. Even so, you can teach and admonish your children, or even ladies in the church who are looking for one to mentor them.
James 5:16 tells us to confess our sins to one another. When confessing our sins to another, we need wisdom to know who would be a trusting person for us to approach. I remember hearing about a man who was struggling with homosexuality. He approached a leader of the church. What he said in confidence was told to everyone. It’s no wonder that this man has turned back to the homosexual community.
James 5:16 also mentions that we are to pray for one another. First, we need to be faithful in praying for those in our own household. We also need to remember to pray for others and maybe the best way to do that is to dedicate one day a week for lifting up the needs of others. Some of them may not have anyone else who will pray for them.
Rom. 12:10 tells us to honor one another above ourselves. This is a good practice to start in the home. It is good teaching for our children. We live in such a selfish, “me-oriented” society. It is good to make the choice to honor others above ourselves. While it is virtuous to practice this outside the home, it is more honorable to practice it in the home with those whom God has entrusted to our care.
Gal. 6:2 tells us that we are to carry each other’s burdens. It goes on to say that this will fulfill the law of Christ. Which law? The one that says to love your neighbor as yourself. I saw this in action right after our town was flooded. It was incredible to see people setting aside their own agenda and going to help others who had lost so much.
I Thess. 4:18; 5:11, and Heb. 10:25 all tell us to encourage one another. Sometimes that may be in person. Sometimes it may be just a phone call. Another way to encourage is by sending a card or a note. When you send something, the person can read it over and over, and be encouraged each time they read it. We can practice this in our homes as well. A note in a child’s lunch can mean so much to them as they go through hard times. A friend of mine discovered all of the notes which she had written to her son. He had saved them all, and she “happened” to see them one day while in his room. We can do this for our husband’s as well. What about sending him a card to his work address? What about tucking away an encouraging note in his luggage as he prepares to leave town? If you don’t know what to say to encourage him, just tell him that you will be ready and waiting for him when he gets home! That alone will speak volumes to him.
II Cor. 1:4 tells us to comfort one another with the comfort we have received. We don’t have to use eloquent words. A simple hug, along with letting them know that you are praying for them will mean a lot. When I miscarried, the one thing I needed to hear was that it would get better, but no one told me. Now, when I see others going through things, I am able to share that with them, in hopes that it will help them. We can practice this with our children as well. When they have been betrayed by a friend (or a number of other scenarios), we can comfort them by sharing with them a time when we faced the same thing.
Col. 3:13 tells us to forgive one another. I can’t stress the importance of this. Many years ago, I struggled with chronic colitis. I was on so much medication for it. As I began studying on deliverance, I found that I had a lot of unforgiveness in my heart, which had opened the door to the colitis. I had to forgive, not just because our Lord demands it, but I had to forgive so that I could live a full life again. I am thrilled to tell you that once the unforgiveness was gone, so was the colitis. It has been gone now for over 10 years. We need to be sure and ask for forgiveness from our children and our spouse, and to grant them forgiveness when they have done wrong.
We are to love one another. (I Jn. 3:11, Rom. 12:10, James 2:8) In I Pet. 1:22
we find that we are to love one another deeply, from the heart. We are to have a sincere (without pretense, genuine) love for one another. Many times it is easy to say, “I love you.” What is often harder is putting action behind our words. Action means that we are setting aside our own agenda for the good of someone else.
Gal. 5:13 tells us to serve one another in love. This is a hard one for me when evening comes and I am so tired. I want someone to serve ME! But if I follow scripture, I must crucify my flesh once again, and serve my family in love, no matter how tired I am.
Eph. 4:31-32 tells us to be kind to one another. This is another one that needs to be practiced consistently in the home. I often find myself barking orders to my daughter instead of speaking kindly to her. I have been faithfully asking Father to help me to learn to be kind to my daughter in spite of how frustrated I may be with her.
Rom. 12:16 tells us to live in harmony with each other. In the Webster’s Thesaurus, it mentions having an even balance. How many times do we disrupt harmony in our homes because we aren’t living a balanced life? I saw this in my own life over the summer. Because I homeschool an only child, I try to get her involved in several activities over the summer. This year I found that I overdid it. There wasn’t much harmony in the home because “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy!” At the time of this writing, we have had two days of having to be nowhere. While I have been very busy over these two days, I have been happy, calm, and content. It has brought much needed balance and harmony to our home.
Eph. 4:2 tells us to bear with one another. In our homes, this might mean learning to listen to both sides of the story before making a judgment. It could also mean to discern whether something was done because of childlike immaturity, rather than defiance. As mothers, we run in an exhausted mode much of the time. It can be very hard to bear with others, when the “others” are those in our own home. In those times, we need to remember that God is right there, just waiting for us to call upon Him to help us.
Precious Jesus, You gave us such wonderful examples of how to treat others. Help us to put those examples into action in our own homes, then help us take them out to a lost and dying world. Amen.
© 2003, Stacy R Miller