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We’ve all heard the expressions, “Family first” and “Family is everything.” We as Christians undoubtedly believe that God is first, and we know our families are our priority. But how are we currently thinking about our families? This goes for both our physical and our spiritual family. It is easy to lose sight of the irreplaceable value of our brothers and sisters and their uniqueness. Relationships that we are most familiar with can often become the places where we become haphazard with our words and the actions that we allow. Evaluate if you need to make a conscious effort to acknowledge and appreciate one another. Do we tell our sons that we are proud of them? Do we take the time to ask our wives what they want to accomplish in the upcoming year and how we can help as husbands? Does your daughter hear you call her beautiful and special on a regular basis? These traits and qualities carry over into how we treat one another in the church, especially if we are in leadership roles. How you treat your family will influence your oversight.
1 Timothy 3:3 and 4 NAS, “He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?)”
From another angle, instead of just viewing this conversation concerning are spouses and children, how is our relationship with our parents? This also goes for both physical and spiritual parents. We know that we are to give honor to parents, and that this commandment has a promise of life attached to it (Ephesians 6:1-3). Here are some more great truths from the book of First Timothy concerning relationships in the church being likened to wholesome family relationships. We will also look at Peter’s first letter for great insights into how we should treat each other in the churches.
1 Timothy 5:1 and 2 NAS, “Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers, the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity.”
1 Peter 5:5 NRSV, “In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
It would do us some good to evaluate how we have been viewing and treating our most closely held relationships. The God of our Lord Jesus favors reconciliation. If a relationship needs to be mended, take the initiative to bring a solution of forgiveness to the table. Grace is given to the humble. For you young men, when you speak to elders, do so with respect and treat them as ones who have authority. Be intentional about how you use your words in your family. Among our Christian brothers and sisters, we can also be enthusiastic about listening to God so that we are saying the right things at the right time. So often it is the choice words that God inspires within us that helps those we love to move forward with what God is working in their lives.