Live in harmony with one another. Romans 12:16
OK.......so the Berta "Bunch" has not been getting along too well with one another lately. Maybe it has been too many INSIDE days "cooped" up in the house.....
Maybe it has been too many late nights sitting around a firepit and running through the grass with sparklers...
Maybe it is just plain FUN to tease your siblings! (I grew up with only one sister who was 9 years older than me, so I didn't experience the "joys" of tattle-telling, teasing, and temper tantrums!). All I know is that after the 6th or 7th interruption of me having to stop the lawn mower while trying to get the grass cut, I had had ENOUGH!
I thanked God that He had led me to listen to Romans while I was mowing. So, when I came in, (still grassy and sweaty), I called a "family meeting." We began reading the "love" chapter in Romans together!
12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
For my kids, I wanted to make sure that these verses actually APPLY to our lives. We talked about how spatting, fighting, being unkind to one another is "evil." Loving, forgiving, bearing with one another, being patient with each other is "good."
12:10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.
"Devoted" to one another....even when we don't "feel" like it...even when the other person has hurt our feelings or isn't agreeing with us....in BROTHERLY love (and their bibles said "sisterly" as well!). We were able to talk about how family loves each other.
Honor one another above yourselves.
I don't have to always get my own way! Think about being kind to your brother/sister. Let them go first, make up the game, choose first...
12:12 Be patient in affliction.
Don't lose your temper! When you are being "wronged" (affliction), don't fly off the handle. Don't say words that will hurt the other person.
12:17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil.
Tattle-telling to "get the other in trouble"! Don't "get even"!
12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. As Ashley said, "try to think about what Jesus would do or say. Would He call someone a 'jerk' because He's mad? Would He hold a grudge or forgive?"
As we talked about the teaching in Romans, we agreed that these behaviors are HARD and go against what our "natural" impulses would be. (Maybe that is why the chapter is titled "Living Sacrifices"!) I explained that it is IMPOSSIBLE to act and react in these ways on our own. We have to rely on the Holy Spirit to help us. When we are in the middle of the temptation/trial/conflict, we must STOP and pray, asking God to help us.
And, when we do these things, we "live in harmony with one another." (verse 16). Just like a piece of music, with many different instruments playing, when it is in harmony, it comes together to make a BEAUTIFUL sound.
By the way, I love this image! I first used it in another parenting post called
I want what YOU have! . Click here to read it. I hope you have a few minutes to read this as well. And, please visit Amydeanne this week for more great WFW!