For Mother’s Day I had a funny “you know you’re a mom when” post all worked up in my little noggin, but I don’t feel like that’s what God wants me to share today.
I started thinking about family. About our sense of loyalty, entitlement and how deeply we can and do sometimes hurt each other. Sometimes without even realizing it and other times deliberately and with spite. How people that aren’t blood related to us can become family and how God puts people in our lives that we need.
I remember when my Grandma Wheeler was in her last days she asked each of her grandchildren which of her earthly possessions we would like to have. I asked her for her tea cups. She asked me why and told me that they weren’t worth anything. So I explained to her that maybe they didn’t have any monetary value but they held so many memories. Memories of tea parties and playing cards while wearing Grandpa’s caps and using tooth picks as cigars and pretending to be old men. I remember admiring them on the shelf and how pretty they were and how different each of them were. The memories were much more important to me than the “value” the world placed on them. Because to me they are priceless. They were Gram’s and that is what makes them special to me.
I think we cling so tightly to things to remind us that we forget that the memories can be carried with us no matter where we go. The things can be destroyed and taken away.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” Matthew 6:19
In my life I have seen in so many families that when a patriarch or matriarch of a family is in their last days Satan shows up at the door and starts to work his magic.
He tells each of us what we “deserve” and why we “deserve” it.
He tells us that we did more than anyone else.
He blinds us to the blood, sweat and tears someone else put into it.
He shows us that what they got is better.
He shows us how what is happening to us isn’t fair or right.
He tells us that our cutting words and mean spirited attitudes are justified.
He shows what each family member is doing wrong.
He tells us we’re justified in putting that “small thing away” before anyone else sees it.
He steals the joy and strength of the family unit.
He brings sorrow.
He helps us believe those lies.
He makes sure we’re too busy to make time to read God’s word.
Or make it to church.
He creates distractions.
He turns us against those that are for us.
It often times takes years to repair the damage, sometimes the wounds stay raw and deep forever because we allow bitterness to take root, and the damage is never repaired.
I don’t believe for one second that God gave us families to cut each other down, be unkind and treat each other like enemies.
God gave us families to be there for one another, to encourage each other, to be happy for each other and to defend each other.
“And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘If anyone desires to be made first,
he shall be made last and servant of all.’ ” Mark 9:35
At times in our lives we have all felt like we “deserve” to have something. Ultimately nobody owes us anything and it is hard to realize that. What we have comes from God, not man. God decides what we should and should not have. We are to be content with what He gives us.
“Some soldiers were questioning him, saying, ‘and what about us, what shall we do?’
And He said to them, “Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely,
and be content with your wages.” Luke 3:14
So many of our family heads are or were very godly men and women. They are awesome examples of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness. It’s a privilege to be able to spend time with them and learn from them. They are sadly missed by so many when Jesus calls them home. Why do we live in a way after they pass that does not honor their life, or the values they worked to instill in their family. Why don’t we continue living in a way that they would be proud to see that their example is continuing to shine through their loved ones. More importantly, why don’t we live in a way so that God is proud of us! I know from his Word that feeling “entitled” and arguing over worldly possessions is not pleasing to Him.
I found this at truthandtidings.com and I think it states God’s will for the family well.
“God, Who created the family, has provided the divine design and instruction in His Word so that families can flourish. Our best defense is to know the pattern, so that we will be able to discern Satan’s subtle attacks, and to let the fruit of the Spirit characterize our lives. We need godly leadership, respect, and love, along with fervent prayer and dependence on God. He alone can preserve our families for His own honor. May God help families to follow His truth and cling closely to Him.”
Some things that I ask myself and I ask each of you to do the same:
Am I speaking in truth?
Is it kind?
Is it necessary?
Am I showing grace?
Am I saying this in love or spite or anger?
Is this word or action showing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness? (If it isn’t then it’s not worth letting it pass my lips or show in my actions!)
If Jesus was standing in front of me how would I react right now? (He can see you, even if you can’t see him. 🙂 You know, just in case you weren’t already aware of this fact!)
I know that all of our human emotions can feel justified and even right at times, but we need to be walking close enough with God to know his words from the lies of Satan.
I write this, not to condemn, but to encourage.
I write this in love.
I write this because I struggle too.
My prayer today is that each of us will pray a hedge of God’s protection around our families. That we acknowledge that Satan will stop at nothing to destroy our families and that we arm ourselves against him. I pray that if you don’t know Jesus as your Savior you allow Him into your heart and family.