Be a Splendid Example to Our Children
December 21, 2023
We are the number one example to our children of what a relationship with Christ should look like. Do we fail? Most likely more often than not. What does the Lord require of us, perfection? No, rather perseverance in His people is what he longs to see. Consider this scripture in in Proverbs 24:15-16 (KJV) “Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place: For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.” When our resting place gets spoiled, do we quit and grow cold and bitter? I hope not! We have too much hope in our Lord Jesus Christ to not rise up and gain back the peace in our dwelling place once more!
In times past I have spoken of the culture of accountability in our home. Today I want to speak to you about creating a home that always seeks reconciliation in the relationships you have been given. I believe that relationships are one of the biggest training grounds God uses in our lives to work humility, forgiveness, and grace. All of which are attributes of Him that we should desire for ourselves so that we might more accurately reflect Him to others.
Recently in our extended family there was a huge falling out– a very messy argument and disagreement. Egos were hurt and everyone went their separate ways in a hurry. One person reached out, humbling themselves and recognizing their part in the blow up and asking for forgiveness. That forgiveness did not come immediately as was expected. Over the next few days that person reached out again, asking for forgiveness and the opportunity to talk it out, still no response. Was this going to be a lifelong shattered relationship, never to be reconciled again? It sure looked that way. A card was sent out recognizing this person’s birthday. The day of their birthday the Lord nudged them to send a text, finally a response was made, and it was a positive one! Praise the Lord for helping this situation to be mended. There is still more mending that needs to take place, more conversations ahead to iron out all of the details in an effort to avoid future blow ups, but what a beautiful end result our children got to see!
We took this opportunity to demonstrate to our children the need to humble oneself, persevere, and forgive. What kind of examples do your relationships give to your children? Are they good ones? Lately I have been so struck by all of the “outward” signs of a believer we are supposed to carry, but what about these inner heart issues so dear to the Lord? Not cussing and dressing modestly are good things to be doing as a Christian, but are we walking around slandering and gossiping? Filling our hearts with bitterness and anger? The Lord thinks so highly of the ladder subject that He gave us this scripture in Matthew 6 verses 14-15 (KJV) to think about— “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
That is very sobering to me. I want to be forgiven when I stand before God on judgment day. In order to ensure that happens I need to always be forgiving others who “trespass’ against me. What does it mean to trespass? Well, we have all seen the signs on people’s property that says, “Do Not Trespass” if someone trespasses that person’s property, they violate the desire/boundary that that individual has put up. That’s the same with our physical bodies. Someone may trespass us with their words or actions. According to scripture, we need to forgive them when they do. How many times should we forgive the same person? Jesus teaches us in Matthew 18, that we should forgive seven times seventy-seven times! Forgiveness does not have to be this long drawn out process, simply speak the words and it is done. Don’t allow your mind to dwell on things like, “They should have known better, or “They knew that meant a lot to me.” Simply forgive them and move on. Anytime that bitterness rises back up in you just pronounce it over them again, “They are forgiven!”
Oh, that the Lord might work in His people's reconciliation! I pray that each of us will always and ever be a splendid example to our children of the heart of God to restore every relationship!