Becoming A Good Person: Part 6

In the last teaching I shared Scriptures that mandate that we love our enemies and that we are commanded to be good even to those who are wicked or ungrateful. With that established, I'd like to go back to how we are to love our friends, family and church family.

The Bible has much to say about family relationships. We are commanded to honor our parents, not exasperate or frustrate our children and obey our parents. A husband must love his wife and a wife must respect her husband (Ephesians 5:33).

As Christians we can rationalize that we love our family members, but some of them are just hard to deal with so we might say we love them but don't like being around them much. Or, we may conclude that our children or parents know we love them, so we do not have to show it or say it.

As Christians, we have a Biblical obligation to carefully scrutinize how we treat our parents, our spouse, our children, and our brothers and sisters. The Bible says, "If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever" (1 Timothy 5:8). Of course, in context this is referring to material provision. However, providing for our family means more than making sure they have food to eat. It means that we must care for the Spiritual and emotional well being of our family members.

Some grandchildren may not appreciate their grandparents as much as they should. To a youngster, they may see older people as out of touch or unseemly. But, what a wonderful opportunity for traditions, values and family stories to be passed on from one generation to the next. What a wonderful time for the younger generation to discover their heritage.

Young adult children may also fail to value their parents. As young adults, we are busy building our careers, raising our families, proving to our parents that we do not need them anymore. As a result, we break off the child-parent relationship but fail to realize we then should establish a more friendship based relation, though to some degree, the child-parent relationship will always be. My parents were always more well off than I was. As a result I failed to see that I needed to add to my parent's life as a young adult myself. They still needed to see me often. But I was too busy. They longed to see our family and longed to receive a letter, a card or a phone call. In fact, sometimes, my phone call would make their day. Especially after they were retired and had time on their hands.

Now that my parents are gone, and I wish I had spent more time with them and showed my love in more ways than I did. Nothing can ever bring them back, though often I have dreams they are still alive here on earth. Now that I'm nearly 50 I realize how precious my parents were. Even as a young parent myself, I still held little grudges toward my parents, silly little family feuds that were nothing, but that I let fester and often caused me to be somewhat distant.

Now, I cannot be a better son to my deceased parents, but I do have an opportunity to be the best son-n-law I can be. No matter what Sheri's parents need, I make sure we make it happen. I feel that even though the Bible says I am to honor my parents, I believe it is a blessing just the same, and is God-honoring for me to honor Sheri's parents.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for showing us how important it is that we are good to those who are part of our family. In Jesus' Mighty Name, AMEN!

Re-arranging my life for Christ,

Pastor David L. Burns


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