One day I was counseling a couple that were having problems in their marriage and with their children. One of the struggles they were facing (which was actually a symptom rather than the cause) was that they were growing distant from each other.
When I help families with their challenges I try to identify a project that they can work on that will help them to make progress toward correcting the issue that is the source of their trouble.
In that meeting I challenged them to take the “one another” commands in the Bible and practice them at home. Years earlier I had preached a series of messages on these practical commands and they were very helpful to our congregation.
So, I gave them a list of these commands and encouraged them to conscientiously focus on each one for a week and seek practical ways to implement them toward each family member.
Here are a sampling of the “one another” commands in the Bible:
“be kindly affectioned one to another” (Romans 12:10) “in honor preferring one another” (Romans 12:10) “love one another” (Romans 13:8) “be likeminded one toward another” (Romans 15:5) “care one for another” (I Corinthians 12:25) “serve one another” (Galatians 5:13) “bear ye one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2) “forbearing one another” (Ephesians 4:2) “be ye kind one to another” (Ephesians 4:32) “submitting yourselves one to another” (Ephesians 5:21) “forgiving one another” (Colossions 3:13) “comfort one another” (I Thessalonians 4:18) “edify one another” (I Thessalonians 5:11) “exhort one another” (Hebrews 3:13) “consider one another” (Hebrews 10:24) “having compassion one of another” (I Peter 3:8)
I believe that when we practice these simple, but powerful “one another” commands that the byproduct is a close family. Dr. Bob Jones Sr. said, “Happiness is stumbled upon in the pathway of duty”. I believe that relational intimacy is discovered the same way. It occurs as we treat people the way God has instructed us to do so.
For the next series of posts I will write about just one of these commands and the different components of it. I can assure you that it will have a positive effect in your family – and in your own life. And I believe the fruit of it will be a closer family.
The most difficult place to live a consistent life for Christ is in the four walls of your home. Yet, this is the most important place for us to live as God wants us to live. As a pastor, this has been one of my priorities in my teaching and preaching. I believe it is impossible to have a great church if the members of the church are not great family members. One of the ways to improve the family is to learn and to practice the “one another” commands.
I hope that these musings of mine from God’s Word will strengthen you and that you will know the joy of having a close family.