Have you ever received a “surprise” from one of your kids or siblings? The sort of surprise that ends up being a mud pie or a sparkly art project that you know has leaked glitter all over the house? The giver really just wants to bring a smile to your face or to hear you say, “Wow!” or “That is really special.” But it is so tempting to get frustrated or act impatient over the mess they’ve made. It is so easy to see the sin in others’ actions instead of God’s image—to point out what is wrong instead of what is right.
Lead Pastor Ben Snyder spoke last weekend about how to fight for relationships. He told us to “focus on FIGHTING FOR your family instead of FIGHTING WITH them.” There are many ways to fight with your family, and they all break trust. Whereas, fighting for your family is a means to build trust.
Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. (Emphasis added.)
Building trust is a way of honoring your family. That doesn’t mean agreeing with them all the time or thinking they are perfect. An honor is “a rare opportunity, one that causes pride or pleasure.” When you are honoring your family, you are drawing attention to something that, when it happens, brings you delight and satisfaction.
One way of building trust is to point out the image of God in your family more than sin. When I see my parents or siblings serving each other, being generous, or working hard, it is an opportunity for me to step in and tell them how I see God working in them. It is such a small action, but it builds trust.
Another way to build trust is to catch them doing something right. If I notice my little sister waiting patiently, I can tell her how much I appreciate it. When I see my brothers doing a chore without being asked, I can tell them how much I admire their responsibility, rather than saying they should do that more often. I can and should seize those opportunities to fight for my family.
Take delight in honoring each other. Choose to build trust by seeing how God is at work in your family, paying attention to even the smallest acts of goodness. When you do, you are not only honoring your family but also the way God is working through them.
Who are the people in your life who you want to build trust with? What sort of difference would it make if you began to “take delight in honoring” your family?
Pay attention this week to all of the times you see God at work in your family. Make sure to tell them some of the ways you see them doing the right thing.
Check out is this Family Faith Plan offered by CedarCreek. The Family Faith Plan gives you developmental and spiritual tools to engage with your child and help them take steps on their own spiritual journeys.
Father, you have created a longing for relationships inside of me. Help me to be someone who grows relationships and builds trust. Thank you for making me a part of your family. I want to become more like you, taking the time to honor the people you have placed in my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.
This post was written by Lydia Snyder. Lydia has been a story-lover for as long as she can remember, often found reading books or writing. She is thrilled to be making a difference by inspiring others to take part in the best story ever – God’s story. Lydia lives with her three wonderful siblings and two amazing parents.
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