When we were first married, I had a terrible time keeping up with household chores because I was clueless about how to organize it all. When our children came along it got worse. I remember going through a bout of depression, each day sitting in our brown swivel rocker, feeling overwhelmed but not knowing where to start. Thankfully, the Lord sent one of His “angels” to my rescue through my good friend Jeanette T. who invited me to join her and two other girls as they tried out a great cleaning/organizational program. I remember enjoying meeting with the other girls as we each reported our progress as we gathered produce boxes from local grocery stores to organize our closets, cupboards and drawers. One thing I learned through the program, was that chores took far less time to accomplish than I thought they did. (I realized that in my mind, I was defeated before I even started trying to clean my house!) I also learned that when it came to training my children to help around the house, I had to set a consistent example of what I wanted them to learn. I suppose it ties in with the Golden Rule: “Treat others the way you would have them treat you.” Another way of putting it,
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10)
I realized that I could not expect my children to respect me if I did not first respect them by setting a godly example. Humility was key; my strength rested in seeking to honor God in our home. We started with the basics: making the bed. I had to start making my own bed consistently before I could require them to make theirs. They learned to make their beds but not always with the best attitudes. I learned to laugh (they were kids after all!) Thirty plus years later my husband or I still make our bed each morning so I guess the system worked!
I had many opportunities to apply that same principle as our children grew and experienced a deeper humility with my failures. I am grateful to report that with those failures God was faithful to pick me up and set me on the right path again. (What an awesome God we serve!) I have also found it helpful in other family relationships, with friends, neighbors and in helping those who sought counsel.
I am writing this tonight to encourage those of you who want to help someone but you don’t know how. I am also writing this to those of you who think you have all the answers but that “someone” doesn’t seem to hear you. What I say to you both is that Humility before God is a beautiful thing! I invite you to prayerfully meditate on the words the apostle Paul wrote so long ago to people he loved and cared about. When he wrote his letter to the Romans he had not met most of them, but he set the example of being “devoted to one another in brotherly love.” Paul honored them with a call to humility as he, essentially, set the tone personally. The bottom line in all of this? YOU don’t have all the answers but serve a God who totally does. Make prayer your friend as you trust God to do what only He can do . . . work in your friends heart. After all, He changed your heart and He changed mine so we know we serve a God of miracles! Most of all . . . give thanks!
All to His Glory!