Reconciliation - Hard to Do But Great Rewards -Part 4

photo by mael-balland at unsplash

photo by mael-balland at unsplash

So our last discussion about reconciliation is that between parent and child. First, please know that God put you together. As the parent, your love for our child really is unconditional (at least as a believer) and whether we disapprove of a behavior or some situation in our child’s life, we love our child! As a child, you can’t help but love and want to feel love from your parent. There is a natural bond between the two.

Now, I do understand that the above can be tainted if one or both have a true mental illness. But otherwise, is the problem, situation or hurt really worth the estrangement?

Again, we must remember that we can only do our part. What is our part?

  1. Accept responsibility - even if you don’t feel you are in the wrong, somewhere, somehow you have played a part - maybe your part has just been being unwilling to forgive

  2. Apologize for your part in the matter - whatever part that is

  3. Forgive them - whether they ask for your forgiveness or not. Forgiveness restores your relationship with Christ and releases the bitter, hard feelings you have toward the other

  4. Live peaceably - this may be difficult when the other party doesn’t want to reconcile, but do your part

  5. Pray, pray, pray for this person - trust me when I tell you that God will work a miracle in your heart toward someone you’ve had unforgiveness toward and you consistently pray for them. You will start to see them as God sees you - a hopeless sinner except by His mercy and grace…

Let’s look at scripture.

Ephesians 6:1-4 says “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

The above verses don’t say “unless they do…” or “except when they…”.

Child you are to obey your parents so long as you are under their care and their direction does not violate God’s word. Regardless, of your age you are to honor your father and mother. That does not mean you have to be mistreated by them, but you can stand up with honor. You can choose to show respect even if you disagree.

Parents are not to drive their child to exasperation-don’t provoke them. Don’t push and prod to the point the child feels demoralized and broken or driven by anger. Instead, teach them the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Show and teach them what is right by God’s standard. Lovingly hold them accountable while they are under your care. Once they are out of your house, keep loving them even when you don’t agree with their actions.

Is this always easy? Of course not! Do we mess up? Yes, we do. - both parent and child. Is there forgiveness? YES, always from God when we repent and yes, there should be between parent and child if both are believers. And if only one of you are a believer, what better way to demonstrate the love of God to the lost one than by forgiving and living peaceably?

Reconciliation can be hard, but the rewards are great! I’m praying for you! If you find yourself in the midst of needing reconciliation, cry out to Jesus and follow Him down the road to reconciliation!

Behind the Scenes of Family

Photo by Liane Metzler

Photo by Liane Metzler

I have to say that I have loved every stage of our family life! Now, that being said, I have not loved every moment. Some have been trying, some extremely hard, but for the most part, it’s been wonderful!

Before my husband and I married, I told him I wanted a very large family. Seven to ten children, in fact. But after my first child was born, I was done. Infancy was hard work! He didn’t sleep. He threw up everything he ate and then some. For two years, we both (my child and I) cried ourselves to sleep. Of course, I’m exaggerating…some. But then it happened again, with our second child. Whew! Don’t tell me God doesn’t have a sense of humor.

Like many families, ours grew and grew up. Nope, no grands just yet, but we are holding on to hope. :)

Today, we are helping our adult children with getting settled in their first homes each. This is more that just helping them move. My wonderful husband totally renovated my daughter’s fixer upper. And it’s beautiful, I might add. And now, we are twenty hours away from home renovating a kitchen in my son’s new home. And you know it, too, will be beautiful.

While it’s been exhausting, especially for Dad, we wouldn’t have it any other way. We are so thankful to our Lord that He has given us the health to help them. And we are so proud of the adults they’ve become!

But flesh and blood are not our only family. Just this weekend while we were driving I posted a few photos on social media about our travels. Our pastor commented that our church would miss us in worship. I quickly responded that we, too, would miss being with our “family”.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 13:34-35

I don’t know where you are in regards to family. But I do know this - no matter what may be going on behind the scenes of your family, Jesus offers us to become members of His family. For us, we definitely feel such a part of our church family that we really miss them when we’re away. We count on them when we’re there. And we want to serve them and along side them as often as we can.

Growing up in my family, we might have been rough with one another, but no one else was getting away with that. In other words, no matter what was going on between us, we loved each other extremely. Jesus said that the lost world will know we are in His family by the love we have for one another.

So stop and think a minute. Whatever may be going on in your family - “family” - love them. Love them. Love them. I have found that in our blood families and in our Jesus families (hopefully, they are one in the same) , we sometimes get cross ways. And that’s often due to just plane old misunderstandings. Life is so much better when we love one another through it all. With the love of Jesus in us, we can do just that!

Let love be what’s happening behind the scenes of your family.