Inside: How easy is it to put on a good face when we are around others and treat strangers with more kindness than we do within our own family?
We spend the most time every day with those in our households. These are the ones most dear to us but also the ones we can take for granted. Do we show them how much we love them, appreciate them, and that we know they are a blessing from God?
How easy is it to put on a good face when we are around others and treat strangers with more kindness than we do within our own family?
We have all heard familiarity breeds contempt, and with our families, we know all the good and bad about each other. How many times do we magnify their weaknesses and forget to take the log out of our own eye?
In Colossians 3:12-14 we are told to “put on kindness.” This has to be from the heart, and as moms, we set the tone of our homes by our responses and reactions to others. There may be times when you do not feel like responding kindly, but I encourage you to pray before you respond. Responding kindly even when you do not feel like it is better than responding unkindly.
We are told in Proverbs 14:1 that a wise woman builds up her home, but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands. Responding unkindly to others in your home is taking the action of tearing down your own home. We cannot use excuses or blame others for our unkind responses.
Pray and spend time with the Lord in His Word – we cannot do this in our own strength. God is always there to help us. Spend time with Him and prepare yourself for those stressful times.
Make sure you are getting adequate sleep, eating well, and exercising. Plan in the areas you know that you are apt to respond unkindly. I always think of Sunday mornings heading to church as a difficult time for families. Make sure you spend the evening before planning your Sunday morning, so you are patient and kind with your family.
What are some ways we can put on kindness to our families?
- Show them lots of affection – appropriate hugs and kisses and lots of “I love you” should be going on regularly in our homes.
- Use your manners when you speak to your children.
- Smile – A LOT!!
- Greet them when they come home and say goodbye before they leave the house.
- Take time to make them feel special by making their favorite meals or desserts. Picking up little gifts or writing them special notes.
- Take time to Romance Your Husband.
- Help them to develop hearts that are compassionate by reaching out as a family to those in need. Volunteer with them, involve them in hospitality within your home, and help families in need in your church and community.
- Discipline with love and firmness. Our children must learn to submit to our authority; it is commanded in scripture that they honor and obey their parents. We are to love them and lead them as Christ does to us – He is our example. Our most powerful tool of discipline with our children the Lord has given us is love.
- Speak well of your family to others.
- Enjoy special traditions with each other – family movie & game nights, special dinners, etc.
- Do not speak unkindly about others.
- Evangelize to your family and others – the most loving thing we can do is share the Gospel with the lost.
- Be consistent – behave at home as you do in public.