Do you ever look around at the families in your church and assume they have it all together? That their lives must be carefree and they have these perfect obedient children, problem free marriages and every day goes just as planned? Maybe you think some of the bloggers you enjoy reading are living lives that look unattainable to the average wife and mother. (See my post here on Encouragement Along the Way).
We know deep down this isn't true because we live in a fallen world. Overcoming sin in our lives is a battle we will be dealing with until the Lord calls us home. Sin infects every home – sin infects every Christian home. We all battle sinful attitudes, pride, selfishness, envy, discontentment, rudeness, disobedience, unloving actions and attitudes, rebellious hearts, comparison and the list can go on.
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. ~ 1 John 1:8
Let me turn the table a moment- do you think your family is the perfect family in your church? Do you compare your family to others and think, “I'm thankful we don't have the issues that family has.” Hmmm – there's a statement with a familiar ring to it:
“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”Luke 18:10-14
We live in a fallen world, and each family in your church has their own battles they are dealing with. It is a battle (Ephesians 6:10-20) but one we are not left to ourselves if we are in Christ. We have a heavenly Father who never leaves us or forsakes us. He is with us always and has given us the truth of His Word and the Holy Spirit to overcome sin. God has equipped us not to sin and to make choices that would honor and bring glory to His name.
We, as His children, don’t always make those choices and we sin. The war against sin in our homes continues until the Lord calls us all home. When you’re in a war, you have to fight and do battle against the enemy. Sin is our enemy, and it has the power to tear apart families and churches if we let it.
Fighting the Good Fight
Unfortunately, it is not as easy as offering a three-step plan for overcoming sin in your family. What I can point you to are the truths of God’s Word:
Walk in the Spirit – Galatians 5:16-25
Be Filled with the Spirit – Ephesians 5:18-21
Be Equipped – 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Pray – Ephesians 6:18
Fellowship with Other Believers – Hebrews 10:24-25
Forgive Others – Matthew 6:15
Be Real – Confess Your Sins to One Another – James 5:16
Offering Grace To Others
Whether in our immediate families or our church families we need to be continually offering grace to one another. I am not saying here to overlook sin, but not every sin needs to be pointed out. Love covers a multitude of sins, and we need to have merciful and forgiving spirits to those that sin against us. Many times we are quick to judge someone and isn’t it wonderfully convicting when we find ourselves with the same sinful attitude or action that we just judged someone else for. That is a moment to give thanks in – we all need to be brought low because we tend to think too highly of ourselves. (Romans 12:3, 1 Peter 4:8)
Get to know the families in your church and see how you can be praying for them. Be honest with struggles in your own family as there are probably others who are dealing with similar situations and you can be an encouragement to each other. We are too concerned with what others may think, instead of seeing other believers as soldiers who are fighting the good fight of the faith alongside us. Dear Christians – we are on the same team.
The Lord Jesus Christ has called me to fight the good fight. I need to be in the Word and on my knees to overcome the sinful battles I face on a day to day basis within my home and among those, I am in contact with outside the walls of my home.
My prayer is that we would be mindful of our attitudes, actions, and responses to others. As Christians we are called to be steadfast and immovable, abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58). As wives we are called to love our husbands and children, be keepers at home, self-controlled and submissive to our husbands (Titus 2:4-5). As parents, we are called to disciple and instruct our children in the ways of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).
We can’t control the attitudes and actions of others towards us, but we are responsible for the way we treat and respond to others.
“The most important truth to remember is we can’t do any of this on our own. We need the Holy Spirit to open up the truths of the gospel within our hearts. This is true for every moment of our lives. Continue to ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes and make the gospel alive to you again.” ~ The Importance of the Gospel in the Life of A Believer
Our families are a beautiful way the Lord continues to sanctify us and mold us more and more into the image of His Son.
“Only those who are truly aware of their sin can truly cherish grace.” ~C. J. Mahaney