Thursday, August 19

We Are Family!

Today, I am thrilled to bring you this segment of the Behave Like a Christian series (Rom. 12:9-21), based on verse 10, which is entitled We Are Family, written by another friend, Stephanie Shott.

We Are Family

“Be kindly affectionate to one another
with brotherly love, in honor giving
preference to one another.” (Rom. 12:10 NKJV)

I remember before I became a Christian that I really didn’t want anything to do with those “church people.” In my mind, they were boring, rule-making, fuddy-duddies and I knew if my lifestyle would ever collide with their world, it would not be a pretty sight.

But when I received Christ into my life, everything changed. I found myself running to those I had so adamantly run from. I realized that I loved them. Every single one of them. In fact, I realized I was one of them and they were my family.

They got me. When I talked about what was going on in my life, they understood. When I wasn’t sure how to live out this new found life, they helped me. When I cried, they cried with me; when I laughed, they laughed too. They loved me, in spite of me.

That’s what family does...we love each other in spite of each other. We share in each other’s joys and pains; we lift each other up; we encourage each other; we help each other out; we put up with each other’s quirky ways; we get each other.

In fact, Romans 12:10 gives us a perfect picture of what our relationship should be like when we’re part of the family of God.

We are to tenderly love each other as a family. We are to prefer each other. The word ‘preference’ in the Greek means to go before and lead the way. We are to lovingly lead the way for each other. To show one another how to put one’s needs before our own.
After all, isn’t that what families do?

Unfortunately, we don’t always look like the loving family God calls us to be. We’ve given the Christian family a black eye because we often look more like the Hatfields and McCoys than the Waltons.

Brothers and sisters, as James 3:10 says, “these things ought not be.”

God calls us to love one another as a demonstration of the relationship we have with each other because of the cross. Throughout the New Testament the Lord says to “love one another.” Scripture says…

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34 NKJV)

“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35 NKJV)

“This is My commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15:12 NKJV)

Loving our brothers and sisters in Christ is not an’s not a’s a commandment.

Is it always easy? No. But if we’re going to be a family that brings glory to our Father, then we need to love the unlovable...even when they’re part of the family...especially when they’re part of the family.

Here are a few tips to help each of us love one another as Christ loves us:

*Be slow to speak and slower to judge. (Remember, we don’t always know the whole story and a wise person thinks before s/he speaks)
*Always look for the best in one another. (We don’t always know someone else’s motives; we don’t always see everyone’s potential.)
*Give each other room to grow. (We’re all a work in progress and we all make mistakes!)
*Look for opportunities to help each other grow. (That’s part of loving someone.)
*Remember how much Christ loves you in spite of you. (We all fall short, but our Savior is never short on love for us.)
*Forgive quickly. (Grudges have a way of finding fertile soil in an unforgiving heart.)
*Be humble. (God does not see anyone as better than or less than. He sees us all as equal.)
*Admit your own failures. (Are you guilty of gossiping or griping? Have you caused a family feud of your own? Fess up your mess us and start loving like Christ loves.)
*Be kindly affectionate to one another. Honor one another. Put others’ needs before your own.

Why? Because we are family and that’s what families do.

22 Responses
  1. Great post Stephanie/Lynn!! I love the concept of a Christian family. I found out that age, gender, race, culture, education etc. are not important when you are together with believers who share a common love: the love of Christ!!

  2. Marja ~ You're so right! I love how God's family is so deep and so wide. Anyone who will trust Christ as the Lord and Savior is included no matter what they look like, where they come from or what they've been through!

    We are family!

  3. Rachel Says:

    I found that love on many levels was lacking in my life. I tried to love to do the right things - it was an incredible burden to bear and I was often frustrated because I failed.

    However, as I started to spend time with God each day in a stillness of me and Him and His Word - my heart started to change. His love started to pour into me. For the first time I had a real love to give that flowed. It wasn't about my effort, but Him working in me.

    This love overflowing from our Father is what we have to give to one another. There is nothing better. We don't have to settle for our sefl-efforted love - we have the real thing - power and strong. And we gain that love, but abiding in Him and cultivating a deep relationship with God grounded in His Word.

    What a blessing His family is.


  4. Rachel ~ I love how you said the love overflowing from the Father is what we have to give to one another. That's how we love the family of Christ...from the the love the Father has placed in our hearts.

    Thanks for sharing such a sweet reminder with the fam.! :-)

  5. I love how we come together even in cyberland--encouraging, correcting, praying, loving. We are family by His blood.

    Great post, Steph.

  6. lynnmosher Says:

    Marja, thanks so much for commenting, sweetie! And you are so right!

  7. lynnmosher Says:

    Rachel, thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. It's so true. We cannot love fully or truly without the love of God being resident within us. Blessings to you!

  8. lynnmosher Says:

    Sandra, it always amazes me how love reaches out through cyberspace to touch the hearts of others with the love of God. Awesome! Thanks, sweetie!

  9. Teresa Says:

    Stephanie and Lynn! Such a great post! This is such a beautiful, true reminder!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you Stephanie for reminding us through the Word of God of what we are called to love one another and we can only truly do that when we love our Jesus with all our heart, soul, mind and strength...the love that we love with, when transferred to Him, can then be lavishly placed upon others lives because of His insurmountable love!

  10. MTJ Says:

    Hi Lynn/Stephanie,

    I was blessed as I read this post on loving one another. The tips/keys to loving really get to the heart of what it takes to be an integral member of a loving family.

    Thanks for sharing an encouraging and uplifitng post.

    Blessings and peace.


  11. Hi Sandra ~ You and I seem to always be on the same page! I love that! Don't you just love how Lynn ministers to us all through cyberspace!!

    BTW...glad we're family! ;-)

  12. Teresa ~ I love the way you used the word "lavishly"...that's how He loves us...that's how He calls us to love others.

    I think that's my new favorite word! :-)

    What a blessing to be part of the family of God!

  13. MTJ ~ I pray I'm always willing to love others through the lens of God's love for me. As wretched as I am, He still loves even me! An amazing love - an amazing GOD!

  14. Since my family while growing up was certainly not the Waltons, I found your words especially reassuring, "We are to tenderly love each each other as family." And Stephanie you are certainly leading the way as a sweet reminder to Christians, "Be humble. (God does not see anyone as better than or less than. He sees us all as equal.)" Thanks for sharing!

  15. Thanks for sharing this beautiful post! Isn't it wonderful that we are members of the family of Christ, even though we have only met online (except Lynn that I've had the great pleasure of meeting in person)! Those are some great tips, too.

  16. lynnmosher Says:

    Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting...

    Teresa, MTJ, JoAnne, and Connie.

    So glad Stephanie has blessed you. Blessings to you all!

  17. JoAnne ~ There's something unexplainably beautiful about the family of God. We may not know each other but our spirits still bear witness with one another.

    No matter where we live, we are connected because of the cross of Christ.

    Talk about an extended family! Awesome! :-)

  18. Connie ~ I have to confess that I'm jealous! You've had the privilege of meeting Lynn in person.

    I can't wait 'til one day when I get to meet her, hang out, drink coffee and talk about Jesus!

  19. Rose Corbett Says:

    Awesome post (again!) Stephanie! Love the note to self...will need to post it!!!

    Bless you both for spreading His message of Love!!!

  20. Rose ~ You are such a sweetie! I really LOVE Lynn's "Note to Self" thingymabob ~ I think I'm going to start putting something like that on my fridge to remind me of the areas I'm so weak in.

    "Note to Self" - Stephanie, be patient! :-)

  21. Nikole Hahn Says:

    So true. :o) Families love each other even on bad hair days. LOL.

  22. Nikole ~ I'm so glad you added the 'bad hair day' clause. I have lots of those. Especially when we take teams to Costa Rica. Humidity makes my hair frizz up and leaves me looking like a mushroom head. :-)