Practice at Home
Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:15
Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.
If I would have quoted our scripture for today during the first few years of my marriage, I would have had to add a footnote that read: “Except at home!” Melanie, my wife, was brought up in a pastor’s home like I was. She had always wanted to be a pastor’s wife like I had always wanted to be a pastor. When we met at a Christian college our friendship turned into a dating relationship – which led to our marriage in 1976. There was no thought of pre-marital counseling, besides – with our similar backgrounds – we were thought to be perfect for each other.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before it was clear that “I was from Mars and she was from Venus!” We were surprised and unprepared to deal with the differences in our emotional and physical needs! It only took a few years to turn very ugly. Kindness was replaced with hurtful words and behaviors. I was trying to pastor a church and hide the turmoil at home. We were both miserable. It is no exaggeration to admit that I prayed, on several occasions, for one of us to die in our sleep. It seemed to be the only way out in my mind. (Melanie had a better handle on what it meant to be “working through” problems. I was the one to take “nose dives” into depression and self-pity.)
By God’s providence, we found a Christian counselor that met with us for a year of intense work on our marriage. It may seem all too simple to you, but one of the key factors in our recovery was to practice kindness to each other. We had to learn how to deal with our differences in a kind way!
Father I’m so glad your Word works at home, as well as everywhere else. Help me, today, to practice kindness to my family. In Jesus’ Name, amen.