Have you ever considered how much attention we give our cell phones? We spend top dollar for the latest and greatest. We clothe them with the best case and screen protector money can buy, stare at them for hours, take them everywhere we go, and tell them our deepest secrets.
It’s not surprising, considering they cost more than my first car.
At the risk of sounding silly, what would it look like if you gave that much attention to your marriage, children, or extended family? I’m sure you would feel pretty good if your family valued you that much.
It’s clear from the very beginning that God loves, cares for, and gives attention to the family. He values them immensely, and we should do the same. But how do we do that?
Here are three steps you can take today that will help show your family you value them.
James 1:19-20 says, “You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.”
James gives us three things you can start doing today to show your love to your families.
Open your ears to your family.
The first member of your family you should listen to is God. The Bible says, “Faith comes from hearing the Good News, and people hear the Good News when someone tells them about Christ.” (Romans 10:17) If you don’t open your ears to God, you can’t have faith.
Once we open our ears to God, it makes it way easier to listen to our families. In our relationships, you should be “quick to listen.”
Your family will feel loved when you listen to your family and care about their words. Be quick to listen instead of jumping to conclusions or giving your opinion.
Close your mouth when your family is speaking.
James tells us we should be “slow to speak.” If you’re going to be a good listener, you have to stop talking.
Too often, we want to jump in or interject. But that only gets us into trouble. Proverbs 18:13 says, “Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.”
How many times have you thought with regret, “Why did I just say that?” We all have! We all can get run-of-the-mouth disease.
That’s why Proverbs 10:19 says, “Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.” Be slow to speak! It will show your family you care about what they are saying.
Douse the family fuse as fast as possible.
James says we should be “slow to become angry.” Why? Because “Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.”
How often have you heard someone say, “Man, so much good came from me losing my cool?” Probably never.
That’s why Proverbs 19:11 is a good one to live by. It says, “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.”
If you want to keep your cool, stop getting so offended. People are flawed, including your family. They will do things that rub you the wrong way and might even be hurtful. Be quick to forgive.
Chances are, one day soon, you’ll need them to forgive you.
Questions to Consider:
- What steps can you take to be a better listener to your family?
- Who are you holding a grudge against in your family? What can you do to overlook and forgive the offense?