”Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”Colossians 3: 12-17
I recall the times in the first year of my marriage when I struggled living with someone who was in some just ways like me – someone who had a strong personality and someone who was not going to easily budge on things. I had met my match to a certain degree the day I said, “I do.” I always thought it would be peaceful bliss once we tied the knot but it indeed was nothing of the sort. We had great time and bad times like the mountain tops to the low valleys.
I recall a time early on in our marriage where we got into a quarrel, and I became upset with Rebekah. She wanted to move past it, but I continued on with my ranting and raving. She finally ignored me and decided to take a shower. I waited till she lathered up and then I went and turned the main water off. I cannot explain to you why I would do such a thing, but I was upset and bent on revenge. She was puzzled at first and then realized what I had done. I cheered myself for such an infamous move, but Rebekah did not cheer along with my course of action. Rebekah became quite upset, and I eventually turned the water back on. I look back on that and scratch my head at my foolishness. I am not sure how we made up but we are still together, so she must have forgiven me.
I think to the times when I have been offended and the times I have offended others. Forgiveness is not always an easy thing to do but when you love someone, then you will gladly forgive. It is hard to forgive someone when you don’t realize what you have been forgiven of. We often have trouble with our family and friends because we don’t love as we should. We struggle with forgiveness and we struggle with being patient and kind. I remember being frustrated with my kids when they didn’t do something the exact way I wanted it done even though there is nothing wrong with they way they did it. We are so easily irritated with one another because we are not living out our Christianity.
We are to be different as the elect of God and our homes and relationships should reflect the actions that our heavenly Father has shown us. We are to be kind, humble, patient and loving. We are not to look like the world, and when there is a quarrel or disagreement, we know that pride is involved. It is impossible for two people to fight when both parties are humble and kind. We are to be in a constant mindset of “you first”, and we are to be submissive one to another. I know the moment I get mad, there is an element of pride arising within me demanding my rights. We all will have disagreements from time to time but we are to handle these disagreements with kindness, patience, and love. In retrospect, I would have done things a lot different that first year of marriage, but I thank God for the forgiveness of a spouse and the longsuffering she has shown.
Where are you today friend? Do you find yourself demanding your way in disagreements or are you the first one to humble yourself? Do you seek your own way or do you have a servant’s attitude? A servant is humble and seeks the needs of others before their own. Do you remember the offenses you have been forgiven of? Do you need to humble yourself and ask someone to forgive you? Are you known for your kindness, patience and love, or are you known for your unkindness and rude manner? How different would our relationships be if we just put on, “kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.” Will you forgive as you have been forgiven? Will you be kind as you have been shown by the Father? Will you love like He loved you? May there be joy and peace in our homes, workplace, ministries and churches, and may we set the world on fire with our kind and loving actions. To God be the glory!