It is quite interesting how additional time with the family, such as may happen around holiday time, can reveal some rough edges. I love having more time with the children, but when I do I find I become more aware of particular areas of need in each family member’s life. This year it was one person’s faults, in particular. Unfortunately, once that happens, it can almost be a distraction as you zero in on him.
The person I was most aware of, unfortunately, was me. Don’t you just hate it when it is your problem? I would much rather it was someone else’s problem and not mine. The question always before me is, have I demonstrated the character of Christ in my home as God has called me to? “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
Picture in your mind the Lord Jesus having a family. I see Him being patient and gentle, while training and maintaining order in the home. I don’t think He would raise His voice when correcting, even if there was repeated disobedience. He would not have a “tone” in His voice. Oh, how I yearn to be like Christ!
Have you ever noticed that when a person deeply loves someone or something, certain things happen? It is very easy to illustrate. Look at the average person who “loves” the Kansas City Chiefs football team. They dress in red and know everything about the team. They talk about the Chiefs and even long to be “with” them at the next game.
Honestly, as I think back over the last several weeks, I feel that other things have crowded out my love of the Lord. The symptoms are there. I haven’t been as careful to have quality devotions as before. My Scripture memorization has slipped, and my focus on Christ has lessened. I’m fooling myself if I think there won’t be an impact to my ability to be Christ-like in the home. So what do I do?
The third chapter of Colossians is the perfect prescription for my ailments, especially verse 12. “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.” Wow! Just to apply that one verse alone would be incredible. Unfortunately, even if I could obediently do all that, my heart is the problem. However, that is what Christ does; He changes my heart. It is Christ dwelling in me that enables this verse to become alive and active in my life. I must love my Lord with all my heart and clothe myself as He would (the armor of God in Ephesians 6). I should talk about Jesus more, and not only long to be with Him, but choose to spend more time with Him each day.
The whole section in Colossians from verse 12 to 17 is so good. It is the “tune-up” I need for my walk with my Lord. How about you? Are you demonstrating Christ in your home? If not, you will be discouraged trying to do it in your own strength. It just doesn’t work! Jesus Christ changes lives. He is the One Who enables us to be the dads our families need us to be.