Monday, March 21, 2005

Loving Our Families

Last weekend (March 11-12), our women's group at church went to the Oregon Coast for a retreat. It was wonderful! So, here are some things we discussed (I didn't compile this list, it is the list that Presv. emailed out to us (she took notes)). The theme was "Loving our Families" and it was very appropriate for the day before Forgiveness Vesper's:) So, here goes (my comments are in blue)...

I've included a list that was the fruit of one of our discussions on "Loving our Families." It has to do primarily with controlling our anger/tongue with our family members. It sprang from James, Chapter 3, which I have included here...

"Look at the ships also; though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So the tongue is a little member and boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is an unrighteous world among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the cycle of nature, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by humankind, but no human being can tame the tongue--a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brethren, this ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening fresh water and brackish? Can a fig tree, my brethren, yield olives, or grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh."

...So here is a list of things to help us in our struggle to be a more loving, Christ-like family member (it applies to our church family, too and to all people in our lives whether through work, etc. (I would add))

1. Prepare ahead of time for events so things go more smoothly and peacefully
2. Be vigilant/prepared about what may come your way each day
3. Remember the image of Christ in each person you deal with throughout the day
4. Be obedient to the Church's teachings/your spiritual Father and thereby receive God's grace
5. Go to confession regularly/seek forgiveness from those you have hurt/reconciliation from those who have hurt you
6. Seek healing from underlying hurts/"weeds" that may be rooted in your heart and need to be especially dealt with in your life
7. Do not let Satan "steal your memory" (this was something that Presv. brought up that her spiritual father told her... in that moment of anger, Satan is stealing our memories from us...we forget who we really are and we forget who that person is that we are angry with (our child, our spouse, our friend, our brother or sister in Christ... I thought this is a sobering thought on anger... do we really want Satan stealing our memories from us?) in the fleeting moment of anger/reaction time.
8. Remember how you've hurt people in the past and thereby refrain from future unkind words and actions
9. Give people the benefit of the doubt
10. Ask questions like "what do you mean by that?" or share if something people says hurts you instead of reacting or assuming ill-will.
11. Don't interpret things too personally or sensitively
12. Let your conscience work for you and be obedient to it. Let it work for you in abolishing your bad thoughts before they become words/actions
13. Remember who you are (a Christian) and whom you choose to serve (Christ) at all times.
14. Realize that you cannot change basic elements of other's personhood/personality
15. Accept people for who they are/don't clash over something you know to be a part of a person's makeup (i.e. Laidback, high strung, needs downtime, needs organization, etc.)
16. Remember you are on the same team with your family members
17. Practice humility and obedience (obedience leads us to grace)
18. Know yourself and your shortcomings/accuse yourself first, not others
19. Read James 3 (see above)
20. Practice the Jesus Prayer, out loud if necessary
21. Remember Satan wants us to forget all the aforementioned items.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Hi Christina
Thank you so much for posting this - I am going to print it out and keep it safe !!