We live in a culture where people are pulled in a thousand different directions. With so many distractions, it’s easy to live in the same house with children and a spouse without really engaging in deep relationship.
In other words, if we’re not careful, family members could become mere roommates — people whose paths we cross for a few minutes at breakfast, and maybe a few more minutes before bedtime, but no one with whom we develop any real connection.
The good news is this: God has purposely given our families to us as a gift. We aren’t meant to just “get along” with each other. No. God’s heart is that we follow his example and be people that live for one another — just as He lived and died for us.
But what does it look like, this living for one another?
The Bible lays out some clear instructions for how we should treat each other — specific instructions that describe the character of someone who lives a life for others. We are to:
- Love one another (John 15:12)
- Be devoted to one another (Romans 12:10)
- Build one another up (Ephesians 4:29)
- Accept one another (Romans 15:7)
- Instruct one another (Romans 15:14)
- Serve one another (Galatians 5:13)
- Carry one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2)
- Encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
- Be at peace with one another (Mark 9:50)
- Rejoice with one another (1 Corinthians 12:26)
- Pray for one another (James 5:16)
- Forgive one another (Ephesians 4:32)
If we want family members to be more than just roommates… if we want them to really love each other and to love well their friends and beyond, then we need to help them understand with truer description and sharper detail what living for one another looks like.
If you desire a family that draws closer to God and to each other, may I suggest Undivided: Living FOR and Not Just WITH One Another? It’s a simple, fun and easy-to-use family devotional that will help parents take their children — from toddlers to teenagers — through each of the “one another” passages listed above.
My husband and I wrote this book with busy families in mind, so trust me when I say that each component of the lesson is short and sweet!
Each chapter features a “key verse” (a “one another” passage from the list above). Then, there are four short sections that you work through with your family to unpack and apply that verse:
Learn It: Examine the context of that devotion’s “one another” verse
Live It: Read a practical devotional that details how to apply the “one another” verse in your family
Ask It: Go deeper with the material using four or five simple discussion questions
Give It: Develop specific ways through hands-on activities in which to live out the lesson as well as to give away the Biblical truths to others
Studying and discussing the “one another” passages together will help families better understand what it looks like to be a loving, devoted, accepting, encouraging, peaceful, prayerful, and forgiving family.
Ultimately, our prayer is that this resource will help families see with greater clarity what it really means to be people living for and not just with one another according to Scripture.
Praying for deep connections in your family and mine,
Gifted with one beautiful daughter for her tenth wedding anniversary and another for her twentieth, high school English teacher turned homeschooling mom Rhonda Owens is passionate about the Word. She loves nothing more than to study it, talk about it, write about it, apply it, live it and teach it… all preferably accompanied by deep community and good chocolate. Co-author of the book Undivided: Living FOR and Not Just WITH One Another, her writing can also be discovered at the newly launched MitchellAndRhonda.com. Additionally, you can find Rhonda on Facebook, Instagram (rhonda_owens) and at Ungrind.org or ForTheFamily.org where she contributes regularly.