Growing And Learning In Times Of Difficulty
I think we all can agree that God uses trials to grow us. We can look at the situation we are in, and the ways we can grow from it in many different ways. Today I want to touch on relationships. A lot of us are now, out of work, spending more time with our spouses and families than we are used to. That changes our daily routines, our roles and even our tolerances for certain behaviours or personalities of our family. Let’s take this opportunity to grow in grace and grow our relationships rather than fight or feud.
Proverbs 21:19, in the Message version says, “Better to live in a tent in the wild than with a cross and petulant spouse”. Proverbs 27:15, says “A nagging spouse is like the drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet; You can’t turn it off and you can’t get away from it” (MSG). So, we can see from these two verses that we don’t want to have a nagging spouse and we don’t want to be a nagging spouse. All of a sudden having a lot more time with someone, leads to more communication time. Let’s put forth the effort not to nag. There are many ways a person can communicate without nagging. I believe a lot of nagging happens when one person is not doing what the other repetitively asks them to do. Ask yourself, is this something I can just do on my own to avoid nagging? Can I help them to do this task, so it is shared work? Can I phrase my request or concern in a loving way, so it doesn’t sound like nagging? Or is it something that in light of difficult times is really not important. I would suggest that we, as 1 Peter 4:8 says, “continue to show deep love for each other, for Love covers a multitude of sins” (NLT). If we extend grace in a difficult situation, to even the smallest things, our trek through the tough time will be just a little easier and hold the potential for more joy.
In Philippians 2:2, Paul writes “Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another and working together with one mind and purpose” (NLT). If we work together, especially in difficulty we grow closer. There certainly can be stress in trials such as the one we face today, but if we set some goals, try to make some plans for how we can each do our part in families and relationships we become stronger as a unit.
We can also look at Paul’s instruction to the Galatians “Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another” (Gal 5:26, MSG). We all know our spouses and families enough to know what provokes them. I will encourage you to grow in grace and love, think twice before you speak and avoid provoking, you will be spending a lot of time with family and there is no benefit in making someone angry.
I believe this is a time where we can really learn to put others first, think less (often) of ourselves, grow in unity, grow in grace and love, and grow in one mind and purpose in our families. This will bring Glory to our Father as we trek through this trial.