How can we so successful yet irritate one another?
Q: My husband and I don’t agree about anything, and my children think their parents are wrong about everything. We’re active in church and sports programs, my husband works all the time, and I do volunteer work and serve in our community center. We are successful, but we irritate one another. Where are we going wrong? – H.F.
A: Christians have tremendous responsibilities. Husbands and wives are to love each other and to submit to one another. We are to train our children in the way in which they should go. If we neglect the responsibilities within our own families, we will suffer the consequences.
Sometimes we are too busy to notice the needs within our own families and relationships. Sometimes we are too busy to listen when someone needs to talk. Sometimes we’re too busy to fellowship within our own homes. Dr. Alan Redpath, who served as pastor of Moody Church in Chicago, had a plaque on the wall of his study that said, “Beware of the barrenness of a busy life.”
Many times, we take our families for granted. While there are many deep problems that face families, we sometimes make problems bigger than there are. A keen sense of humor helps us to overlook the unbecoming. Often we’ll show grace to those outside our home but fail to give grace to those we love most.
Cutting out some social engagements can strengthen home life and help focus on family. We must also consider the lack of discipline that is present in many homes. Children do need the guidance of their parents, and we guide them more by the example we set than by any other way. We need to be firm, fair, and consistent — and above all, we need to discipline in a spirit of love. Likewise, parents need to receive discipline from the Lord to be useful members of God’s family.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
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