Colossians 3:12-21 (ESV)
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Rules for Christian Households
18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones…love” (Colossians 3:12, 14).
You are about to head out the door for a family photo session when you take a quick look around and groan. Your toddler’s face is dirty, and her hair is tangled. Your teenage son is wearing a ragged T-shirt. Another child is engrossed in a video game he can’t seem to leave. The clothes you are wearing clash with what your spouse has on.
Of course, you do what you can to fix these problems, but don’t forget the most important part of your wardrobe. Put on love! Remember, “Love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).
You would never walk out the door naked, and you probably wouldn’t walk around your home undressed either. But there are many instances when we are not on our best behavior with the people we spend most of our time with. How often we forget to put on the love that makes it possible to live together in a family. How easy it is to ignore slips of the tongue or selfish decisions, simply because we are so used to the people around us!
So put on love! Love knows it’s not perfect yet, so it makes allowances for other people’s mistakes and forgives their wrongs. Love knows its understanding is limited, so it looks upon other people with respect and tries to learn from them. Love knows the world is full of hurtful words and deeds, so it tries to make the home a haven of kindness and gentleness. Love realizes that growth takes time, so it practices patience. Love gratefully welcomes and treasures every family member, looking for the good in them, however deeply it may be buried.
May this be our vision for our families! May we all learn how to put on love day in and day out. Then our homes will begin to feel more and more like the home of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, the Holy Family and our models.
Jesus, thank you for my family. Help us learn how to respect and love each other even more. Amen.