Remember when we all hoped that we’d be able to go back to “normal” by Memorial Day? Now Labor Day has come and gone, Thanksgiving is on the horizon, and we’re all still at home. Some of us might be back in person, but a lot of us are learning new things every day as we work and attend school from home.
It’s all fun and games until you have a video call at the same time as your husband. Or you’re called on to help with a math problem you haven’t thought about in 20 years. Or you’re still homebound with your spouse—and only your spouse—and the house is feeling extra cramped these days.
Whoever you’re still at home with—whether your parents, roommates, spouse, kids, or in-laws—can get on your nerves, no matter how much you love them. Compound that with all of the added tensions in the world right now, and it can all be a little overwhelming. It can be hard to share the love of Christ with those closest to you in times like these.
Here are a few ways you can serve your family and love them like Jesus!
The weight of the heaviness of this world is a lot right now, and many people might not even recognize the compounding effects that it all takes on them and their mental health. If you find yourself being easily frustrated with someone you’re living with, be sympathetic. It’s hard to live in these times, and we can all use a little extra love and support. If someone leaves a dish out or doesn’t fold the laundry right away, give that person a little grace—the same undeserved grace you have received from Jesus. “For from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16).
One of the hardest parts of living with others is having their needs be different than yours at the moment. Maybe when you’re stressed, you like to talk it out—but your spouse prefers to process internally. These are normal things to work through in a relationship, but they become magnified when you spend all your time together. Be understanding of what your family needs at specific moments so you can better support one another.
Seeking God first in all that you do will help you be more like Jesus—kind and understanding and loving. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
This is the simplest yet hardest way to serve your family. Being kind sounds easy, but small moments slip by and harsh words continue. First, you might snap when you see a crusty dish in the sink or when someone forgets to tell you she needs poster board for a project tomorrow.
If you feel hurt, tell the person who hurt you. Even something as simple as, “Hey, you snapped at me earlier today about the dishes, and it really hurt me. I’m sorry I left it in the sink, but I am really struggling right now, and would appreciate it if you could be gentler with me, and I will try to be better about the dishes.”
As Paul says in his Letter to the Colossians, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” (4:6). Our words should be reflective of Christ, and we should seek to emulate Him in all that we say and do, especially in how we speak to our loved ones.
Pray this prayer (or a similar one from your heart!) every morning, to remind you to be more like Jesus in your interactions with those you live with:
Heavenly Father, help me to reflect Your love to those in my house today. Help me be sympathetic, understanding, and kind. Help me to show them compassion in the same way You have shown me compassion. Amen.
At home. During work. With your neighbors. In your church.