Creating an Atmosphere of Mercy in Your Home
When we are being controlled by "self", the atmosphere in our homes will be less than desirable. We look at how our interactions with our spouse should be seen as an opportunity to walk in a spirit of mercy.
Jeff and Rose Colon have joined me in the studio. Today we want to talk about an atmosphere of mercy in the home. Jeff what do we have to say about that? Do you have an atmosphere of mercy in your home?
I hope so. I try to. This whole idea of an atmosphere of mercy is a very, very important thing that a marriage needs to have - a very important component, I guess we can say. If you think about it, any marriage that's going to glorify God and show forth His goodness as it shows us in Ephesians is supposed to be a picture of His relationship with His Church. Our marriage is supposed to exemplify that. I mean if you think about it, He had compassion on each one of us. Ephesians 2 says "He died while we were yet sinners." In light of His mercy towards us, is it too much for Him to ask to show that same mercy in our marriage?
And if there's an atmosphere of mercy in the home not only is there going to be peace in the home - which every couple wants - but a better testimony for others outside of the home that are watching that relationship.
Exactly. If we're in a Christian marriage, especially that's having difficulties, we're really going to find out how "Christian" we really are and how much mercy we have in our hearts towards our spouse. I've told my wife many times there is absolutely no reason why a truly Christian marriage should ever fail, even after something as devastating as sexual sin has occurred.
Let's talk about how we go about creating an atmosphere in the home. Let's start with a husband - what are some of the things that the husband can do?
I deal with this a lot with the men here at the program who have sinned against their wives. One of the most important things I emphasize to them is to really be willing to bear their wife- not to be defensive and not to react in an unbiblical way, maybe to her fears or things that she's still dealing with from his lifestyle of sin that he was living out for years in that home; and to give her the same mercy that God has showered upon him. I know in my own household when mercy is in the atmosphere no fight, no disagreement, no wrong done to each other has any hope of surviving. The Bible tells us "don't be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." I'm not saying your spouse is evil, but that's how we feel sometimes when we're wronged. I know men can be a little touchy sometimes, and we really need to learn to put our wife's interests before own and consider their needs more important than ourselves.
Of course the husband is half the equation. How can a wife help to create an atmosphere of mercy in the home?
She can create an atmosphere of mercy in the home by being patient and longsuffering, I especially think of not only with her husband but with her kids. A lot of times wives will reach a limit with their kids and they start yelling or maybe belittling the husband before the kids, and when she's in that spirit she's not creating an atmosphere of mercy in the home towards her husband or even towards the children. Learning how to be willing to say "I'm wrong;" not feeling like I have to prove I'm right or win this argument; for her to be willing to walk in humility towards her husband; to be willing to just say "you know what, I just need to pray for him instead of voicing my complaints, grievances, or whatever it might be, I need to bear my husband in prayer" - as she's doing this, she will create an atmosphere of mercy in her home.
I know that developing an atmosphere of mercy in the home is a challenge for any couple. We all have to bear one another. Is there an encouraging word you can give to a couple that may be struggling with this?
Sure. As I said earlier, marriage difficulties usually will come and do come in our marriage, and it's going to test us; and God's called us to go the narrow way and called us to be a disciple - to live and to walk as He walked, to love as He loved. When we face those tough choices that go against everything that we feel and perceive to be right, then we'll really find out how much we love God. And one of the greatest needs in any marriage will be free-flowing mercy. So my encouragement is to not be stingy with the mercy God has given you, let it blossom and let it become the atmosphere of your home.
Amen. Jeff and Rose, thanks so much for talking to us about creating an atmosphere of mercy in the home.
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