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Little by Little by Little by Little....

Little by Little by Little by Little....

by Josh Caudill

How does one come to a place of "honoring one's parents"? Or how does a parent raise children who are respectful? Very, very gradually.

One of the most striking features of Ephesians 6:1-4 is how unstriking it is. As it discusses family relationships, it does not provide a shortcut to respect and honor, not does it outline a systematic approach to parenting. It cuts to the chase: Why should children obey their parents? Because "this is right".

We often find this kind of approach to character development in Scripture, and it is both profoundly frustrating and encouraging. The frustration comes from the desire for something more systematic; it seems like it would be so much simpler if the Bible gave us simple answers and responses to life, like some sort of user's manual. The pursuit of wisdom and Godly character is a path that the Bible outlines, but it hardly gives clear signposts along the way.

The encouragement, however, comes from the freedom built into this. Because of this lack of specific, step-by-step outline into Godliness, God is calling us to a life of constant relation and orientation to Him. When we step outside the lines, there is forgiveness. When we forget the path we were even on to begin with, there is forgiveness. And the most beautiful part of this is that forgiveness is part of the journey. Unless we've experienced this grace--unless we've seen that we are not capable on our own--we can never expect to develop the character, humility, and love of Christ.

So, just as God provides grace for us as we learn to walk in his ways slowly, and step-by-step, there is grace in our families. God calls each of us--as children, to show honor to our parents, and as parents, to support our children. And we're all called to show love to one another.

Pastor Jacob wisely advised us to begin this process with prayer. After all, we can only grow when we recognize that we are in need of God's grace.

Who in your family can you pray for this week? Are there any relationships in your life that are in need of honor, support, or love that can only be fostered by God's grace?

Let your family members know how much you love them this week, and look for ways to serve them every day.

Grace & Peace
Josh Caudill