If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5
In a few days my husband and I will be traveling to Alaska to spend time with our son and his family. I’m so excited to see my grandkids, I can hardly wait!
I bought some new games to play with my two-year-old grandson Clark and some new books for baby Cora. I’ve laid out all my winter snow gear and stocked up on any travel toiletries I will need. I’ve made a list of everything I should take and I’m beginning to check things off that I can pack now. I feel so prepared with all the outer trappings of this visit, but am I prepared for the emotional and spiritual aspects of this trip? I don’t think so.
How do I connect with my son and daughter-in-law on a deeper level? How do I share my passion and love for Jesus in an organic way, without being awkward or stiff? How do I give parental advice in a way that they will hear me and not be offended? How can I love them like Jesus?
It’s much easier to make a list of things to do, then it is to take time to prepare for the emotional and spiritual needs that lay ahead. In reality they are much more important. We can always buy some toothpaste or a winter hat if we forget to pack them, but we can never get those missed opportunities back, to connect with loved ones. We need to be prepared spiritually. That means prayer and the Word of God.
- How do we connect deeply with our loved ones? We begin by asking the Lord for help and wisdom and He is faithful to always give it. (James 1:5)
- How do we share Jesus with our families? We prepare ourselves (read the Gospels) and then when the time is right, we speak of Jesus with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15)
- How do we give advice to loved ones without offending them? We don’t insist on our own way. Love and support them first. Then if need be, share what has worked for you in the past. (1Corinthians 13:5)
- How do we love others like Jesus? As we are reminded of our own sins and faults, we are more patient and compassionate to others. We seek to consistently grow the fruit of the Spirit in our own lives (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control; Galatians 5:22-23) so we will be able to some day fully love as Christ loved us. And we can only do that with the Lords help. He enables us to love fully and deeply when we fall short.