Is Your Christian Family Living Attracting "Haters" (i.e., Negativity)?

Christian family is a reference to Christians who are related to one another by family bonds. Often the bonds are that of husband and wife or parent and child. Single parent families and blended families can satisfy this definition as well.

In Nehemiah 4:7-14, the people of God had made progress on rebuilding the walls around Jerusalem. Sanballat and others rose up with negative comments. And even among the people of God there were negative comments.

It used to be a popular expression among young people ("young people" change so quickly, especially in the eyes of "old people" - smile) in describing those who were talking negatively about them to say that the negative commentators were "hating" on them.

In spite of the negative comments or "hating" in our text, Nehemiah urged the people to prayerfully keep on working.

When we make progress in doing what God is calling us to do, we should not be surprised when negativity comes from those around us and sometimes even out of our own mouths. We should not be surprised when the "haters" come.

However, if we continue to prayerfully work towards God’s calling on our lives, we can make it. The thesis (i.e., message in a sentence) of this series of devotionals, "When the 'Haters' Come," is that we should counter negativity with prayerful work.

In this devotional, let's focus on the matter of your Christian family. Just as the Jews of our text were rebuilding the walls around their city, believers ought to be working together to rebuild their lives, the lives of their families, and their communities.

As family members, we should be studying and striving to obey God’s Word for every area of our lives. For example, God wants husbands to love and lead their wives and wants wives to submit to and support their husbands.

Thus, every Christian husband should be working on learning and using his wife’s love language. He should be sure that he is in tuned with God’s directions, so he can give directions to his wife and family.

Every Christian wife should be working on learning how to keep unhappily married and unmarried people from causing her to be unhappy. So many wives would be happier with their marriages, if it were not for their advisers (smile).

God wants married and single people for that matter to seek and find fulfillment in Him (see Ecc. 12:13). No man or woman can make an empty person whole.

Too often what we look for in a spouse, a partner, or a friend is only what can be obtained from proper fellowship with God. Thus, all married and single people should be working on their fellowship with God.

God has instructions for parents and children (see Eph. 6:1-4), as well as relatives (see I Tim. 5:8), which should trigger appropriate actions also (see Jm. 1:22).

Self Examination

Are you making enough progress in carrying out God's will in the area of Christian family to even attract "haters"?

On a scale of one to five, with five being high, how would you grade your carrying out your spousal or single duties?

What are you doing to develop and maintain a grade of five?

On a scale of one to five, with five being high, how would you grade your carrying out your other family duties (e.g., parent, child, relative)?

What are you doing to develop and maintain a grade of five?

Prayer

Great and awesome God, I praise You for being such an awesome God who has a marvelous plan for Your people.

I thank You for saving me and allowing me to be numbered among Your people. I thank You for allowing me to be among those who You have called to do great things.

I confess that I have not always done my best to discern and obey Your will for my life. I pray that You would forgive me for this and my many others sins, in the name of Jesus.

Please help me to work even harder at making progress in carrying out Your will with my Christian family duties. Help me with spousal, single, parent, child, or relative duties that You have called me to carry out.

Help me stay focused, even when "haters" come into my life. I thank You, in the name of Your Son and my Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

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Be Blessed,
Dr. Robert E. Baines, Jr.


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