I remember it clear as day. After spending some time with my sister, the Lord brought to my attention something that flew under the radar for a while.
I didn’t praise my sister enough. Immediately God put everything in perspective in terms of relationships and marriage. I had a bad habit of not showing appreciation for my sister by honoring her.
Father God challenged me by asking about the condition of my heart. I realized I carried unaddressed resentment and judgment toward her — feelings that didn’t need to be there. I was being prideful and manipulative. Her quirks awakened something I’d already been carrying. Offense.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is not good for any relationship.
God showed me some sense of competitiveness I had with her. That also didn’t need to be there. He showed me my selfishness and how my thoughts were not toward helping and serving her. He convicted me about how I was acting out of an orphan spirit and not acting like a big sister who looks out for the well-being of her sibling.
I thank God for that revelation and His correction. because God wants me to be holy as He is holy. He wants to use me to help my family draw closer to Him, But that’s a challenge when my flesh is in the way. His desire is to correct me because He disciplines who He loves. I had to repent and ask the Father to keep me cognizant of how I interact with my sister and family.
Here are some ways you can do a heart check in different areas of your life.
In marriage, we not only support and serve our spouses, we are also to honor them. Those are not just nice-sounding words we put in marriage vows. To honor your spouse is to respect them, not undermine them or be short with them. Honoring the one you are dating (and hopefully marry) includes being humble enough to praise them because you’re not in competition with them. You cast down resentful thoughts as you serve them, trusting God that He will supply your needs for you and their needs for them. He honors you when you are serving the other person, regardless of what you receive in return. And you do this most naturally because of God’s love in you.
How can I become a wife of noble character (Proverbs 31:11) if I’m not honoring in my other relationships today? God had to help me check my heart in this season of preparation so that my mindset would shift to one of honor and not competition. To show respect and love instead of being selfish and prideful. To focus on serving without the expectation of getting something in return.
The Lord also showed me that praising my sister is an encouragement to her as well. Sometimes we don’t know everything that the people in our lives face. We can’t know what goes through their minds. They most likely overthink, stress and doubt and need us to be supportive. For me to heap my personal issues on family or mistreat my sister could do harm to their self-esteem and ruin the opportunity to be a witness to them.
We can’t afford to let the enemy attack or let our personal bondage bring harm to the ones we love. Remember that the devil does not want to see families healed and thriving, any more than to see marriages that glorify God.
In your own season of preparation for marriage, ask the Father to show you your heart and actions toward your family. Let God use this time to reveal and refine.
How can you implement loving actions that benefit all your relationships and bring glory to God?