The Great Commandment

Regula Aurea = The Great Commandment

Regula Aurea = The Golden Rule in Latin

regyə lə aüreâ 

PART FIVE OF SIX

The Great Commandment has been mentioned several times this week, “And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself”” (Luke 10:27). I quoted Luke, but the Great Commandment is given in all four gospels, as well as in the Old Testament. It is hard to talk about the Golden Rule and being a neighbor without the Great Commandment.

I came to a realization not long ago I want to share. When we think of neighbor, we think of “others.” Do unto “others” as you would have them do unto you. Others seems like, well “others,” an outsider out in the world. Maybe a next door neighbor, someone that lives down the street, a person we encounter at the supermarket, or even a complete stranger. But what I realized is my closest neighbors are my wife and children. Aren’t the people closest to us the ones we treat the worst many times? If we are being honest, we would not speak to a stranger on the street the way we do the ones we love the very most. The Great Commandment starts in my home. If I am not loving those closest to me properly, unselfishly, how am I to carry that love out into the world?

Ephesians 6:4 says, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Being a parent is hard work. There are many days I do not look like Jesus as a father, I admit. And I have apologized to my children on those days. This verse has helped me greatly as a parent. We do need to discipline our children and it is biblical to do so, but we need to do so in ways that encourage them, build them up, and disciple them in the ways of the Lord. Our children are our most important disciples. And while I am Paul to my children in a Paul/Timothy (teacher/apprentice) relationship of discipleship, my wife is Paul many times to me, although she might not know it.

My wife knows me better than anyone. I am a flawed human being and she knows all of my shortcomings inside and out. But my sweet wife loves me unconditionally. We have never talked about the subject I am writing about, but I know she gets it by her actions. She treats me with grace, love, kindness, and is quick to forgive me when I need forgiveness. She builds me up when I need it the most and supports me like no one else can.

Listen, we are all going to have bad days. And many times we take the circumstances of our jobs and other things out on those in our household. We must try our hardest not to do so. Those are the times my wife and kids need to see me model Jesus the most. Following Christ is hard many days; He told us it would be. But how we handle adversity says a lot about our relationship with Jesus. Jesus was vulnerable and we must be as well. And it all starts in our home.

Just for today, make a conscious effort to follow the Great Commandment in your home.

Tune in tomorrow for Part Six……

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