“Just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.” 2 Corinthians 1:7
After learning that camping was a common pastime among happy families, Gary Smalley and his wife, Norma, decided to take their own brood into the wild. On a beautiful Kentucky night, the Smalleys gathered around a campfire, sang songs, and roasted hot dogs. By nine o’clock all were pleasantly tired and tucked into their camper beds. Gary thought, I can really see why this draws families together.
Then it struck. Thunder rolled and lightning flashed all around. Rain and wind assaulted the outside, then the inside, of the Smalley camper. The sudden storm turned what had been a relaxing evening into a night of fright.
Did this harrowing turn of events cause Gary and Norma to abandon the outdoors forever? Not at all—they became avid campers. The Smalleys discovered that sharing experiences, both fun and frightful, bonded them in ways they couldn’t have imagined.
Our encouragement to couples is to share each others’ interests and activities. Common endeavors will deepen your relationship and provide priceless family memories—even when storms strike.
JUST BETWEEN US…
How does sharing recreation and other interests build companionship?
(husband) Which of my favorite activities do you enjoy?
(wife) Do you appreciate having me join you in your activities? Which ones, and why?
What new shared activities could bring us closer together?
Lord, thank You for tonight’s encouragement to be friends and companions in many ways. Show us new ways to get the most out of life—together! Amen.
These days should be remembered and observed in every generation by every family. Esther 9:28
In today’s hurry-up society, it’s easy for frantic husbands and wives, as well as their harried children, to feel isolated and lonely. They begin to feel more like a busy cluster of people simply living together in a house than a living, breathing family with a linked character and heritage.
One way to avoid this disconnection is to establish traditions that encourage closeness and fellowship. For instance, for many years the Dobson family has enjoyed several traditions during the holidays that center around food. Each year during Thanksgiving and Christmas, the women prepare marvelous turkey dinners with all the trimmings. Another favorite at these times is a fruit dish called ambrosia, containing sectioned oranges and grapes. The family peels the grapes the night before the big day. We look forward to these gatherings not just for the food, but for the laughter and warm family interaction that occurs when we come together.
Even more beneficial are traditions that reinforce God’s love for His children, such as attending church as a family, reading Scripture together, and singing songs of praise. They bring a sense of identity and belonging to marriages and families, providing a wonderful reminder that we are all brothers and sisters in the family of God.
BEFORE YOU SAY GOOD NIGHT…
What were your favorite family traditions as a child?
What new traditions could you implement to benefit your family?
Dear God, we praise You as the refuge and strength of our marriage and family. May the traditions that we establish bring glory and honor to Your name even as they bring each of us closer together in love. Amen.
Heavenly Father, we pray for your help, anointing, and spiritual gifting to understand scripture, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
John 13:1- 17, the upper room discourse, Part 1.
V V 1-2, 1 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus
Jesus ended His public ministry. From chaptersv14-16, He ministered privately to His disciples. John 13 is the equivalent of the last supper of the synoptic gospels. In John 13, Jesus washed the disciple’s feet during this meal on Maundy Thursday.
VV 3-5, Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
Jesus knew that He will be returning to the Father. He washed His disciple’s feet to show how much He love them. In first-century Israel, a servant washed the guest’s and the master’s feet before a meal. Jesus took on a servant’s role. He removed His outer garment, wrapped a towel on His waist, washed His disciple’s feet, and wiped them dry.
VV 6-11, 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet. ”Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” 9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
When Jesus came to wash Peter’s feet, he protested, saying, do not wash my feet but my whole body. Jesus replied that only his feet required to be washed. Christians are justified, but feet becomes dirty through walking in the world. Christians “wash their feet” by applying 1 John 1:9, “‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
VV 12-14, 12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.
Christ commands His disciples, and us, to minister and love people, especially Christians. Galatians 6: 9-10, ‘’Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have the opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.’’
VV 15-17, 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
Washing other people’s feet is an example of servanthood. A servant cannot be greater than his master. A messenger cannot be greater than the message. You will be blessed if you minister and serve other people by teaching, praying, witnessing, encouraging, loving, comforting, sharing, and so on.