Living Hope

1 Peter 1:3 (NRSV) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”

There are many things in this world that will kill your hope. The evening news alone is enough to kill anyone’s hope about their neighborhood, fellow men and women and even future. As a new wife (married a little over a year) and mother, I’ve also discovered that there are many ways that you can kill the hope inside of your household. You can kill the hope in your husband of finding a new and better job, confidently leading the family, and you can even kill his hope of being in a solid marriage. The Holy Spirit also opened my eyes to see that you can kill the hope in your child(ren). You can kill their hope of ever becoming who they desire to be, having a secure, solid family, and you can kill their hope of their future. The primary way that you can kill this hope is by the words that you say. If you never affirm your husband and child(ren) or focus on what they do wrong 99% of the time, you can slowly, but surely kill their hope. It also doesn’t matter what you do positively 1% of the time. Your family will focus on the 99%. I learned this lesson firsthand through the conviction of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit showed me that I was on the wrong path in the beginning of my marriage because I didn’t know how to control the things that I said to my husband. It wasn’t until the Lord opened my heart and eyes to see how fragile my husband’s heart is that I realized the great error of my ways. The Lord showed me that if I didn’t change and change soon, I would slowly kill his hope and ultimately my marriage. Unfortunately, many of us have to learn this lesson the hard way. I’m thankful that the Lord loves me so much that he chastened me quickly, and because of His grace, I have the mind to change. However, think about the many other families where the husbands and wives don’t harken unto the voice of the Holy Spirit? It is no wonder why so many marriages fail.

The Power of the Tongue

James 3:6 (NRSV), “And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell.”

Oftentimes when you hear the scriptures about the power of the tongue, you hear it in the context of naming and claiming those things that a person wants. However, when put in their proper context, you see that the author was trying to teach the reader about the ability of one to build up or tear down. He wanted the readers to see the error of praising God with their lips on one hand and destroying the life of God’s child on another. Sadly, this is where many of us fail. Tell me if you experience this in your church. The people who praise the loudest, shout the loudest and dance the hardest are oftentimes the meanest people you’ll ever encounter! I have experienced this. However, the book of James says that if we cannot control our tongue, then our religion is meaningless. Remember, it’s not about what we say. It’s about what we do. If our lives do not reflect Christ, how can we be effective witnesses and godly wives and mothers?

Dead Hope?

The congregants of a local church where I live oftentimes wear T-shirts that say, “Got Hope?” I think the question shouldn’t ask if you have hope, but if your hope is still alive! Think about it. Someone may have hope, but that hope may be dead or inactive. That hope may not cause the person to do or change anything. A living hope is active. It rejuvenates you. It refreshes you. It evolves. It changes. It endures. It’s like an organism living on the inside of you that constantly reminds you of what God can and will do. If this hope is living, then it has to be nurtured. It has to be cared for. It has to be protected.

For example, I recently killed another houseplant (that’s another story). What happened was the plant was not supposed to be in direct sunlight and I had it smack in the main window of our living room. The sun beat down on the plant day after day and it eventually died. I didn’t properly care for it. I didn’t nurture and protect the plant. That’s the same with our hope and the hope in our families. We can beat down the hope in our families day after day by the words we say and by our actions. Ultimately, the hope in our families will die. Hope must be protected.

Seasoning Your Words

Colossians 4:6 (NRSV) says, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone.” One of the ways that we can nurture and protect the hope in our families is by watching what we say! We have to season our conversations with salt. The salt is the flavor of the Word of God. Don’t merely talk positively to your husband and child(ren). Remind them of what God says about them. Remind them of their future in Christ. Keep reinforcing godly principles and keep reminding them of the hope that we have in Christ Jesus. No matter what is going on in the world or in our lives, let’s remind our families of what Jesus says.

Tell me some of the ways that you keep the hope alive in your household.

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