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The Law of Kindness

by Ashley Spies

“She openeth her mouth with wisdom;
and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”
(Proverbs 31:26)

The woman described in Proverbs chapter 31 is a wonderful example for all women.

In this verse, we learn that her words are full of wisdom and kindness. First let’s ask the question, “Where does wisdom come from?” We know it comes from God.

“For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.”
(Proverbs 2:6)

The word “law” is the Hebrew word “torah,” which refers to the first five books of the Old Testament (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). That put a whole new light on that verse for me. In Exodus there are chapters filled with miscellaneous laws about how the Israelites were supposed to treat one another. As I thought about it, I realized these books may not talk about kindness, but instead tell how to show kindness. Let’s look at a few examples.

“If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.”
(Exodus 22:1)

“And if a man borrow ought of his neighbor, and it be hurt, or die, the owner thereof being not with it, he shall surely make it good.”
(Exodus 22:14)

In the first example, we see that if a man steals another person’s animal, that man has to give the person he stole from four or five times what he stole, depending on the animal. That’s kindness…being compassionate and caring. The second example talks about if a man borrows something, and it gets hurt or dies while the borrower is not around, the borrower will have to make it good, make it right, make restitution.

I think all the laws that God made for His people to follow about personal conduct boil down to one word: love. One of the evidences of love is showing kindness to somebody. As John 14:15 states, “If ye love Me, keep My commandments.”

“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”
(Mark 12:30-31)

If we love God first with all of our heart, we will love our neighbor. And love fulfills the law. “Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10).

As a lady, either young or old, single or married, we can all fulfill the law by loving God with all of our being, and then loving our neighbor. This will flow forth from our lips in words of kindness and love.

Here are some practical ways you can speak with the law of kindness:

  1. If you are living at home with siblings, practice being kind to them. Practice showing compassion. It doesn’t have to be anything big. If a sibling receives a good grade or accomplishes something “big” or important, encourage them, even if it doesn’t seem that important to you.
  2. Memorize God’s Word. If you have God’s words hidden in your heart, wisdom, His law, and righteous words will be able to flow out of your heart, out of your mouth, and touch those around you.  “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good: and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh” (Luke 6:45).
  3. Write God’s words out on cards or paper, and put them around your house, workplace, car, or pocket. When you’re tempted to say or do something unkind, read the card and use God’s Word to battle temptation.
  4. Ask God to help you love Him first and foremost, and then love those around you.

“Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God.”
(Joshua 23:11)

May we purpose to speak words of kindness, as sisters and daughters!

-Ashley Spies

In what ways do you strive to speak kindly to your siblings? Leave a comment below!


If you’re interested in writing a guest post for KBR Ministries, click here.


Current Issue of KBR Magazine: Faithful Stewardship

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Serving in the Home

by Andrea Nymeyer

“Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
(Matthew 20:28)

One summer, my family and I were visiting with some friends.

During supper conversation, my sister and I chatted with the oldest daughter about our role as daughters living at home. Our friend said, “We are able to serve. That is so important.” Though it was a passing statement, I have not forgotten it.

As I watched her that day, I saw that service was not just something my friend spoke of. Rather, she exemplified a servant’s spirit. When a small child spilled his drink, she was the first to jump and clean it up; when it was time to clear the tables, she was the first to pick up a dish; when the sink began to fill with dirty dishes, she was the first to begin to wash. Over and over I watched as she saw and met the needs of everyone around her. “Truly,” I thought, “This girl has learned to serve!”

Several months later, while doing my personal devotions, my mind went back to that conversation with my friend.

I was reading in my Bible about Joseph in prison and saw an amazing thing. Genesis 40:4 says, “And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them.” Wait! Joseph was in charge! Why was he serving those over whom he had authority? This is a great insight into Joseph’s later greatness. God exalts those who have learned to serve others. Whether we are in charge of younger siblings, leading a Sunday school class, or supervising a kitchen cleaning crew, we must remember to be aware of others’ needs. A position of authority is not an occasion to exalt ourselves, but it is an opportunity to serve more people in a greater capacity. Rather than pushing our own way, we should prefer others and realize that someone else’s way of doing something may truly be better than ours (Philippians 2:3). Do not copy the mistake of King Rehoboam. He was counseled to serve his subjects, but because he refused to follow this wise counsel, he lost the very people he was to have led (1 Kings 12:7).

After discovering that Joseph served his charges, I thought of two of my favorite servants in the Bible…

Most of us probably think of Jesus as the ultimate servant, and rightly so. He served His followers and those who He was trying to reach. Jesus tirelessly fed, healed, and ministered to hundreds of people. Most of the people He served did not follow Him. They did not love Him. They came to Him to get what they could for themselves, and then they crucified Him. Jesus served them regardless. If we are ever to reach the world who is lost and dying in sin, we must be willing to serve people. We must serve those who are ungrateful and unlovely and will never return our love and service. We must remember that our goal is to lead people to Jesus, and that it will be worth it in heaven if just one comes to know Him because of our service. People will listen to someone who has helped them. In order to reach people for Christ, we must reflect His servant’s spirit.

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
(Matthew 25:40)

The story of Isaac and Rebekah is one of my favorite Bible stories. I love the fact that God so obviously orchestrated their marriage, and that He did it in such a beautiful manner. We must not miss the fact that, before Rebekah was led to her husband, she was serving her family. In fact, she would never have been found by Abraham’s servant had she not served him by watering his camels. She probably had to go to the well every day and I am sure the job became “mundane” to her, yet she was doing the mundane when God chose to bless her. Mundane jobs are just as important, if not more important, than the exciting jobs. Mundane jobs are the circumstances in which we truly learn to serve.

When a daughter sees something that needs to be done at home, she should be the first to help.

Pick up a dishcloth, wipe down a counter, fold the laundry, grab a Band-Aid, fetch supplies… Never fall prey to the thoughts that, “Someone else will do it,” or “It’s not my job.” That may be true. Someone else may pick up the slack, but why should they have to? God put each of us in our specific homes so that we can be a blessing to our families. Don’t become a leech when you should be a servant.

Serving is fulfilling. It is a joy to know that you have helped another person. It can be hard to become motivated, especially when the task is unpleasant, but after the work is accomplished, the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve been a blessing is worth the time and effort. Even if no one notices your service, remember that you serve for the Lord, and the most important thing is that He is pleased. No matter if you never receive human praise, the Lord can give fulfillment in work that is well done. Ultimately, He should get the glory no matter who notices or overlooks your service. Whether you’re in a position of authority reaching out to lost people, or simply living out your life at home, serve others in order to bring glory to the Lord. Your Savior will fill your life with joy and fulfillment as you follow His example.

-Andrea Nymeyer


If you’re interested in writing a guest post for KBR Ministries, click here.


Current Issue of KBR Magazine: Faithful Stewardship

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Loving Siblings When It’s Hard

by Sarah W.

“I don’t think it’s possible for me to have a good relationship with my siblings.”

Is this your reaction when you hear about sibling relationships?
It was mine for many years. As my younger siblings are adopted, they had behavioral problems that caused tension in our family. Yet God showed me, over time, that I couldn’t run away from the problems; in fact, He wanted me to persevere in loving my siblings. These relationships are special – so worth investing in and cultivating!

I’d like to share with you some tips I’ve learned along the way.

First, pray for your siblings (Ephesians 6:18). Your siblings have very deep needs. Prayer helps them, as well as your attitude toward them! I remember one day in particular when one sibling had been particularly troublesome. That evening during family devotions, when it was my turn to pray, I began to pray for each of my siblings by name. As I was doing this, this particular sibling started crying! He became genuinely sorry for the problems he’d caused that day. God is so faithful to work through prayer.

“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,
and watching thereunto with all perseverance
and supplication for all saints.”
(Ephesians 6:18)

Pray for your siblings daily during your quiet time, or when you wake up in the night, or when they are having a difficult time. Colossians 1:9-12 and Ephesians 3:14-21 are passages you can pray for them.

Evaluate yourself. Do you have right relationships with God and with your parents? Are you walking humbly with the Lord, confessing your own sins (1 John 1:9)? Are you honoring your parents? Are you following Biblical commands in relating to your siblings (Ephesians 4:31)? Our siblings watch our lives, and they sense whether we are genuine or hypocritical about our walk with the Lord.

Break down walls. Is there something that you can do to remove something that is hindering your fellowship with a sibling? An unconfessed sin, a misunderstanding, a past hurt? Be willing to open the conversation with them and discuss these things, repent if needed, and express your desire to rebuild the relationship. It can be painful, but communication is so important.

Have compassion on your siblings. Learn to be sensitive to what your siblings are feeling or going through, and listen to them. My attitude towards my younger adopted sister, in particular, changed when I stopped to think about what she had gone through in the past. She experienced more pain and instability in her first three years (before coming home) than I have ever known. It took me years to realize this. Jesus Christ had incredible compassion on people during His earthly ministry, and we are His hands and feet on earth now for our siblings!

“Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me.”
(Matthew 25:45)

Persevere. There will be days when you feel overwhelmed and don’t want to keep loving, keep investing, or keep trying…but don’t give up. Seek God’s strength to press on, asking for His love to share with your siblings.  There was a point when I wanted to give up and I felt like my siblings would never change, but God has worked in our relationships and they have changed so much. I am watching God work in their hearts and it’s really exciting (Galatians 6:9)!

“And let us not be weary in well doing:
for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
(Galatians 6:9)

Most importantly: be faithful to God.

The Lord knows you and your needs; He knows your siblings, and He has a reason for putting you together! He is using these relationships to sanctify you and give you opportunities to grow in Christ-like character – so embrace them and trust God to bring forth amazing, wonderfully impossible results – as you obey Him! It’s not always easy, but God’s grace is sufficient!

“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”
(Matthew 19:26)

We would like to hear your ideas for how to work through difficulties in sibling relationships. How has God answered prayer as you have prayed and persevered? Share in a comment below!

-Sarah W.

P.S. Here are more articles on sibling relationships:

Let’s Encourage Our Siblings! (April)

Showing Our Siblings Love (April Challenge)

Ways to Encourage Our Siblings (April Challenge)

 


If you’re interested in writing a guest post for KBR Ministries, click here.


Current Issue of KBR Magazine: Cultivating a Heart at Home

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How to Cultivate Humility

by Peyton H.

“Pride goeth before destruction,
and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
(Proverbs 16:18)

Have you ever had your pride taken down a notch?

I remember one specific time when my pride caused me to fall—literally. I was racing my brother to jump over some grass in our little downtown area. As I ran and jumped, I skidded across the sidewalk and skinned my knee and my hands. Laying there in the ground with skinned hands and knees, my pride was broken. What seemed a simple feat turned into a situation where I was humbled—before my brothers and before those people walking and driving by!

After this little accident, I still had lots to learn about humility…

Recently, I was thinking about humility and how it affects my own life. I decided to search the Scriptures for verses to meditate on and to pray, and I found many illustrations and verses about humility. Proverbs has a lot to say about this:

“The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom;
and before honour is humility.”
(Proverbs 15:33)

“By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches,
and honour, and life.”
(Proverbs 22:4)

“A man’s pride shall bring him low:
but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.”
(Proverbs 29:23)

Pride will lead us to destruction. God values a humble heart—one who fears Him and exalts Him. Pride creeps in our hearts in so many ways. In my own life, there are times when I look at someone or hear about someone, and I think prideful thoughts. I think that I am better than they are because I dress more modestly, or because I read my Bible every day and they don’t. These are proud, self-righteous thoughts and I have to remind myself that we are all fallen, sinful people (Romans 3:10). Not one of us will make it to heaven without Jesus Christ.

“For the wages of sin is death;
but the gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
(Romans 6:23)

When we are humble, we will realize our need for Christ and His strength to do what is right each day. It brings us to our knees before the cross.

So how can I cultivate humility in my own life?

Start with Jesus. Is Jesus your Lord and Savior? Is He in control of your life? In order to be humble, you have to start by humbling yourself before your Maker and trusting in Him for salvation.

“As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me.” (Psalm 55:16)

Ask the Lord to make you humble. He delights in answering the prayer of a humble heart! He may answer that prayer in a humbling way, so be prepared.

Start working on humility in your own home. Be humble with your siblings. Let them go first or let them receive acclamation from your parents. Receive rebukes and corrections humbly from others, knowing that they are for your growth and benefit.

Serve others. Do special things for others; take note of their interests and likes, and put their best interests before your own. Take time to invest in your siblings and make dinner for your mother; give of your time and meet needs around you (Matthew 25:45).

Do the lowly and unseen tasks. Serve the Lord even when no one else sees it or recognizes your sacrifice (Colossians 3:24). Taking out the trash…cleaning the floor…changing a diaper… What would it be for you?

God promises great blessings and rewards to those who are humble.

How do you strive to cultivate a heart of humility? Why do you believe humility is so important to the Lord? As a daughter, how do you serve with humility? Please share with us below!

As daughters of the King, may we realize the tremendous beauty and value of having a humble heart: one that does not seek approval or attention from others, but that lives for the pleasure of Jesus Christ alone. He promises that when we humble ourselves, He will exalt us in due time (I Peter 5:6) and give honor and life (Proverbs 22:4)!

Peyton (19) of Mississippi can be found blogging at sistersonourknees.com.


If you’re interested in writing a guest post for KBR Ministries, click here.


Current Issue of KBR Magazine: Cultivating a Heart at Home

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How to Prepare for Your Future Home

by Paige B.

The thought of having our very own home, with our very own husband and children one day, gives us a tingle of excitement.

Some of us may be very optimistic type girls, and we picture this future home as being a beautiful, peaceful haven with darling perfect little children and a husband who adores us and tells us so every day!

Having our own joy-filled Christian home one day is a beautiful, God-given desire. However, we must be using the years God has given us right now to prepare ourselves to be godly wives and mothers. Many times I’ll watch my Mom perform a certain task, work through a sibling disagreement, or proficiently manage many things at one time; and I think, “Wow, I have so much to learn!” When I stop and think about the responsibilities that come with having a home to manage, a husband to passionately love, respect, and obey, and children to answer to God for; I ask God to help me use these years responsibly and make me fit for such a great task!

How do we prepare for our future homes? How can we begin to bless our future family now?

First of all, begin with your relationship with Jesus.

If you’re going to be prepared for the future, you must start with the One who holds the future. Where is your relationship with God? Are you in full communion with Him? Do you know His love for you? Is your heart totally given to Jesus? Are you only trusting in His love and grace for you? We can’t be what we need to be in our own power—we’d just end up miserable failures. We can’t prepare ourselves to be future wives and mothers when we aren’t truly walking with Jesus. We can’t (even with our wonderful husbands) train the next generation to love and serve God—without knowing and loving Him ourselves!

I’ve watched my parents work through so many issues on their knees. My siblings and I know that we definitely wouldn’t be what we are today if Mom and Dad hadn’t prayed and sought God with many tears for victory. It has been God’s grace through their prayers that changed our hearts. My mother’s prayers have sprung from her strong relationship with Jesus.

Do you really love God and have a heart totally given to Him? Is He working through you to conquer the things you struggle with each day, so you don’t carry them over into your future marriage and family? (If you struggle with character issues now, they will only be magnified in marriage!)

I would challenge you to delve into 1 John and truly see the deep, unfailing love that God has for you. Take time to pour out your heart to the Father who loves YOU so much He sent His only Son to die for YOU! He is your Good Shepherd—every pasture He leads you through is for your best. When you truly see the love of God for you, your heart will just naturally respond in deep love for Him. “We love Him, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Make it important to always spend daily time with Jesus—no matter how many “good things” we may be doing, it doesn’t matter if we aren’t growing in God’s love and our relationship with Him.

Another way to prepare for your future home and family is to embrace where God has you.

Wherever you currently are, whether serving your family, ministering to grandparents, ministry with others, or whatever it may be, thank God for where He has you right now! It’s the best way to prepare, because it’s right where God wants you and can use you best.

Contentment is vital! Too often we think that “preparing for the future” is more important than serving Jesus right now. What if you may not be able to take classes at your local college because your mom needs your help teaching and training your younger siblings? Embrace and serve those little siblings—God knows they’re preparing you more than anything else can right now. You may not be able to sew all the little girl dresses and homemade things to put in your hopechest, because you have elderly grandparents to take care of and minister to. Be thankful, embrace where God has placed you, love those needy elderly grandparents, and serve them with cheerfulness! When our hearts are right, God will take care of the rest.

Finally, use your time wisely, dear girls!

The days are short and we must redeem the days God gives us. With the spare hours and minutes that God gives you each day, use them to prepare for your future family and home in the following ways:

  • During your time with the Lord every day, take a few minutes to pray for your future husband and children—our heavenly Father isn’t one of time and space; He remembers our prayers far after we humans have forgotten. Read Psalm 139!
  • Take the time to learn first aid and basic emergency response skills; these could save your child’s life or some other child’s life someday.
  • Read challenging books and learn new skills that could be of use in the future. Strive to always be learning and growing and progressing spiritually, physically, and mentally.
  • Prepare yourself for the physical rigours of motherhood by girding your body with strength (Proverbs 31:17)—through exercise and nutrition. Wisely steward the temple God has given you so you are equipped to serve Him to the fullest!
  • Enlist your family and friend’s help at birthdays, Christmas, or other holidays in helping you build your hopechest with useful things for your future home. You can also save special things that have been part of your life and girlhood, for your future daughters!
  • Learn from your mother. God gave us amazing moms who are just waiting to pass on a wealth of knowledge if we are just willing to listen and learn. Your mom will love teaching and showing you all the shortcuts and special ways she has discovered to run a home more efficiently. Don’t shrug it off—“Mother’s way” is often the best way.

These are just a few ways to begin preparing for the future and bless your future family. Use the days God has given you—these years pass by so fast—and see every circumstance you face today as God’s tool to perfect you into what He wants you to be!

Sisters, I encourage you to hold your dreams, preparations, and hopes for your future home in an open hand before God.

Be willing to let Him do with them what He will—He may bless and grow them for His glory or He may replace them with something far better. Adore and lift Him up as you serve Him right where He has you. As He leads you, use your time wisely to prepare for your future. Live for eternity!

Paige (21) is a joyful daughter of our loving heavenly Father. Her greatest passion in life is to bring glory to her King and be a channel of his love to the hearts of others. She teaches piano and violin and spends most of her time serving her family in all the little day-to-day duties of life. In her spare time, she’s either playing volleyball with her siblings, sewing, blogging, or writing about things God has laid on her heart. Her deepest desire is that you too may know the unfailing love God has for you as you journey heavenward.


If you’re interested in writing a guest post for KBR Ministries, click here.


Read the New Issue of KBR Magazine: Cultivating a Heart at Home!

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