Love is not a fifty yard dash but it is a marathon. It is a long run in the right direction that brings incredibly great rewards if we stay the path. Do not grow weary. It is worth the struggle, the perseverance, the endurance, the pain and the growth that will occur in you.
Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. Galatians 6:9,10
We will not always have opportunity to do good to others. The word good means the highest form of love. When we love we are doing good to others. First, we are to love and do good to our spouses. Then we are to love and do good to our children. Next we are to love and do good to our extended family, friends, neighbors and those whom we work with or engage in business. This is the order of the requirements in responsibility that the Lord has for leaders.
An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. I Timothy 3:2-7
The Lord says that we will know others by their fruit. No one knows what another’s relationship with the Lord is like but if his relationship with the Lord is not right then it will show up in his marriage. No one really knows what a person’s marriage is like but the fruit of the marriage will be made known in the children. If the children are not being brought up right then there will be problems with those outside of the home. The Lord would not make these requirements in leadership if it was random how a marriage or children end up.
Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, But who can find a trustworthy man? Proverbs 20:6
A person’s relationships and family are the fruits of a trustworthy man. They are indications of a person’s relationship with the Lord. The most important relationship is a leader’s relationship with the Lord but no one knows what is done in secret but the Lord. The Lord tells us to look at the fruit.
Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. Matthew 7:15-20
If there are issues in your marriage, family or outside of your family then the temptation is to focus on the marriage partner, children or others but the need is to focus first on your relationship with the Lord. Are you being faithful? Are you seeking Him with all of your heart? Are you spending time with the Lord in His Word and prayer daily and especially in the morning? Or are you secretly feeding your flesh? Do you have bitter jealousy or selfish ambition in your heart? The good fruit or the corruption in our own relationship with the Lord, in our marriage and our family will be evident.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Galatians 6:7,8
Do not be deceived by the deceptiveness of sin and the flesh, God is not mocked. If you are feeding your flesh secretly it will be seen openly in the fruit in your relationships. If you are feeding your spirit then you will see life and experience life and peace in your life and in your relationships.
For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:6-8