1 Thessalonians 5:11 says this:
Therefore, encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
Romans 12:9-11 says this:
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love…
Hebrews 10:24 says this:
…let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds…
In our home, mama says this phrase regularly:
Be devoted to one another in brotherly (AND sisterly) love.
In a home filled with 4 little girls, there is often much laughter. But, there is also a great deal of back-biting and crying.
This phrase helps us ALL remember to value our love for each other above our own needs.
Here are 3 ways we practically apply this principle:
9 times out of 10 a good long hug turns into a dancing, giggling match. If they are not ready to hug each other, mom is always available for a bit of snuggle time.
–> Active Listening:
My oldest has a strong urge to protect her plans and assets. I often need to remind her to put her desires aside to actively listen to the needs and requests of her sisters. When she forgets (or chooses not) to do this, her solutions are always “me” centered. When she releases her grip of control to put the needs of other’s above her own, it becomes easier to find “we” centered solutions.
My 2-year-old, like many her age, strongly resists boundaries. She does not like to accept the final say. This turns into bargaining and ignoring. For her, it is important to know I empathize. We work together to find solutions she can live with.
We have a mason jar with a pad of paper sitting next to it. From time to time, I ask each girl to write a note of encouragement. We choose one to read at dinner when we remember (which is NOT most days, to be honest!).
What do you do in your family to encourage one another?
If this is an area where you struggle, how can you improve?
Share your thoughts in the comments below OR in the group.