Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Loving Your Neighbor: Practical Ways to Help!

I was recently talking to a medical doctor in Branson about why he and his wife have such a heart to help couples. He said something that stuck with me: “When my wife and I would see couples that were struggling, we finally realized that God has called US to help them—not to think it is ‘someone else’s job’ to help them.” That statement got me thinking about Jesus and His words to us about “loving God and loving your neighbor” in Matthew 22. Jesus said those two things were the greatest commandments in the law. So that lead me to a question for myself AND maybe for you.  

QUESTION: So how are you doing on “loving your neighbor”? I must admit that loving my neighbor is not one of my strengths. But God reminded me that we can do “little things” each day that are “big things” to others. I believe one of Satan’s greatest tools is discouragement—but we can be ENCOURAGERS today with God’s help. Below are some suggested ways you can love your neighbor—and not just the “family next door” but anyone who God brings across your path today!

HELP A MILITARY COUPLE: Shawn and I have previously shared the devastation that is happening in military marriages and families in our country. Divorce and suicide rates have skyrocketed. FamilyLife has been partnering with the Military Ministry of Campus Crusade to provide help and support. One of the ways we are doing this is through the use of the Art of Marriage specifically for military couples. Check out the link below to find ways you can help!

HELP A BLENDED FAMILY: I just had the privilege of having a meal with two blended families that live in the Branson, Missouri area. Both of them shared their real-life challenges—which are far more “complex” than the “normal family unit”. That is why we were so excited when Ron Deal joined our FamilyLife staff last year. He has done incredible work with blended families over the past 20 years. Send the link below to a husband or wife of a blended family you know. Pray for them consistently that they would “beat the odds” of re-divorce and further brokenness.

ENCOURAGE A MOM: Here’s my thought on Moms: “possibly the hardest yet most important role in a woman’s life—yet so unappreciated or under-appreciated by many”. Moms need encouragement. I know Shawn does as do many other Moms she interacts with. So what can you do to help? Send her the link below to our MomLifeToday website. There are tons of articles and blog posts and other resources to help!

ENCOURAGE YOUR PASTOR: I get the privilege of talking to pastors on a regular basis in my work with FamilyLife. One of the statistics I love to share is that 1,500 pastors a month are leaving the church across this nation. 1,500 a month! Pastors need encouragement. Too often I have been “quick to criticize” rather than “quick to encourage”. Find a way TODAY to encourage your pastor—”just because” you love and appreciate them. See link below written by a pastor—tips to encourage your pastor.

HELP A SINGLE PARENT: God designed a mother AND a father to raise their children. But for many reasons, there are thousands of men and women in our country who are raising their kids alone. And they need encouragement that God is with them and that there are resources to help them. The link below is for a “faith-based” website designed to help single parents. Check it out or find a source you know to help—and then give that info to a single Mom or Dad you know!

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