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Jesus Washing Peter’s Feet
Ford Madox Brown, c. 1852–6

Lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3

St. Paul wrote these words to the young church in Ephesus, imploring them to have unity with their Christian sisters and brothers. These words equally apply to family life where the daily grind can lead to impatience and short fuses. To live out these words requires a humble heart. It requires that we give up our right for justice when we have been maligned and ill-treated. It requires humility to respond to an afront with kindness. It requires humility to choose to love even when that love is not returned. It requires humility to serve your spouse, seeking always to be a blessing to them even when they do not desire it,. It requires humility to always choose the path that builds up and does not tear down. It requires humility to be a peacemaker in this most sacred covenant of marriage.

Love one another with mutual affection; outdoing one another in showing honor. Romans 12:10

Competition in marriage is deadly. If you always have to win, that means your spouse is a loser. Use your competitiveness to build up your marriage by outdoing each other in showing honor, affection, love, kindness, mercy and forgiveness. Turn your competitive nature into good and you will reap great rewards in your marriage! Scripture tell us “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (Jas 4:6). If you want God on your side, be humble.

St. Paul emphasizes how we are to treat each other…

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience, forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:12-14

It takes humility and God’s grace to live like this ESPECIALLY in our marriages and families. We need to take an honest look at ourselves and our actions. St. Paul in his letter to the Romans says a person should not “think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment” (Rom 12:3). Ask yourself, “Am I always loving, compassionate, kind, patient, forgiving and merciful?” If not, first go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation to seek forgiveness for these faults. Ask for forgiveness from family members that you have offended. Ask God to give you the grace to be the spouse and parent He has called you to be. It takes humility to admit that we do not have it all together.

He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. Psalm 25:9

Pray this simple prayer: “Lord, I seek to serve my spouse and family. Give me a heart that always puts the needs of my family before my own.” It takes humility to give up one’s own needs and desires for the good of another. But this is the definition of love. Jesus demonstrated this self-giving love by dying on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins.

Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Philippians 2:3

Pride is the destroyer of relationships. It is only in humble service of one another that relationships flourish. Find little ways that you can be a blessing to your spouse and family through meeting some of their daily needs. Humbly serve as you become more Christ-like in your thoughts and actions. It will be a game-changer!

May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. Jude 2