Mercy in the Family

SDA JournalDevotional


Scripture: “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice” (Matthew 12:7, ESV)

Observation: The first part of this chapter of Matthew speaks of Jesus and His disciples walking through the grain fields on the Sabbath where they picked some of the grain to eat.  The Pharisees immediately began to criticize the disciples for doing something which was contrary to their views or traditions on how the Sabbath should be kept.  Jesus responds by pointing them to the time when Kind David entered the house of God and ate some of the showbread, which was not to be consumed.  Jesus then adds the words of our text today.

Application: In the family, with our spouse and children, we could become very strict with rules and customs.  While the children need a clear structure so they know how to conduct themselves at home and outside, and children, particularly small children, need consistency with the rules and boundaries, we also need to be somewhat flexible with them as they grow up and learn what is expected of every member of the family.  A very strict rule of law which does not allow for any  options, or freedom to grow and make mistakes may produce children who rebel and resent their parents and the way they were brought up.
     In marriage, as well, spouses need to be gracious and merciful with each other knowing that we’re all bound to make mistakes at some point or another.  Particularly early in the marriage, as couples learn to live together, there needs to be more mutual flexibility and mercy.

A Prayer You May Say: Father God, help us to remember Your mercy toward us, and may extend ours toward our spouse and children so that we may have a close relationship toward one another and with You.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



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