Our Family's Verse

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Roughly two years ago, I commissioned a personalized sign from an etsy seller with a verse that my husband and I chose as our family's verse. We spent time discussing our favorite verses and what we wanted to pass down to our children. We chose Colossians 3:12-14; 17.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. … Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
— Colossians 3:12-14, 17 (NIV, 1984)

Right now, this verse continually guides me and redirects me in my parenting skills. I hope one day it will help my children with their relationships in life, too.

It is good to remember to have compassion for my children as they learn new things or hard lessons.

It is important that I treat my children with kindness, as well as speak to them kindly.

Humility is something that is multifaceted. On one hand, it calls me to do my best to put their needs first - which isn’t always easy. And on the other hand, it reminds me not to present myself as perfect to them. I do not want to be the standard they reach for. I want them to reach for God and his standards.

Gentleness and patience. Well, those really go hand-in-hand. It is a good reminder for me to be patient and speak and act with gentleness.

Then comes the heavy hitter: forgiveness. Not just any forgiveness. We are instructed to forgive each other just like God has, which means sacrificially. With babies, there isn't much to forgive. But as my oldest begins testing the boundaries of right and wrong, I must learn to forgive her when she hurts her sister or is purposefully mean. However, the hardest person for me to forgive is myself. I am not a perfect mom. I definitely make mistakes. Sometimes I find myself yelling and it shocks me. I always thought I was a patient person. Then I had children. I'm learning that I need to forgive myself just as much as I need to forgive others.

These verses also have an excellent reminder that love is what connects everything together. It is hard to act compassionately, kindly, patiently, humbly, and be forgiving if love is not what motivates me to these acts. God teaches me to love those around me in all ways. God is love.

When I keep in perspective that everything I say and do is to the glory of Jesus, and to do it all with thanks to God, my attitude changes about the seemingly mundane or difficult tasks that are part of daily life. Gratitude can make the gloomiest of days brighter.

Most of all, I hope to see my children learn these traits and value them. I don't know that we ever master these traits. But I hope this verse on our wall is a continual reminder to strive for these things.

Do you have a family verse? I'd love to know yours and why you selected it. Please leave it in the comments!