Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.
You’d think that a devotional on this verse would have a lot to do with the thoughts in my head and words of my mouth, and that’s how I’ve always taken this passage. But, this week it became a whole new thing for me as I looked up the word “Redeemer”. Often I forget how many different Hebrew words can translate into English as the same thing. In this case, the author of the Psalm (David) uses the word that means kinsman-redeemer. A very specific term to denote someone who would essentially save a family line by marrying a close relative’s widow. In essence, this verse is extolling the Lord’s saving grace for families. His protection and sacrifice for families in need.
Which got me thinking about how much God LOVES family. I mean, they are the only relationships we don’t have a choice about. We’re just born with them. Families are complicated and messy, even the great ones (which I believe I’m blessed to have). They can be the source of great joy and the cause of tremendous pain. Often our family members are without question the most difficult relationships in our lives. However, in God’s infinite wisdom, He stuck me with the family I have.
I don’t think the Lord does things by accident. Regardless of how insane my family members drive me sometimes, there’s a purpose for their presence in my life. And a reason I’m in theirs. And if God loves families, He wants there to be healthy, well-balanced relationships there. He hasn’t called me to be abused or allow myself to be a doormat. He hasn’t called me to be manipulated or controlled. God doesn’t behave like that towards me, so why do I think He would insist on letting anyone else (even those I love most) treat me that way?
1 John is pretty black and white on this issue. You say you love God? Then you will most certainly love your brother/sister (family). But love doesn’t always mean hugs and feel-good surface conversation. Love is tender, but also practical and stern. Love wants what is best, even when it is hard. Placating and always giving in is not love. Nor is demanding that from others. It’s a complicated thing, I know. It is an enormous struggle to walk the fine line of loving without becoming codependent. I’m so thankful I have the Lord to steer me thru the waters of family dynamic. Otherwise, I’d be up a creek without a paddle.
Lord, please give me wisdom and clarity. Overwhelm my heart with your love for my family. Help me see them with your eyes. Show your love. Not my own shallow attempts at it.