real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

the “nurturing” commands

As I read through the one another passages, it strikes me that there are three categories in which we can place these commands and I think they perfectly demonstrate three aspects of a godly husband-wife relationship. The first group I will call the “nurturing” commands, those things husbands and wives do for each other that nurture the relationship, building it up and giving it strength:

stop passing judgment on one another (Romans 14:3)

accept one another (Romans 15:7)

serve one another (Galatians 5:13)

be kind and compassionate to one another (Ephesians 4:32)

submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21)

forgive one another (Colossians 3:13)

greet each other with a holy kiss of love (1 Peter 5:14)

live in harmony with one another (1Peter 3:8)

offer hospitality to one another ((1Peter 4:9)

have fellowship with one another (1John 1:7)

In the Romans 15:7 passage, the literal word for “accept” is “receive” which connotes a drawing to oneself, a bringing close, a close relationship.  Of course we assume that a husband and wife are close, but, as with anything else that is worthwhile, it is a goal that must be worked toward.  In other words, closeness in marriage does not just happen.  We become one flesh when we marry but achieving a oneness in marriage requires that we deliberately and purposefully work toward that end.

It is interesting how each of these one anothers requires obeying the other ones on the list.  If we stop passing judgment, we learn to accept each other.  In order to do that, we need to maintain a spirit of forgiveness and submission (setting aside our personal rights) in our homes, which means that we must demonstrate kindness and compassion by serving each other.  Then we will be able to live in harmony and offer hospitality to one another, which results in real fellowship. 

Let me give you an example.  Suppose your husband has forgotten your wedding anniversary.  (Hard to imagine I know.)  You are hurt and in your mind you conjure up all sorts of reasons why he might have done this, all of them personally offensive.  In your mind, you have tried him for this heinous crime and passed judgment on him.  You cannot accept his slight.  You do not forgive him and you demonstrate it by not being kind and not serving him or submitting to the things he desires.  The result is no harmony or fellowship.

On the other hand, suppose you greet this situation without passing judgment. You accept or welcome him home, greeting him with the “holy kiss of love,” you do everything you can to express kindness, compassion, and a servant’s heart, which really are the out workings of forgiveness, are they not? You set aside your personal right, that of having the anniversary remembered. The result is harmony and fellowship.  By obeying the “nurturing commands,” you have contributed to building the oneness in your marriage.  You have also created a spirit of openness for practicing the “iron sharpening iron commands.”

Copyright 2007



  Deanne wrote @

Oh, Karen this is so good! Thank you for convicting me on how I treat Manuel when he comes home every day!
Seriously, thank you for these thoughts…I mentioned to you awhile back on how the “one another” verses really helped me to see my children (and husband!) in a whole new light..I was going through my OLD journals the other day and found some notes that were the beginning of my journey into the “One Anothers”. Do you realize, that YOU began my journey?? It was a workshop entitled, “The Curse of the Amazon Barbie” that you gave at a Treasure’s of a Mom’s Heart retreat! I LOVED that message! Thank you !!
Love Deanne

  thatmom wrote @


Thanks for that inspiration today. Next week I will be talking about the one anothers and applying them to our children!

And then I will be writing about spiritual abuse and avoiding bad church choices. I would welcome your comments.

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