Monday, August 15, 2011

Marriage Memo: Who Is Your Closest Neighbor?

From: "FamilyLife" <>
Date: Mon, 15 Aug 2011 07:03:09 -0700
To: Jerry Dugan<>
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Subject: Marriage Memo: Who Is Your Closest Neighbor?

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Marriage Memo from FamilyLife
Marriage Memo from FamilyLife

August 15, 2011

Who Is Your Closest Neighbor?

by Dave Boehi

One of the most interesting passages of Scripture to me is Matthew 22:35-40, where Jesus was asked, "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?"  Jesus answered that the two foundational commandments in the Bible are, 1) "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind"; and 2) "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

That's what the Bible really is about, isn't it?  It tells us about how to relate to God and how to relate to other people.  You could read through any section of Scripture and ask yourself two questions:

  • "What does this passage tell me about my need to love God with all my heart and soul and mind?"
  • "What does this tell me about loving my neighbor?" 

And now let me ask you:  Who is your closest neighbor?

If you are married, your closest neighbor is your spouse.

Do you see where I'm going with this?  If one of the primary themes of the Bible is relating to your neighbor, and your closest neighbor is your spouse, then the Scriptures have a lot more to say about marriage than many people realize. 

In the same way, the Bible has a lot more to say about family than many of us realize.  After all, your next closest neighbors are probably your children, your parents, and other extended family members.

So when I read in Matthew 6:14-15 about my need forgive others, I need to apply that to my marriage and family.

When Colossians 3:8 tells me to put aside "anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth," I need to examine myself and ask how I talk to my wife and children. 

As you read through the Scriptures over the next few weeks, look for ways to apply biblical truths to your relationships at home.  After all, if your faith doesn't work in the context of your family relationships, where will it work?  

This article originally appeared in Marriage Memo on April 16, 2007.

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