God calls us to love Him with our whole heart, and love our neighbor as ourselves. This call extends to those who are can be the hardest to love, those who are closest to us. Karen Ehman has had to ask herself time and time again, why do I do that?

““Often when I look at my life or my behavior, the people I treat the worst are the people I love the most. I think partly it’s because they’re my family, they have to love me.”

“Susie, if I treated you harshly, if I got a little snippy with you, I might be afraid that you might not be my friend anymore. I better be nice to you. However, I can get snippy with my husband and he’s still going to be my husband tomorrow.”

We believe the lie that being family gives permission to behave badly. When she’s feeling irritable, Karen says she likes to treat her husband as she would any other brother in Christ.

“Right now he’s my husband who drives me nuts because he does things different than I do, and he thinks differently than I do.  He’s my husband, but he’s also my brother in Christ. How would I treat another brother in Christ? How would I speak to him if I were on a committee with someone in church? How would I speak to that person? I need to speak like that to my husband, even when I’m expressing my frustration.”

This same principle can be applied to any relational situation.

“You know your child spills grape juice on your cream colored carpet and you want to just unload. But if my friend’s child were over and did it, I would behave very differently. I would still be upset that my nice carpet has grape juice on it, but I would not speak to that child like I would speak to my own child.”

Karen Ehman has been described as profoundly practical, engagingly funny and downright real. Her passion is to provide women, wives and mothers with creative tools and doable ideas to help them both simplify life and glorify God. She the Director of the Proverbs 31 Ministries national speaking team and is a contributor to Focus on the Family’s magazine Thriving Family.

Key Scripture: Matthew 5:16

Featured Songs: Do Everything – Steven Curtis Chapman; Love, Take Me Over – Steven Curtis Chapman; Because You Say So – Emmanuel Live

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