Family Life, November 2016

How to Be Great

by Tonya Woodridge-Jarvis
Tonya Woodridge-Jarvis, The Refresher
Tonya Woodridge-Jarvis, The Refresher

Being great begins with being grateful. The definition of grateful is to feel or show an appreciation of kindness and thankfulness. The most important gesture that you can do for someone is to be kind. Being kind is learned behavior. Sometimes people can only be what they were taught. However, the Bible teaches us to practice love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, which are fruits of His Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) Which fruit(s) are you practicing?

If you see a panhandler on the side of the street, are you kind to them?

Are you consistent in your giving? 

Are you practicing self-control with various situations? 

Do you pray, and then worry?

Do you genuinely love your neighbor?

Are you negative all the time?

Are you resting peacefully at night?

Are you joyous over small things?

Respectfully enter into the spiritual territory for five minutes a day by yourself or with a partner. By doing this, situations get easier to cope with.

Read this story:

My husband and I had an opportunity to attend a marriage conference a few months back. There we learned and were challenged to be a part of a social experiment called “The Partnered Prayer Challenge.” A partnered prayer challenged is when you commit to pray intimately with your partner for five minutes a day for 40 days. I was reluctant at first because I didn’t want my husband to know that I was talking about him to God like most wives do, I’m sure. We pray, but we pray separately.

So day one of our five-minute prayer was a little awkward to say the least, and by day two I was wondering if I was really showing up for the challenge with being truthful with him and God about how I actually pray and the issues I pray for. Why is that? We’re married for goodness sakes! By day five, I was fully committed to the challenge and reverted back to the scripture in Matthew 18:20 which says, “For where two or three gather together in my name, there am I with them. So why not make my request known unto God and to my husband even if my concerns are about him? We stayed committed to the challenge and finished. Not only did we finish, but our children finished as well. We are better communicators because of this and decided to keep it going. It’s become a way of life for our family now. The fruits of the spirt can be learned and practiced through this prayer challenge. He allowed our eyes to open one more day to be great and grateful.

This partner prayer challenge is a tool to enhance your marriage and other relationships. How many times have you sat back and said things that you wished for your spouse or loved one to do, or simply asked for them to understand you better? Well with this challenge, it gives your spouse and/or loved one a chance to see your intimate heart, your Godly heart. This is not just for marriages – this works for other relationships as well. So, let’s be great together!