Do | Love | Walk : Our Family Verse

In the beginning of last year, we decided to pick out a “family verse”, a theme that would define what we valued the most. We wanted a verse that would be an anchor for our family, something that we could memorize together, lean on together, and rally around together. Our desire was for the verse to serve as a reminder to us about God’s purpose for our family. A verse that was simple and easy for our 2- and 5-year-old to understand. So, we picked Micah 6:8.

“He has told you O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly before your God?”

I absolutely love this verse! I think it captures in just a few words how a Christian should live in this world. The context of this verse is this: once again the children of Israel have turned away from God and have chosen to follow after false gods. This message from God comes to them through the prophet Micah at a time when the Israelites were prosperous, prideful, and oppressing the poor. They knew God’s laws, had experienced His faithfulness in the past, and yet they turned away from Him.

Isn’t that just like you and me? Well, I don’t know about you, but it is definitely me! I often forget what is required of me. God has told me countless times, but still I forget, just like the children of Israel. So this post is mostly a reminder to me, and it can be for you too, if you want it to be!

When we chose this verse as our “family verse” we didn’t know that a few months later we would be in the middle of a pandemic. We didn’t anticipate the chaos and upheaval our world would endure. But a few months later, when we were helpless and grieving the loss that COVID-19 brought about, we KNEW what the Lord wanted from us every time we said our verse together. I remember God reminding me of this very verse on one of the bad days, when the death and despair around was getting to me. When I felt helpless not being able to do anything. God reminded me of what I needed to do. “He has told you, O Shiphrah, what to do.” Sounds a bit dramatic with the O Shiphrah, I know! ? But the point I’m making is this; He had already told me, in His word, what He required of me. I may not be able to solve the world’s problems, but I sure could do the little things God had called me to do every day- like raising my kids.

Micah 6:8 asks an important question. What does the Lord require of us? First, I had to ask myself this question- What does the Lord require of me? God’s answer is simple. Just three things on the list. One, do justice. Two, love kindness. And three, walk humbly before Him. As per this, God requires me to connect my faith with my action, to care for those in need and to walk humbly with my God.

But what does it mean practically, to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly before God? We needed to break this down in simpler language for our kids to understand.

God wants us to do justice.

To “do justice” means to act with equity and fairness towards those who are in a weaker social position. It means to do what God is asking us to do every day, with fairness, honesty, and integrity. In even simpler words it means to “treat others as you would want to be treated.” It is an action. It is not just an acknowledgement that things are not as they should be. It is not just an observation. When God says “do” justice, He actually requires us to DO something.

There are millions of people around the world experiencing injustice. How can I, a lone stay-at-home mama do anything about it? It isn’t called “acting justly” only when you’re fighting for human rights or standing up against racial injustice. Yes, it IS all those things, but it is ALSO treating people around you with the respect they deserve, no matter what their station in life. It is being aware that every human being is made in the image of God and deserves our highest respect. It is showing no favoritism when I deal with my children. I act justly when I discipline my kids.  When I forgive my husband and ask for his forgiveness, again and again. When I go the extra mile for a friend or even an enemy! Acting justly doesn’t come easily to me all the time so how can I teach it to my children? With God’s help. Honestly, that’s my answer for everything. Let your kids see that you’re human too, that you mess up sometimes. Let them hear you say sorry. And then teach them, by example.

Teach them to befriend the kid in school who is being bullied. Show them how to settle a fight with their siblings. Teach them how to respect their elders and treat people with kindness. Show them how to stand up for those weaker than them. How to love those who may look different to them. How to care for the poor and needy. Teach them to give, to share, to love. And tell them God says this is “good.”

God wants us to love kindness.

Secondly, God wants us to love kindness. The Hebrew word used here is ‘hesed’ which is used to refer to God’s loving kindness towards us. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God didn’t just say He loved us, He showed it by doing something for us. And here, God wants us to also show or love showing kindness to others.

SO how can we show kindness to our family members? Often it is most difficult to be kind to those closest to us. I must say I fail in this area completely. When I take my frustrations out on my kids, I am not loving kindness. I am not doing what is required of me. On the other hand, I AM loving kindness when I do the dishes and laundry for the millionth time that week. When I put my phone aside for 5 minutes to build a Lego airplane with my kids. When I read the twentieth book to them that day. When I wake up in the middle of the night to care for my child. When I help my child with her homework. I show kindness through the way I respond when they make a mistake, and through the countless other seemingly “little things” I do every day. In doing all this I am loving kindness, and I am teaching my children to do the same.

“And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:42) Getting your child a glass of water before bed is not a big thing in the eyes of the world. It will not earn you a reward or get you a raise. It may not lead to any worldly accolades, but it will definitely earn you a reward in heaven. I am not required to do the great things the world perceives as important; I am only required to be obedient to God. I am required to show kindness by showing my family mercy, grace, love, and forgiveness, in the midst of all my mundane tasks.

God wants us to walk humbly with Him.

Lastly, Micah says we need to walk humbly before our God. There is no doubt that this is the most important of the three, because if we aren’t walking humbly before God, it is impossible for us to do the first two. As Christ followers, our “walk” refers to our day-to-day faith life. To walk humbly before God is to be careful to live the way God calls us to live. It means living a life that is submitted to God, allowing Him to guide our ways in a posture of humility. “And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37) Walking humbly before God simply means loving Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Our children will learn how to walk humbly before God by watching us. They will learn to put God first when they see us putting Him first in our lives. When they see us studying God’s word. When they are surrounded by a family culture that has God at its center. When they live in a home where God and His people are made a priority. They will learn to walk humbly when they see us lay aside our pride and selfishness, and serve others just as Jesus did. When they see us humble ourselves and lift others up. When they see us walk humbly in our trials. They will see us and they will learn to do the same.

Too much pressure, you may think? Not quite. It is not impossible to walk humbly because it is not a walk we are walking alone. Micah tells us to “walk humbly WITH your God.” Note the intimacy here. YOUR God walks WITH you. The Holy One desires to commune with you and walk with you as you live a life of submission to Him. He is with us and for us. We belong to Him. Therefore, we are not alone.

Indeed, we need not be overwhelmed by such a life.

How can we practice justice and do the right thing? How can we develop unfailing kindness? How can we learn to walk humbly with Him?

Put Him at the top of our list. Hang out with Him. Get deep into His Word. Give God His rightful place in every area of our lives and in every moment of our days.

He has “shown us” what is good. What He requires of us. So, we do it. When we are faithful in the little things, in the small and seemingly insignificant moments of our lives, we are laying down strong foundations for our children. It is through our obedience to God that we will, as a family, be able to live out His blueprint for our lives. That is what He requires of us. It is good. And He is glorified.

Do you have a family verse? Something that you have found in God’s word that expresses God’s purpose for your family? I would love to hear all about it in the comments below! 🙂

boredandbusymama
boredandbusymama
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15 Comments

  1. Greetings, Shiphra, to you and your family, from Alaska! It’s always a blessing to receive your grace-filled words that so well reflect your heart for God and thoughtful walk of faith.

    Thank you for continuing to post! You are in our hearts and prayers.

    Yvonne

    • Thank you so much Yvonne! So lovely to hear from you. I appreciate your kind and encouraging words! We are praying for all of you and especially Aunty Jane. Lots of love xx

  2. Love this verse too Shiph!
    Amazing that all that the Lord wants is summed up in this one verse. Fall short of it but yes with the Holy Spirit it is possible..
    Well written Shiph!

  3. Very nice article Ship. It is important to understand God’s purpose of family. Praise God you have a family verse to focus on the direction you want to move forward as a family. Praying with God’s help you can apply this in your families life.

  4. Shiphra this one so touched me! It’s one of my favourite verses ever because it does what you say- in a few words defines a Christ follower.
    Funny isn’t it!? It’s certainly not about doctrine! But LIFE
    thanks for this! Love you ?

  5. Very well written! Good reminder to me. I too have noticed this as an apt verse to follow. Not successful at times, but the LORD gives grace.

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