But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
~ 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV) (Emphasis mine)
Sound like the world we live in today?
I have referenced in by Bible the words "without love" (vs. 3) in Greek, actually means "family love."
Deeply saddened over the past several months, I have been carrying around a heavy heart for people I am close to, as well as several acquaintances.
Families are falling apart, marriages are dissolving, even couples one would never suspect as having the first problem are choosing to separate. Some of these hit very close to home. Never could I have imagined some of the events that have happened recently.
Divorce at any age, whether a person is a young adult with small children, or a senior citizen with several grandchildren, trickles down and affects the entire family.
Marriages today are under attack.
The devil is on the prowl. (1 Peter 5:8)
Honestly, I have felt somewhat paralyzed. It is not my crisis. Perhaps it is not your crisis. Or perhaps it is.
What should a Christian friend or family member do?
The answer seems too simple, but I will share what I believe God has impressed on my heart.
Pray. Simply pray.
Pray the Holy Spirit will convict and change the person'(s)' heart(s), making a way for reconciliation. Remember, we are ALL sinners saved by the grace of God. There is no sin so awful that He cannot forgive. Pray also for ALL family members affected.
Pray for wisdom when given opportunities to speak the Truth in love. Proverbs 15:23 says, "a man [woman] finds joy in giving an apt reply - and how good is a timely word!"
Pray the Holy Spirit will give you power to love like Jesus, and leave the judging to Him.
How did Jesus respond to the woman at the well? (John 4) The adulteress about to be stoned? (John 8)
He did not condemn. rather he loved them and gently pointed them to the Truth. A delicate balance for most of us, myself included.
Kindness can be misunderstood as acceptance or condonement. On the flip side, confronting a sinful behavior can be interpreted as judging or self-righteousness. Therefore, I have decided to try to err on the side of kindness rather than condemnation. (I confess, I haven't always handled these matters in the best way.) One must use caution or a friendship may be damaged.
Pray for healing. Some marriages will be reconciled; some will end.
Healing must take place in either case. Nothing is impossible for God. He can bring good out of heartbreaking circumstances. Trust Him to reveal His glory in the midst of pain.
Human love sometimes fails. And even more so in today's world.
But God is forever faithful.
And He is our Comforter.