A couple of weeks ago, I was in a car wreck. A man made a left turn in front of me and we collided. Fortunately, neither of us was injured. My car, however, will be in the repair shop for a total of four weeks.
I was thinking about the idiom “being in the same boat”. The meaning of the idiom is when we share unfortunate circumstances as others. Through no fault of my own, both the other driver and I have damaged vehicles and inconvenience. We shared the same boat.
I, than began thinking in a broader sense of when others are in our boat or we are in their boat.
Allow me to use marriage as an example. When I had health issues, my wife was in the same boat as I was. She was fine, but because we were spiritually and emotionally one, she suffered stress and inconvenience, as well. It was in those times, that we rowed together. We had a common purpose and destination. We mutually made progress toward seeing my health issues resolved. The same was true, when she had health issues. We were in it together, going in the same direction.
I, than began thinking of marriages, families, work situations, where the individuals were rowing in opposite directions. If you know anything about rowing, you know you must row together and in the same direction to get anywhere. If you don’t, your boat can go in circles and you get nowhere.
What are you to do when your husband or wife or teenager is addicted to pornography? What are you to do when you don’t share the same thoughts on how to rear your children? What are you to do when you don’t have the same financial goals or spiritual goals or any other goals?
17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:17-21 ESV
I understand these verses do not give a step by step method of how to work through your particular problem, but I do believe they provide a principle on how families should interact.
The publishers of this bible version gave a chapter heading of “Walk In Love”. I would invite you to study the entire chapter, but let’s focus on just these verses for now. I see these family principles for rowing in the same directions.
- Understanding God’s will – when we don’t do what the Bible instructs us to do, then we are foolish. If you ignore God’s word and the leadership of the Holy Spirit, you are being foolish and you will not get along.
- Be filled with the Holy Spirit – this is confessing your sins, throughout the day, praying, and reading your bible. This is not living in the flesh, but by living as the bible teaches you.
- Being God aware throughout your day – Praising Him and appreciating what He has done for you, what He is doing, and what He will be doing in your life.
- Giving thanks – always and for everything. A grateful heart changes your environment.
- Submitting to one another – Not because of the others position, but out of reverence for Christ.
How would our homes be different if we just incorporated those principles in our lives?
So, if you find yourself in the same boat, may I urge you to work together? May I also remind you of when Jesus was in the boat and a storm came up and the disciples feared for their life (Matt. 8:23-27). They called upon Jesus and He calmed the sea and they wondered at His abilities.
May the Lord bless your family.