Chain Reaction | Devotion #5: Suffer for Righteousness
Ryan Story | Student Pastor
Being a godly husband or wife is difficult. Raising godly children is difficult. Making sure your family unity is all moving forward in the same God-honoring direction is hard. There is nothing in the family dynamic that comes naturally. Everything that you want your family to be takes work. From prayer to athletics, there will have to be some work that goes into your family. Sadly, just because you put in the work does not mean that you will see instant results. Recently my wife and I started to pray with our oldest son, Broly. At night we can get Broly to pray for everyone. For whatever reason during mealtime prayers, Bro wants nothing to do with praying. At one point I got super frustrated and said words that I will never forget. I looked at my son in frustration and said, “If you do not pray with us, you are going to get a spanking.” At that moment I realized how wrong my parenting was. I cannot punish my son’s spiritual immaturity. It was my job to suffer through the difficulty and show my son what was right.
In 1 Peter 3:13-14, it says, “Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed.” I cannot think of anything more worthy for me to suffer for than the cause of Christ. What Peter is trying to say is that if you are truly passionate about something, if you truly believe it is right, you will be willing to suffer for a cause. It is better to suffer doing God’s will than to be pain-free and be void of His will. In my own life, I have had to give up habits, give up music, and I have had to distance myself from family and friends all for the sake of living out what is good and godly in my life. I look back at every decision I have made, and I know how hard it was when I made it, but I am so blessed to know that my children will never have to wonder if their dad is coming home drunk one night. I am blessed to know that my children will never have to worry if their parents will stick it out or get a divorce. In my life, I started fighting for what was godly the moment I became a Christ follower. I know I have done all of those things for myself, why not for my family? I cannot think of four people I would rather suffer for than for them. I would suffer until there is no longer a pulse in my being for my wife and children.
Suffering for righteousness sake is one of the most Christ-like things a person can do. To realize you will go through hardships for the sake of another person is exactly what Jesus did for us. He wept and sweat drops of blood while He pled with God in Gethsemane. Our Savior was tormented with the thoughts of knowing exactly how He would have to suffer for our sake. He endured the cross gladly! We must fight for our families. If you have a marriage that needs to get back to where God intends marriages to be, suffer through the conversation, and be honest with your spouse. If you have an unruly teenager who seems to make life hard when they do not get their way, suffer through their tantrum. Suffering is hard, it hurts, it is exhausting, but if there is one thing I know that is worth fighting for, it is family. Endure suffering, because there is a blessing on the other side.