Honoring, Understanding, and Loving
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Bitterness, envy, and frustration often show up in our relationships seemingly out of nowhere. Sometimes a big, one time event can be the cause of this. However, most of the time bitterness is built up over time, through many small issues. This is true in both our marriages, and our relationships with brothers and sisters in Christ.
To have honoring and genuine relationships we must begin with the small and mundane. In marriage men need to see to understand before seeking to be understood. If we are not careful, we will expect our spouse, family member, or friend to think and act like we do. In the moment we have a choice. We can ignore the difference and become slowly bitter and frustrated or we can address the small issue and seek to understand.
This desire to understand is the root of this genuine love that Romans is speaking of. We must humble ourselves, both in our marriages and with our church and seek to understand and honoring our brothers and sisters in Christ. This honoring in the mundane is an important first step in creating an environment of peace and unity in our relationships.