My son is in the process of joining the Civil Air Patrol which until recently I knew very little about. In fact, although my grandfather and great uncles all served in the military, I personally have very little military knowledge at all (this cannot be understated!)
While I was taking in the program and watching my son and his cousin learn the drills, I was struck with several things:
1. To get things done they expect order.
2. Everyone knows that they must submit to their authority.
3. They know what they are trying to accomplish and the correct way to accomplish the job–according to regulation. Anything in violation of regulation is corrected and not tolerated.
I watched as the Squadron respectfully followed the US regulations for properly retiring the American Flag. I observed young people paying respect to those who were more experienced by saluting. (I had to ask one of the kids why they saluted! Was it formality? I was told it was to honor their rank and experience.) I also noticed that they just did what they were told without complaining.
The Christian life is similar in many ways.
We have a book of regulation: the Bible. If you are not onboard with what it teaches, then you really cannot consider yourself a soldier of Jesus Christ.
If you aren’t willing to follow the Bible, but instead go your own way, you are disobedient and in violation to God’s regulation. God expects his children to obey. Any time we sin, we are not submitting to the authority of the word of God.
In Christian families, order and submission to authority are needed to accomplish a goal. Husbands lead according to the Bible. Women follow the husband and the children obey their parents. This is not optional. Any other approach brings dishonor to the Lord.
Our goal as a Christian family is:
that God’s name will be glorified and
that our family would not be the cause of the Word of God being maligned or blasphemed.
How could God’s Word be ill spoken of?—–> If we claimed the name of Jesus Christ in word, but in action we lived contrary to His written word, the Bible. It’s not that we are living like children of the devil, but that we are just doing our own thing, running our own lives and failing to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Our homes are not the military. We don’t command our children to get up by yelling orders to them. Our homes are to be filled with love. But it should never be seen as unloving to expect our children to do what Ephesians 6:1 tells them. In fact, to insist that your child follow God’s word IS the loving way to raise them.
We should not view ourselves as suppressed if we follow the lead of our husband. This is NORMAL Christianity.
It saddens me to read Christian parenting material that indicates that expecting this type of order in the home is cruel or disrespectful. That somehow if you discipline a child or correct their behavior you are not parenting as God parents you. (?) This shows such a lack of knowledge of the scripture as a whole. If you read through the Bible you see one thing: Obedience is not optional. Expecting a child to comply is not the same thing as cruelty unless it is done in an unloving way. Rules are not cruel. Rules are kind. They let everyone know what is expected. They set boundaries. They put hedges of protection around the one who follows them.
It IS the job of the commander to bring his squadron into unity and obedience. It is the job of the parent to make sure the child obeys and is not bristling at authority at every turn. It is actually a qualification for leadership in the church. If you cannot lead your family, you cannot lead God’s people.
This culture bristles at all authority. Americans value their independence above almost every thing else. We want to express ourselves without thought for anyone else. We want to run our own lives and unfortunatly this has seeped into the church.
But Women of the Word know that God’s desires trump our own. We are not serving our selves, but are under the Lordship of Christ. Our rights end where scripture speaks about an issue. End of story.
If we have a problem with the regulation, we need to adjust our minds and hearts. When we’ve broken regulation, we need to make it right with God and man.
Does this sound a little Spartan to you? If so, it is because killing the flesh is a ruthless business. It is brutal warfare against our enemies: our own flesh, the worlds ways and the devil.
So, NO. I cannot do and say anything I want. My words are governed by the law of kindness and the command to edify the saints. My actions are under the direction of the Holy Spirit. Anything else puts me at war with my God and my neighbor.
We have a mission. It is a call for those who love God to follow His word. This is not easy task. It is basically all out war with our own desires and flesh.
It means saying no to my ideas of autonomy, self rule and independence and saying YES to God’s teachings and ways instead.
It is HIS war after all, and we are soldiers in His army, fighting for His kingdom.
THY KINGDOM COME, THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH, LIKE IT IS IN HEAVEN.