Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
Exodus 20: 12
God’s authority is at the center of the fifth commandment. Structurally sound, it gives the importance of obedience, the great significance of leadership and how it defines society.
In order to further understand the profoundness of this commandment, we must first understand the purpose for which it was established. We can do this by looking at the significance of Israel at the center of it and realize that God’s plan for humanity is a complex one with many layers that construct it.
While we recognize it as being a part of the ten commandments given to Moses for the conveying to the children of Israel, it is the underpinning on which the covenant between God and Abraham was established. Moreover,we have to understand that it is to play an active role in the second coming of Christ. It will serve as a marker of those who have been chosen and who have come to full acceptance of the word of God, that is Yeshua.
This recognition of the messiah is rooted in the belief and understanding that God’s sovereignty and power is what allows for our very existence, quality and provision of our lives.
Furthermore, its most important and singular purpose is to deliver us from the ungodliness of the world. It does so by giving us a clear view with which to establish a desire towards being found worthy of acceptance into His kingdom.
This obedience guides the children of God through the instruction of His word onto the fulfillment not only of His will of external life, but the promise of the the land of Israel.
In Genesis 15:18-21, Abraham is given a promise and great authority as father of the nation of Israel. The covenant established between God and Abraham is sealed by circumcision, a sign of distinction, one requiring faith and obedience. The weight of this responsibility transforms both Abraham and his decedents into the creation of a land and its people that not only benefit from the blessing of God, but bring forth the fruit of the messiah and God’s church.
In the book of Exodus, we are re-given this commandment to obedience.
For the Hebrews, the requirement of being reminded of the importance of such obedience begins much earlier. In incidents that God utilized in order to orchestrate the events that would eventually lead up to the exodus and the obtaining of the promise land.
As we know, the sin of disobedience removes us from inheritance and denies us entry into it. Throughout the biblical narrative, God’s people have been at war with the world that surrounds , with their idrntity and with God; causing them to wander far from God and their land. We will one day see the kingdom of God established here on earth and so we must remember that Israel until then remains the focus of all prophecy and blessing.
The selling away of Joseph by his brothers to the Egyptians may be counted as an act of disobedience to their father; however, this disobedience places Joseph in an environment in which the will of God overrides the will of man. For nothing may come between the fulfillment of both prophecy and of His divine plan for His people, of everlasting life and possession of the promised land. When the land in which his father and brothers abode was then taken over by famine; which could be attributed to the sin of disobedience and most certainly the judgment of God upon the land of Canaan. (Something historical evidence has come to show us is that , both prior to and during this time, there is indication that it’s people had adopted and practiced many foreign and Egyptian forms of worship and custom. ) Joseph’s faithfulness and obedience transformed his actions into great manifestations of God’s power, starting with the interpretation of the dream of the seven years of prosperity and the seven years of famine.
Here is the area in which the stories surrounding the people of God living in Canaan and Egypt draw a parallel to each other. Not only were the Hebrew people suffering in Egypt, but had even taken up their customs as well. Living and interacting with those who did not share and partake in the covenant. In no way is this to say that our God refuses salvation to the non-believer, but to the Hebrews living in such away put at risk their identity, promise and blessing through the interruption of the covenant and introduction of strange gods. God’s covenant with His people, at least on His behalf will never be rendered void. Even as we face the risk of spiritual death and persecution; He finds one from among His own to call others to obedience.
This is what Moses is given knowledge about by God when he is tasked with bringing the children of Israel out of Egypt, both as and act of mercy and preservation. The importance of the covenant is not only the establishment of a nation but of God’s divine connection to his people. A God who has never abandoned His pledge to us despite our disobedience and disbelief. Who will carry us to completion onto the establishment of His Kingdom on earth; through our repentance and acceptance of His will for us,His people through Christ the Messiah.
An essential component of the 5th commandment is that in this covenant two things are established. The first of which is was the sovereignty of the headship. Out of Abraham’s desire for God, what once lost in the garden could be rebuilt in the fostering of a direct relationship with God. Something that in its principal design was to be designated to men due to their appointment to rule,specified by order of creation and by having been made in the image of God.
Bringing to fruition an inheritance from God the father to his children, through a people worthy of brining forth His son and our blessed hope.
The depth of the importance of headship is in Christ also illustrated, that while having been born the Son of God, there was a need to submit also to the authority of God and the headship of Joseph. This legitimacy was important for old testament believers because it denotes not only its impact of having covering and paternal endorsement, but accentuating the purpose for a relationship between a father and his children.
His authority is ultimate and therefore worthy of all our love, obedience and worship.
As His children we are held to a higher expectation of commitment and obedience. In coming to the realization of His majesty and His supreme authority over our lives, we learn humility of heart and spirit. Learning that we are at His mercy and in doing so, recognize the need and importance of His design for headship.
From this comes the father-parent/child dynamic threaded both in our communities and the spiritual realm through the obedience of God’s statues. God’s view on children can lead one to conclude that His creative effort (the child) is an innocent and precious gift to us; for whom we are commanded to love and instruct. Under our charge we are to give love, en part wisdom and understanding, to discipline and to nurture. Preparing them for the challenges of the world and teaching them about the power, love and authority of God.
The authority of God is undeniably the ultimate command because He is God and creator. Therefore the headship of any family, especially among believers should be recognized and respected. But just as he is to be respected and obeyed, the responsibilities of the headship should be fulfilled with great attentiveness, because of our role as teachers. And caution is advised when the headship of the family is not in compliance with God the Father, the order and balance of the family suffers either directly or indirectly by the actions or lack there of.
Perhaps as one of the most notable of patriarchs, Abraham found grace from God. His selection to the headship of all of Israel came out of God’s favor towards him and because of his faith in God. God knew his heart and knew that Abraham would not only be faithful to what was commanded him, but place his household under the same submission to God through obedience. Likewise the headship of every family should also be in full submission to God in order to not only obtain protection, provision for his family, strength and mercy, but grace. His blessing is upon the children through the headship of the husband. It is under the protection of God that we receive blessing and provision and are then handed down unto our children.
In like manner the legitimacy of our children is set through the blessing of them. Children require an endorsement of love and of the spirit. The instruction they receive from both father and mother places in their hearts seeds of faith. Our Father is perfect and we lack for no thing from Him, it is only just that we should emulate our Father in teaching.
The word of God speaks about the power of ones words. Words have deep and complicated significance, but none so powerful than the word of God that brings forth life.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
The Gospel According to ST. John 1:1-4
The second, to set a people apart to Himself in the accepting and submitting to the will of God; being set aside from among all others being called to holiness. It is out of this same covenant that we are sealed as His and come under His headship as a chosen people. We have forever been granted the mercy of His grace. And as God continues his covenant with Israel; Jew and gentile are set as equal before God through the acceptance of Christ the redeemer. No longer requiring a sacrifice for our sins, having been made whole and absolution of all sin, making everything new and restoring the hearts back to the Father. It is this obtainable favor made accessible in the new and everlasting covenant that has come to be fulfilled in the resurrection. Not by canceling the law, but fulfillment thereof and it is so that the commandments are still a premise for governing of the life of God’s people.
As parents we must bear witness and are charged with the great commission and are held to instruct it unto our children. Thus the great warning placed on teachers of the word applies to parents therefore also. This is not to suppress one’s life, but enrich it. It is our responsibility then to learn under God’s rule over our lives the depth and prescriptions of the word and his commandments.
In order to continue and preserve the covenant with God, Abraham must have had to teach those of his household how to begin a friendship with God and how to obey and love Him. Through all this, there must have been prayer and the teaching of prayer.
The Importance of Blessing.
As parents what we say to our children greatly impacts how they think and feel. It can give them confidence and take it away. It can build up and it can destroy. Words can change the course of nature and even destroy by causing irreparable damage. When we pray for or bless our children, we think about the difficulties we face in raising them. At times we struggle to find the time and words to correct without hindering. To teach without discouragement. But prayer can be a time to redeeming the time by proclaiming victory on their behalf, to speak life through the speaking of blessing. Fortifying the relationship between children and parents. Putting the authority you’ve been given and that has the power to transform to work. God’s word can be uplifting and at times correct us with stern admonition, yet the life in God’s own words have the power to create and to destroy. It creates in us an inspiration from which faith grows and destroys sin and the devil’s power over us. Something that can be noted in the Aaronic Blessing and explains why and how the role of headship is an important concept. It further describes how we should pray for our children with the authority that we’ve been appointed. As depicted in the Aaronic Blessing , we are given authority in our position of leadership.
y’varecha/ bless :The head of the house with His own work (deeds) strengthens His own palm(hand)
v’yishm’ recha/keep : By His own work(hand) He binds and overpowers the destroyer using His authority in His hand.
Panav/face : He secures life and order
Ya -eir/shine : the Chief Ruler works
eilecha/ to you : His teaching strengthens
gracious to you : His work secures the hedge strengthening life
yisa/ lift up : strong pressing hand(to lift up)
panav/ face and
countenance : His work adds living utterance
eilecha/to you : His teaching strengthens
and give you : He strengthens authority, His hand destroys chaos
shalom/peace : destroy the authority attached to chaos
YHVH bless you and keep you
YHVH make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you
YHVH lift up
His countenance upon you and give you peace.
The post of every parent comes with difficult moments of teaching, redirecting and discipline. It is because of this that the institution of marriage is critical in the development of families.
When we are untied in marriage we are as one flesh, the burdens of life and challenges of family become a shared effort. This topic must be addressed because of its direct relationship with obedience and order. Our God is a God of order, without it , there is no correct standing on our part. If we are to honor our Father, we are to be upright in all that we do. If we are to expect obedience from our children, we must display an honorable portrait of marriage as well as conduct.
Our vows not only bind us to each other, but establishes a covenant between ourselves and God. Mirroring that of Abraham and God and Jesus and His bride the church. In this way, when we put in practice obedience, love for each other and respect towards God and one another; our children learn obedience, love and respect. A direct charge given to women calls for obedience to the commandment of submission on behalf of the wife to her husband. This is critical because of what the importance of the sanctity of marriage is and the bond it creates between a man and wife, to deny this is rejecting your covering(protection), blessing and essentially God Himself.
The redeeming and delegating role of the father and headship is final, as God’s is over all mankind.
The headship of the family instructs and disciplines because on his shoulders alone sits the redemption of both wife and family. Their misconduct comes under his charge, to which he is held completely responsible.
Sarah’s role, while not as defined as Abraham’s, was still an important part of the carrying out of God’s will. She honored God through the honor and respect she shows her husband. Her submission to her husband might have been shadowed in the disobedience created in her desperation and lack of patience to remain quietly faithful to God’s timing.
But just as Adam absorbed the responsibility for Eve’s err, Sarah was covered under Abraham’s headship and patient faithfulness to God.
Here too obedience must be honored on behalf of the woman. While there might be a complexity that has developed over time, the mildness of spirit and silent obedience is what God desires from women.
That is not to say that women do not hold a position, although limited in authority, within the home. They are to be respected and must play a role in the instruction of the children and the order of the home.
At times the mothers may be at the forefront of faith.
For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.
2 Timothy 1:5
We look at the biblical example of Eunice and Louis. The mother and grandmother, respectfully, of Timothy. We know that his father was Greek and we are not given great detail about what kind of relationship, if any he might have had with his father. What we do know is that Eunice and Louis displayed a strong faith in God, something that they imparted to young Timothy through education in the absence of a headship.
Timothy later gained the validation and authentication through the apostle Paul’s instruction, as both father figure and teacher.
We are at present, in a state now more than ever, in which young men and women need this style of guidance.
Parents, especially fathers should emulate the love of Christ in forgiveness and mercy. Taking upon themselves the task of educating their families in what is acceptable to God. When we look at it from this perspective and realize the relevance of our own submission, we tend to look at our failures and flaws much more critically.
Too often ,when we come across a strong biblical character, we forget to realize that they too were human and failed God despite their devotion and faith. The grace that God bestowed on Abraham however was the necessary strength to not only overcome his weakness of faith, but to achieve God’s greatness.
How Incorporating the Fifth Commandment in Our Lives and Our Relationship with God Transforms the Structure of Society and Home.
As children of the living God we are given instruction as to how we are to live our lives. Furthermore, we are taught how to love and respect Him. This expectation placed upon God’s children for obedience and the responsibility it carries is often taken for granted and forgotten. Though we are reminded throughout the bible about its importance and that of faith.
It is God that we should honor because He is the only one who has created us and given us life. Our reason for being. That despite the blind world’s attempt to separate us from our Father, we receive provision, blessing, grace and mercy from Him. This even when we have yet to know about His love for us. We must simply love our Father because He is the center of everything and from whom everything originates.
It is in this manner also that we are to love and obey our fathers and mothers. The bible is very specific when it comes to God’s expectations on obedience and respect. Parents are the instruments of God’s will to gift us life and therefore absorb the responsibility of shaping our moral character. It also speaks to older men and women as to what their character should be like and how this is to influence the next generations through the teaching of His word on the issue of love and respect. It reminds us in Deuteronomy 6:7 that we should teach our children diligently by contemplating and discussing the word of God in each facet of our lives.
The Bible also explains the methods and purpose of discipline, nurturing and instruction; all for the purpose of obedience.
The world may not understand the requirement of obedience, but it is a lost and unsaved world.
To believers however, it is essential that we understand that we can do and amount to nothing in our withdrawal from underneath God’s fatherly protection and His recommendations for the structure of the family. For no good thing has ever occurred outside of it. His love is redemption and salvation. It is completion of spirit and healing.
It is out of this love that we are driven and motivated to obey, respect and to honor. We are to live out these expectations as onto the the Lord. Parents have been legitimized in their bond to each other in the vows taken before God to rule over their children for the structuring of family and the teaching of faith.
Children are themselves bound, through the establishment of this order created by God, and are to carry an obligation that is to be taught to them.
When we hear this commandment, we usually think about how it applies in regards to children and teenagers. However, this commandment is not limited only to the young. We must look at it with a wider application. Our understanding and enforcement of it in the the lives of our children demands that we implement it for ourselves, as well as how we are to instruct them using the lessons God teaches us.
It is our principle duty first to God and secondly to our families that we incorporate into their lives a biblical perspective. That they may learn the truth and be able to distinguish what is of God and that which is of the world. To assume a full responsibility of what we have been given.
To do so, we must look at the family dynamic and structure as prescribed in the bible. It is for this reason that we must examine and explain the intricate way God’s word is applied to the different and difficult areas of our lives. Focusing on the importance of faith and obedience. Every word spoken by the Lord or given by the Lord as instruction, law and statute has meaning, reason and purpose.
Therefore parents have a large responsibility to fulfill this not only to their children, but must respond in a large part to the authority of God. The Family dynamic and the relationships it creates are fundamental. Parents are the first and most significant influence in the lives of their children. This influence has a lasting effect that transcends generations within the family. Developing the character and temperament of future generations and giving structure to the societies they become a part of.
In addition to this, the consensus established by each generation is based on their comprehension on ethical values developed in the home. While the views of a secular society change and vary from one generation to the next and are at a constant opposition with the biblical standard; God is eternal and never changes. For this purpose and in order to secure the faith of our children we must set ourselves as examples in submission and through the development of our new identity and mind in God. In the old testament we are given the law, which is in its teaching the way we learn to love God and to obey Him.
We must remember that the cognizance of things in the past as well as in the present originate from exposure to the voices that direct their lives. And our children mature, these are the fundamental principles that will not only determine how they contribute and change the face of their communities, but how they identify with God; forever shaping their futures both in the natural and the eternal.
It is God who has created both society and government, whose functionality is only as secure as those who structure it. The security of our homes and our societies are a direct result of our obedience to God. A security that can only be found in the knowledge of God both in our churches and our homes. It is an obligation that we must undertake as believers and as parents to reinforce society through the fortification of church and family.
The main purpose for this is to continue the already established method of fulfillment of God’s will for humanity. That all may come to salvation. That all be subjected to him through obedience to the Father, fulfilling the blessing promised to Abraham of life and possession of the promised land, as we are promised in this commandment.
It is this salvation that will lead us individually to God’s purpose for our lives, which cannot be fulfilled without the protection and provision of His sovereignty. Recognizing His lordship allows us to structure our lives and the lives of our families according to the will of God as tailored through the instruction of His word. Abraham accepted and recognized the authority of God and understood its significance. The circumcision of the spirit and transformation of the mind; as they were both physically and spiritually engaging to Abraham, where originated out of a pursuit and obedient dedication for God.
We too must also understand it and the importance of its preservation because the seal of His covenant continues with us in faith. For the benefit of our souls and the preservation of our lives and that of our children. Extended to all believers through the resurrection while maintaining its primary role meant for Israel. In lending obedience to God’s commandments, we accept that we are in fact His and enact our part of the covenant out of reverence and love for Him. It is because of this kind of dedication for which a promise was given unto Abraham, Israel, ourselves and future generations. We are granted peace and longevity in this life while preserving us for His kingdom. This is the reason we obey. To preserve both structure and the continuation of faith.
The gift of our faith which extends to us the gift of grace. And as parents and believers, our desire for our children to hold steadfast to our faith may appear to be shadowed by the challenges we all face individually. As their lives unfold before our eyes, we shy at their choices while remaining in constant prayer for repentance and for a manifestation of God’s power to correct them as he corrects us. Sometimes going as far as bending our strong will and allowing us to suffer the consequences of our disobedience and sin, but not willing to allow us to perish, calls us to repentance.
Therefore, take comfort in God’s powerful and unmovable righteousness. His mercy endures through all generations and has been given us despite our inequity. As our Father however, God is not blind to our suffering, but has created a system of protection and provision within His statutes.
For no instruction can be delivered without the requirement of conformity.
Today, with most families communicating less and less and amidst the busyness of our modern culture; the discipline directed towards our children is a dying art of conscience. The modern world of political correctness has introduced intimidation and persecution. Things which are becoming increasingly interruptive in our societies and interfere in how we shape our families. On the other hand, we have parents who are either consumed with their own objective of success; that they are willing to give in to the pressures of society and their children in exchange for a plight of the responsibilities of parenthood. Extending the platform of those who have always opposed Biblical beliefs to further and zealously fight towards eliminating parental authority in the creation of an embolden independent identity, using the power of the freedom of will to establish a legitimate ground for the bastardization of our societies. As we slowly move away from under His protection and ordinance for living.
Bringing about the breakdown of biblical responsibilities of both parents and children and by the accepting of the secular world’s point of view as an acceptable substitute for biblical integrity. We must remember that their target is the biblical parent, their aim is to discredit and break apart the building blocks of a productive and functional way of life, but to what extent and for what reason? This new identity enables a breaking of God’s covenant on our behalf, especially in the younger generations who lack an understanding of God.
This new style of rebellion presents a new challenge to the families of believers as a whole. The fight is an ideological one, based on deception, entertained by the social and cultural movement of the day. The rebellion in the world disguised as freedom and individuality is not true freedom, nor will it bring peace. The absence of God does not bring stability and peace. Rather, it will bring bondage and suffering in the life of the individuals who partake as well as their societies. All throughout the bible we see how the enemy of God has confidently gone after believers and their families. Just as has tried continuously to destroy the descendent’s of Abraham, he also wants to destroy the families of all who believe so that the promise of eternal life may be lost by the deterioration of the new generations. He did not succeed and will never be able to obtain victory that has not been authorized him.
The educating of our children in spiritual matters is of great importance. Just as we teach them safety and awareness about a great multitude of things, spiritual awareness should be among the most important. Including also the instruction given to us when we learn the character of God and Jesus in the word of God.
Inexperience may leave us doubtful of our own abilities, but God’s way is always perfect.
The greatness of God’s word is that it places His statutes at the forefront of our lives, it also allows us to see and understand the outcome of their application in the lives of His people and teaches through the disobedience of ourselves and others.
This is beautifully captured in Psalms 91, specifically verses 7 through 10.
A thousand shall fall at they side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
8. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
9. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
10. There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
In the building of confidence in God our families understand their purpose and grow united.
An amazing characteristic of the word of God is that there is no other writ that is as intricate nor complete. In its entirety it discloses for us all the mysteries of life and teaches us the appropriate way to manage it.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
But how can we develop a sound biblical parenting style? How do we teach ourselves and our children obedience and honor? We must try to remember the lessons we ourselves have learned from our heavenly father. If we haven’t already established a personal relationship with Christ or our relationship is fairly new these things may seem nearly impossible to achieve. How can you possibly teach and lead your own house if you yourself haven’t learned to be a seasoned believer?
1. Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
2. And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
Remember that at the time of the exodus the law itself had yet come into existence. Therefore the first thing is to begin to become familiar with His commandments and His word. Our father not only freed us from the bondage of Egypt, but taught us how to love and respect him, ensuring our protection. The bible teaches through various illustrations, that obedience and understanding of God and His will allows for faith to grow. Faith in return brings about a desire to obedience. Faith resides in His word and we cannot acquire it without it. This is how we learn to know our Father, to love and trust Him. Just as important, we must be willing to listen to the worries, fears and concerns of our children. Fostering in them a faith in us second only to that of the authority of God. Remembering that you are their first and foremost reference of learning.
A boundary between the secular world that wishes to distort their convictions and the very real threat to their moral well being. As parents we are entrusted with their education, not relinquishing our authority to the secularized and institutionalized sectors as we see today. We are commanded to bring them up in love and therefore must exercise both patience and clear judgment.
That they may learn to love, to be obedient even with the passing of time and the test of life’s experiences. This great emphasis on teaching encompasses many aspects of God’s word. Not only the understanding and correct appropriation of His truth, moral and ethical maturity and a biblical mindset; which are in themselves a part of the great commission we are all called to.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
1 Peter 5:8
The Battle Between Sin and Obedience
Our battle is fought through faith. We cannot control the behaviors and believes of others, but our faith tells us that God is at the forefront of our battles with the devil because the reality of spiritual warfare is a part of our prayer life. Prayer for our children should be a continual and constant presence in our lives. Sometimes they are weak in faith due to their own immaturity both emotionally and in the spirit and need our guidance and protection.
Through education we eliminate the ignorance of the world from gaining access to the minds and hearts of our children.
Teaching on some of the most powerful strong points found throughout the Bible should include the beatitudes and the temptation of Christ.
In them Jesus shares wisdom about human weakness that opens the path to depravity. While the Beatitudes describe the blessings of the saints who endure with long-suffering both emotional distress and persecution; the temptation of Christ encompasses some of the very basic needs and desires of the human heart. Things that the enemy of God uses to lead us away from our Father.
In them the need for substance, for validation, the physical needs of the body; and the weakness of our human vanity. These areas of the human condition, are all areas of human inclination to error; often falling prey in its search to satisfy the standards set by the world through its trappings and temptations.
These deep yearnings , are at the most basic of human needs. They where created by God to be filled by the validation of his love and the reinforcing within legitimate and wholesome relationships. The world through its manipulation of them creates in all of us sin. It is our responsibility as parents to not only address these issues as they arise within our families, but to teach their proper place and their instrumentation.
Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
The root of all human grieving and suffering is rooted in sin and the creator of sin, the destroyer. The danger of living in a sinful world, is not the world itself, but the temptation and appeal of sin.
The seriousness of sin is often disguised as pleasurable and attractive opportunities for a great variety of things. It is because of the lust for the things of this world that we desire to sin. Some of these can be as simple as our own convictions that may have originated in good intentions but will lead us down a more destructive path.
Finding Your Identity by Building Your House on the Rock.
The world places ourselves at odds with ourselves and those around us and we do so through the unrealistic ideals constructed by culture of self indulgence and self gratification. In a world that is constantly changing, achieving the epitome of perfection is always one step further. It is only in the acceptance of God’s will for our own lives and the living in acceptance and satisfaction of our identity in Christ that we learn to live truly free. Being men and women in Christ as God has defined you, not by the standards the world is setting to entrap you. As parents this might mean setting aside all selfish aspirations for oneself and turning our focus and attention to the building up of the next generation of biblical men and women. This takes a great deal of sacrifice and energy, but it must be done with a goal in mind. How do we meet this great challenge depends solely on our view of ourselves.
The word of God reminds us that we shouldn’t lean our own understanding, but it also calls us up to face our suffering and challenges through faith.
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hearse these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
Matthew 7: 24-27
For this purpose it is important to understand that our own relationship with God and in acceptance of Christ is where our faith lies. We must first understand and follow through by teaching our children with His purpose in mind. Being made in His image we carry with us a part of His spirit, and along side our genetic inheritance passed onto our children, a part of God’s spirit is inherited by them also in the miracle of conception.
When we choose to identify with God and live according to His will, it is only natural that our children also will carry on our faith. This is reflected in the way we give thanks and praise for not only the simple things we have and have accomplished, but how His purpose for our lives is fulfilled through our identity in Him and how he defines us. This will powerfully reach out to and teach our children. So much of what the world offers young men and women is void of all feelings of love and lacks a clear vision into the complexity of family, marriage and society; creating in them a crisis of identity. This allows the enemy of God to use our freedom of will against us, regardless of the root of anxiety.
We often allow the pressures of society and even our peers determine how we view ourselves. The need for acceptance is perhaps one of the most powerful of human experiences. We desire to belong and to contribute and want to be loved. Who the world says you should be however has little to do with love or contribution, rather it focuses on the selfish and superficial things, even at the expense of others. It raises ones expectations to a fault. It is critical, selective and cold. With the ability to leave you feeling empty despite your best efforts to realize whatever dream you thought would bring you happiness. When we hold on to the ideas and the standards of the world, we fail to love God. Rejecting him by our lack of change in mind and behavior. Pursuing instead the world’s ideology and the pain of rejection it will bring, often leading to our own undoing and failures.
On the other hand, the security that a personal relationship creates between a believer and our Father is indispensable to every facet of life. It has the power to transform the life of a believer and strengthens the spirit even amidst trials and hardships. We know that this world is hard and that it has the power to consume you, but God’s grace and power has already conquered all that we see and experience. Learning what our God expects of His children and how we are to conduct ourselves deepens our relationship with him by the act of simple obedience. When we love Him we begin to understand our calling and purpose. He will teach you exactly who you are and what you were created for. This knowledge is powerful and we are to teach it to our children so that they understand the significance of what it means to belong and be loved.
When you apply this under the discipline of the headship, the father will be the one who will correct, empower and give confidence as well as guidance. It is important to discipline, keeping a secure position while remaining loving and understanding. Through discipline, instruction and love we teach them to respect us, very much the same way God teaches his children. God never abuses his children nor neglects to recognize their needs.
Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
Do not create in them a feeling of animosity, leaving behind the seed of doubt and resentment. If they lose hope and trust in you due to your mistreatment or lack of integrity, their view on authority more importantly God’s authority will forever be altered.
Carefully leading through example and conscious discipline. While you yourself are not perfect, you must mirror the same ethics and values that you expect your children to respect. Being who you say you are, having dignity and integrity, being honest and fair to God, yourself and your family.
Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him – a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.
But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
1 Timothy 5:8
Provision goes beyond the monetary expectations of a household. We must provide our children with understanding, a loving and nurturing environment. We must also give them spiritual substance from which to draw, learn and grow. You are entrusted the task of ensuring that they gain the knowledge of God through the word of God.
Teaching the word of God and the commandments will strongly enforce what it means to be and remain committed to the task by mirroring obedience towards God. This integrity will define character whether or not one finds it convenient or even beneficial. When to stay strong and remain faithful,even when the world is threatening and challenges their beliefs. This will speak loudly and remain very much a part of their identity even after they have grown up and established their own lives and the lives of their children.
God never abandons His children and while life’s challenges may cause us to become weary, we must not relinquish our position or authority. The education of children should always be centered around the beliefs of the family, which are those developed on the foundation of God’s word. Once the world permeates that line, the challenges that can be found there will more than likely find their way to your doorstep. Be alert to the influences that surround your children, don’t allow the feeling of guilt or even the idea that you are somehow being unfair by eliminating influences that would eventually bring your children to their own detriment.