"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me." - Galatians 2:20

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Friday, June 15, 2012

ON OR UNDER?

This devotion is lovingly dedicated to my awesome husband: the man who leads our home, fathers his sons and cherishes his wife.  I respect you honey, because you live what you teach and practice what you preach!  I love you.  Happy Father's Day!

Ephesians 6:4 (NIV 1984) "Father's do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."



"Well . . .  maybe I don't want to be under authority."  

Half of my eyeballs came out of their sockets while my eyebrows created a new line of wrinkles on my forehead.  My husband's head cocked to the right and with gentle firmness he replied, "Well son, you are under our authority because this is God's design for the family."

Yes, these defiant words were uttered recently by one of our boys.  To be honest, it surprised us because our normally compliant one was challenging our position as parents.  It's not the first heart-to-heart we've had with our son(s), nor the last.

Ephesians 6:1-4 fortifies the crucial role parents play in the discipleship of their children in the Lord. A parent's supreme calling is to raise their children in the truth of God's Word, to teach a biblical worldview and to train and instruct in the admonition of the Lord.  And, the position of the father holds weighty responsibility as the head and leader of the home. 

Paul warns fathers not to provoke their children to anger.  Fathers are not to abuse the power God ordains them to have, but rather reprove their children with compassionate correction.  The goal for fathers is to govern prudently so as to lead their children in the Lord.  

A wise and honorable father understands his position of authority over his family because, He himself, recognizes God's authority over his own life.  

We all live under authority.  Depending on our position we may fall under parent, boss, police, coach, teacher etc.  The question is, do we actually live under this authority with respect or do we live like we are above it?  Just like our son, our sin nature desires to be on the throne not under the throne.  

Human nature resists the humility required  to bow before God.  Our flesh opposes God's design and questions His authority.  When we don't respect God's position of authority over us it prevents our submission to His Lordship and surrendering our will to His. 

This rebellion started in The Garden and continues to prevail.  Sin is crouching at our door; it desires to have us, but we must master it (Genesis 4:7).  We must continually wave the white flag by crucifying our flesh daily.  

If children do not learn to respect the position their parents have over them, they too, will struggle to respect God's authority and His position over them.  

The same is true for wives.  A woman's  lack of honoring her husband's authority reveals a heart  struggling to submit to God's authority. When wives disrespect their husband's position in the home they usurp the role God has given them.  Dishonoring our husband disrupts God's design for the family.

Sadly, I've disrespected my husband at times.  Just like our son, I too have desired to be on the throne and not under it.  By God's abundant grace, He reinforces biblical truths and has given me the following insight for how I can better honor and respect my husband as he leads our home.

Practically speaking, here are some pointers wives and mothers can adhere to:
  • Ask your husband how you can better esteem and respect him (be prepared to bite your tongue).
  • Let your husband lead (requires removing self from the throne - no excuses ladies).
  • Praise him in the presence of your children and encourage his strengths (often).
  • Do not compare him with other dads/husbands who appear to have it all together.
  • Do not disagree or refute what he says in the company of your kids (talk with him privately with gentleness and respect).
  • Thank him for his leadership, his hard work and provision for the family.
  • Pray for God to give him wisdom, discernment, insight and perception as he leads.
  • Pray for yourself to respectfully submit to your husband's leadership as God's design.
When we esteem our husband as we should it brings peace and joy to the home.  When we affirm and lovingly respect his position it enables us as parents to operate as a team with him as the coach.  Following the biblical model for leadership brings blessing.  

My husband and I are not perfect parents.  We make mistakes.  We've had to ask our boys' forgiveness . . . more than once.  We are desperate as we lean on God's leadership and strength to lead our boys.  We need His wisdom for discipline and training.  

We strive to uphold godly standards in our home and a biblical respect for authority.  But, our position of authority beckons a position of humility.  This humility forces us to our knees.  

The enemy seeks to bring enmity between spouses and division between parents and children.  He lurks in the shadows to destroy biblical authority and dumb-down the role of fathers.  

Friends, let's live under God's authority, subdue the flesh and stop shooting the breeze with persuasive serpents!



Heart Work:
Comment below one way you can better honor and respect your husband as he leads your home.

Write your own list of practical suggestions, pray over them and show them to your husband.

Maybe this Father's Day is a day to seek forgiveness (God's and your husband) and verbally renew your commitment to your husband as he strives to lead your family.  I guarantee this would be more profitable than any other gift you could give him.

Heart Exam:
How do you teach and train your children in the admonition of the Lord?  How do you instruct with a biblical worldview?

How do you revere your husband's authority over you and your children?  Do you understand the biblical model of leadership for the family unit?

When do you struggle to submit to God's authority in your life?  Print the verses below and begin memorizing the biblical truths contained within.

Heart Changing Word:
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 "These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates."

Romans 6:6 "For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin - because anyone who has died has been freed from sin."

Romans 6:11-12 "In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires."

Ephesians 5:21-25 "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her."

Ephesians 5:33 "However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."

Ephesians 6:1-2 "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  Honor your father and mother - which is the first commandment with a promise."

Colossians 3:18-21 "Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.  Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.  Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.  Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged."


Copyright 2012 by Hester Christensen.  All rights reserved.