We’ve all seen it. The little kid having a temper tantrum in the aisle at the grocery store because he wants some fruit snacks; the tween girl rolling her eyes at her parents in a restaurant; or the teenager sitting in the back of church texting.
‘No’ is usually one of the first words kids use when they start to talk. That’s the way the flesh is set up. That’s why authority isn’t a popular topic. Our undisciplined flesh cringes at the word and seeks to rebel.
But that’s not the way God set things up.
God sets up authority for our own good. In fact, He set us up from the very beginning to be under authority—in a family.
God has always had a divine purpose for family. He didn’t just want you to have a few people to go get ice cream with. The Bible says to “be fruitful, fill the earth, and subdue it.” To subdue means to conquer and to bring under subjection. His desire was that his administration and righteousness fill the earth. He literally designed family so that the knowledge of His Kingdom would be passed on to future generations.
But the devil figured it out. He caught on to what God wanted to do with families, and he does everything he can to prevent it. He brings pain, sorrow, and confusion into our families. He does whatever he has to do to erode righteousness and bring rebellion, because he knows, as God does, that how your family goes is how you’re going to go. This applies to children being raised in a family, as well as the adults trying to run a family.
Paul talks about this in I Timothy 3. He tells us that a man who can’t manage his own family can’t manage the church. Really, if a man can’t manage his own family, he can’t manage much of anything.
Managing your family properly starts with order. Paul tells us that God established a divine order for the family: Christ is the head of the man, man is the head of the wife, and children are under the parents.
Ephesians 6 says, “Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. ‘Honor your father and mother.’ This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, ‘things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”
If a child learns obedience and respect in his parent’s house, he’ll be able to respect authorities in the world, and he’ll live a long life.
It all starts with the family.
This divine order God established is for our protection and blessing. We find an example of this in Matthew 8:5. A Roman officer came to Jesus asking that he heal his sick servant. But when Jesus said he would go, the officer shocked Jesus by saying, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.”
The officer was able to receive from Jesus because he had been trained to respect authority. He knew Jesus had authority and he interpreted Jesus’ words through his own understanding of how he would respond to a directive.
When you don’t train a child to respect authority, or you let him go his own way or choose when he’s going to obey, when he begins to try to come to God in faith, he’s going to filter that through his own perception of how he would obey a directive.
Many adults have done this—nullified their own faith because they can’t see themselves under God. They have authority issues.
And, if you’re not submitted to God’s authority, you won’t have any authority over your own life.
Training starts in the family.
Until your child becomes a born-again believer, it’s the law of God, the covenants, and the commandments that teach, instruct, and give your child boundaries. Their ability to learn respect in the home will carry right out of the house, into the world, and into their relationship with God. If a child can’t respect his parents, he won’t respect God. And if you can’t respect something, you can’t receive from it.
Success starts in the family, so there is no better place to start change than in your family.
So, take the time to love, instruct, and discipline. Model righteousness. Don’t just live in the same house. Talk to each other. Spend time together. Protect your children from what they could see, hear, and do. Deal with conflict quickly. Establish order and authority. Posture your family to walk in the promises of God.
There is an all-out attack being waged on family. FIGHT BACK!
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