My two year old insists on walking everywhere. Even when I’m running late, I often let him. It is inconvenient, takes twice the time, sometimes dangerous near busy road, but I pray for patience and off we go.
But I also have to deal with some of the older children’s desires:
sometime they say that the church is boring’ or ‘I’m not going today.’ I never allow them to have their way on this one.
At the moment, our family is strictly divided into distinct traditional roles where husband goes to work and a wife looks after the children at home. I believe a child should never must choose between mum or dad in any family. Ever.
‘Let earth and heaven combine, angels and men agree,
To praise in songs divine the incarnate Deity,
Our God contracted to a span, incomprehensibly made Man.’
This hymn contains both, the secret for successful family as well as success in general. First of all, there is got to be an order in high heavens: God rules and everyone else submits to Him. Makes sense if you believe in God of course. His creation must be subject to Him. If a family, an institution set up by God, with Adam & Eve the first pioneers, there must be also His order. The Scriptures tells us that Adam has been created first, and Eve after to be his boss, oops, ‘helpmate’. Don’t we, women married or not, rather often feel tempted to boss men around? While some men fight it off with all might and others laugh it off, which does it concern/affect the most? I would answer: God. To Him alone we will give an account for our life in this body. Even an earthly general demands his orders to be kept, why not the Chief General of heaven and earth? Adam, and so all men following after, take a role of the Head. Not because he is more important, but because how on earth it could be decided who is the head if both Adam and Eve want to be one? I’m saddened to hear from other women: ‘I’m an elder in our church. What are you doing in yours?’ In translation this means: ‘I’m rebellious to God’s order of things, how about you?’ This comes from a regular committed churchgoer. Personally, I have children to bring up, this is huge and plenty if I wish to give it my best. If I’m an elder and my husband is also, who is really going to invest in our children?
Not only order of creation confirms who should be the head, not only plentiful Scripture passages do so, but our very frame shows that a woman is a weaker vessel and a man must deal with her delicately. Why a weak vessel want to be a leader of men?! That is a good question. Why there is such a confusion about this issue when the Bible is so clear on the issue? ‘For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.
1 Timothy 2:13-15 ESV. In my mind, the answer is extremely simple to understand: it is impossible to obey and please God without daily help of the Holy Spirit for a believer, without investing in relationships regularly and praying together as a couple: there is no better glue in marriage than prayer. Convinced.
Deity became also a man. That is a thought to think about, eternity is not long enough! Only imagine Jesus turns around to God the Father and says: ‘What are you saying I have to do? Go down to earth (highly contaminated planet, something terribly went wrong after it has been created in utter perfection) and humiliate myself? You must be out of your mind! Don’t they deserve to be eliminated as highly contaminated hopeless dysfunctional species?!! Not me, not a chance in the whole of eternity.’
Well, our Savoir did not say it. Phew! We are grateful to Him for that. We love Him very much, but when it is our moment to be in a spotlight to demonstrate humility, we sing a solo: ‘I have enough, I put up with this nonsense long enough. I’m not here to suffer, but enjoy life, ‘you only have one life’. I’m out of this marriage and you watch me!’ While the unholy choir of fallen ‘friends’ echo: ‘Honey, you don’t have to take it. You have been through hell… Go, go, go.’ And the whole world applauding loudly while the Bible makes no influence here, incarnation makes no sense, and Christ is back in the manger, not in the very core of the heart. ‘Oh, this is too harsh. You don’t know my circumstances. You can’t understand it. Enough is enough.’ Really, that is exactly what Jesus had said on the cross: ‘Enough, you fools, I will never ever forgive you and you all should be cast off forever!’ Are we reading the same Bible? I know that we can’t understand all circumstances and not everything is black and white in the conflict, but the Bible was written for all circumstances and it is either true or not. I believe even as long as one person in marriage is willing to honour God and to do what is right according to the Scripture, things have more chance to work out. I hear stories when a wife prayed for her husband who had run away with a lover for one whole year. He came home repentant. You wish to hear such stories more often!
Most men who were greatly used by God had a submissive, self-denied, humble, helpful, agreeable in spirit women behind them. Interesting fact is not all of those men were necessarily easy, loving, romantic or providers. I’ve read about such women, a first American missionary come to mind, Ann Judson, as a perfect example outside of the Bible or Susanna Wesley, another classic example. I know some of such women personally.
Similar story is with the children. While parents have to be kind and patient with them, if one of them says he ‘doesn’t want to go to church or Bible is boring’, do we let him take our place to decide? Oh my! ‘Don’t touch the cooker what ever you do. And be careful how you use computer!’ I didn’t think so.
Children actually appreciate when they are disciplined because it tells them you care for them and love them.
Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
The ants are a people not strong, yet they provide their food in the summer…
Consider for a moment Kate Middleton’s parents. They were as ‘ants’ working away in a company called ‘Party Pieces’, over time this had opened up an opportunity of a lifetime. Can you imagine Royal family for your relatives? They did not know the future and where it might lead them. ‘Extraordinary’ as a maid from ‘Lark rise to Candleford’ say!
We, as Christian parents, will have a higher responsibility to present our children one glorious day before the Royal throne of God. What a privilege, but that involves a lot of prior work and many prayers. Guess what? The Lord does not ask us to do it alone, He is right there besides us. The Holy Spirit offers all these to be ours, daily, without a charge or a privileged position in life: love, joy, peace, patience, self-control… those are super agents who can do anything for you when you invite them along! Of course, we can do it ourselves; we could bring our children according to our own wisdom. A story of a lady that I know comes to mind. When she was a little girl, her mother who was a schoolteacher, made her practice piano three hours per day. All she did after school was playing piano. Later in life she was able to play any piece by Chopin, her particular favourite, but developed a serious mental illness. It had been confirmed now that it is extremely important to have contact with dirt. People who suffer with depression are advised to go and dig in the garden, touching the dirt with their bare hands. Once I visited her in the mental clinic, it was one of the most horrific experiences to endure. Seeing someone so confused about everything in life was just tragic. Well, her mother had her way, no wonder this lady has little contact with her now.
Last week has been difficult. A few of my children were ill. While I had to lie down with two youngest, my 9 year old could not sleep due to bad cough. He came in to our bed and was waiting for me there. My husband was sound asleep next to him while he was loudly coughing. The minute I was free, I came and gave him honey, medicine, anything to stop the cough. But when my son wants to go to indoor skate park and it involves driving 3 hours there and back in a single evening, I can’t do it. Thank goodness he has both parents who have different, but vital for the welfare of the family abilities. While this is silly enough illustration, I think it gives a little insight in what I mean.
Both parents have constantly live on the boat of humility, no question about it. Otherwise entire family will suffer. And the children are watching and taking everything in. My two year old has extended vocabulary – he repeats everything he hears at home. How much more they copy adult’s behavior It is your choice now what they will copy and how they will be presented at the royal court of heaven. There is no small thing when it comes to sacrifice in order to please our King and Lord Jesus. And God’s help is present and sufficient for all otherwise the Bible could not say:
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you…
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this LIGHT MOMENTARY AFFLICTION is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:7-18
Wow! When a friend was reading this to me the other day, I was thinking: ‘So true, this past year has not been easy for me. It has been hard, but the Lord remained faithful to His word and in my life.’ Pastor John Piper sums it all up: ‘When we suffer, but don’t deny Christ, the world sees the Saviour.’