Giving Your Children the Greatest Advantage in LifeFebruary 11, 2014
Every parent I know wants their children to have the advantage in whatever it is they are doing. We give our kids the best equipment so they can have an advantage in sports. We give them the best education so they can have an advantage in the marketplace. We give them the best resources so they can have an advantage in development. Most of the things that seem advantageous however, are really temporal, inconsequential items. Skinny jeans, iPods, baseball bats, and earphones may bring a smile to their face instantaneously, but they, in themselves, will never give an advantage over time.
I am going to make a bold, and biblical declaration: the greatest thing you can give your children so that they can have the advantage throughout life is a good, biblical marriage.
Good, biblical marriage…so easy to type out, a little harder to live out.
The Assignments of a Good, Biblical Marriage
The reason why our homes are crumbling is because we have deviated from the original blueprints. No one building a house would rip up the plans and wing it. No… every angle, measurement, slope, and wall is pre-engineered and predetermined. When a builder starts construction he must stick to the original design. If he disregards the plan he will inevitably face setbacks.
Within the blueprints of marriage, God has given specific assignments to each individual. If we disregard those assignments we build without a proper foundation. The storms come and the entire structure falls. Each home should have the following:
- Headship. God doesn’t insinuate, suggest, or even command that men should be the leader in the home, He simply declares it! Whether you want the responsibility or not…men, you are the leader. This is no way means the husband is a bully boss that throws his proverbial weight around getting what he wants. Instead it means that he sets the spiritual tone for the home. He provides, he protects, he intercedes. He is the worship leader, the high priest, the defender of good, and the developer of faith. Men: if we fail in this area, we will never give our children the home-field advantage…never!
- Heartship. God also has an assignment for the wife, and in many ways this assignment is much more liberating than headship. God instructs all of us to submit one to another; yes we are all to practice this discipline. We are to be servants one to another in our homes. The wife exemplifies such a notion in her relationship with her husband; she quite literally leads by example. This is a choice the wife makes. The husband cannot force her to do this. This is the liberating factor of her assignment. Her submission is an act of will; it is an inherent freedom that God gives her. (just to confirm: when a man is loving his wife the way that Christ loves the church, the woman will have no problem fulfilling her assignment of reverence and submission). When this assignment is missing in the design of marriage, rebellion and division seems to exist on all other levels. Men be cautious, rebellion from authority may be the consequence with your own relationship with God! Children rebel against parents because they see it in mom. Mom rebels against husband because she sees it in his relationship with the Lord.
- Honor. The children should obey their parents. The promise of long life and sustained days is wrapped within the confines of this commandment. We should teach our children the importance of biblical authority. It is God Who settles and establishes authority throughout the earth. They should understand that obedience is their responsibility in the family. Failure to comply with God’s terms results in rebellion and life-long regret.
The Affection of a Good, Biblical Marriage
I wonder how many homes in the United States are void of biblical charity. We have strife, division, stress, tension, walls, miscommunication, and dysfunction galore. Most of our issues could and would be settled when we understood and implemented the command to love one another. Sadly in many homes, the parents are no longer passionate soul-mates, they are just pitiful roommates.
Children know when parents have lost the lovin’ feeling. My children personally hate it when me and my wife get cozy. They think it is disgusting and gross when we hold hands or kiss. They hate it now, but they will cherish it later.
To give them an advantage we must exercise grace, kindness, mercy, forgiveness, and long-suffering. “The bond of perfectness” as the apostle Paul said, “is charity.” In short, the example of maturity, the essence of growth is founded upon the one quality that changes the world: love.
The Abilities of a Good, Biblical Marriage
I know what you are thinking. How is it possible to implement these principles into reality? How do we turn the battleground in our homes into holy ground? Paul had the answer in Ephesians 5:18-19, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord”
This is the secret. As soon as Paul finished these verses he went into the assignments God has given to the husband and wife. Therefore, in context, the only way to fulfill your scriptural obligations as husband and wife is to be filled with the Spirit.
In closing, the only way to have the right kind of relationship with one another is to have the right kind of relationship with God. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we will have a hard time being filled with anger, lust, jealousy, division, and bitterness. Give your kids the advantage, give them a good, biblical marriage.