6.16.14 “A Counter-Cultural Calling”

The Scripture for today is Ephesians 6: 1-4 Children, obey your parents as believers in the Lord. Obey them because it’s the right thing to do.2 Scripture says, “Honor your father and mother.” That is the first commandment that has a promise.3 “Then things will go well with you. You will live a long time on the earth.” (Deuteronomy 5:16)

4 Fathers, don’t make your children angry. Instead, train them and teach them the ways of the Lord as you raise them.   

The last two Sundays, Pastor has taught on passages from Ephesians and Colossians regarding submitting and obeying.  In our culture today, those words are hard to hear and hard to act on.  Our culture and freedom says it’s great to get everything we want and it’s ok to do whatever we want, whenever we want.  Our culture today is all about us...and that makes the word “humility”, hard to swallow.  Even in the culture these words were written in, the words submit, obey, humble yourselves, and serve were hard to live by and understand because of the way women, children, slaves, and the poor & sick were looked upon.  And yet the “counter-cultural” Jesus, set a new standard of living for us through submission, service, love, sincerity, inclusion for all, and no favoritism.  This new way of living, although to some may seem weak, offers true freedom and strength for those who trust Jesus and live according to this calling.

There’s a reason why Jesus calls us to this higher standard of living with each other.  Power and domination breeds more power and domination.  It squelches out love and respect for others and leaves our families and relationships empty and unfulfilling and broken.  I used to be over-sensitive to the passage about wives submitting to husbands.  It felt old and out of date to think about submitting or obeying my husband...and it scared me because I felt like I would lose my identity or my voice if I submitted.  I alsoI have a rebellious nature about me, which doesn’t help!  But I realized through study and teaching and life, that submitting means none of that.  Submitting is respect and doesn’t rob me of anything...but instead offers something strong and encouraging to my husband and confirms my identity in Christ which is the most important identity I have.  Out of my submission (respect) to my husband, flows love and appreciation back to me from him.  It’s a win/win situation and God knows that we work that way because He created us to work that way.  It brings unity!

Today’s passage is about children obeying and honoring their parents.  It’s a hard thing to do with peer pressure and temptations being so strong in our society. Its more likely a child will honor parents if they see respect and humility at home, so I want my children to see me honoring their father.  I have grown children - all out of the home, but it’s just as important they see us living out this higher calling now, than it was 10 years ago when they were home. We are still training up our children even though they are adults now.  It will be a continuous process as long as we are alive, which makes these passages about  submission, honor, respect and love, even more powerful and fresh everyday!

Father, help me to be humble.  Help me to submit to you and your authority on marriage and relationships.  Help me to trust you fully and to submit to Mark as my husband and family leader on earth, for his sake, for our children’s sake, for my sake, and for your Glory! Use this counter-cultural way of life to set an example for others and to lead them to you.

How does this passage speak to you today?  What goes through your mind as you read and contemplate God’s word’s through Paul?