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Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Importance of Man's Authority and Protection over his Family

Today, let’s look at a quick example of a biblical marriage to further understand the ways in which a wife can honor her husband. One of the most obvious ways in which Sarah showed reverence to the order of the family hierarchy was through her choice of words in Genesis 18:12.  Sarah says, “After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?”  Notice her use of the word “master” which she is essentially using as the equivalent to the word husband.  In Webster’s dictionary, the definition of master is 1.) A man who rules others or has control over something; specifically a) one who is head of a household b) an employer c) one who owns a slave or an animal d) or the captain of a merchant ship.  In every one of these descriptions the term master holds a meaning of one having greater authority over another.  Therefore, Sarah used this term respectfully to acknowledge her husband’s position as an authority over her. 

How often today are women truly comfortable with describing the position of their husband as an authority over them?  In our present culture, for a woman to acknowledge this type of hierarchy is archaic at best and demeaning at worst.  In fact, one of the quickest ways to fan a flame into fire is to infer a woman is somehow subordinate to her husband.  Women want to be viewed as equal to their husbands in every sense of the word and this in fact how God designed the family unit.  However, in every relationship there must exist someone in charge; a leader, an authority figure, a boss or a supervisor.   This type of dynamic is present within business, politics and education, yet within the family unit there exists great controversy regarding the husband as the head of his household.  God clearly made man a more dominant figure in the home, seemingly having greater power and authority to maintain order within his household.  Women, however, have been fighting this ordained hierarchy ever since its inception in the Garden of Eden.  The insatiable desire for women to battle this dynamic should not be surprising to us since God made clear in Genesis 3:16 that woman would be ruled over as part of the consequence to her sinful actions.

Genesis 3:16:  “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children.  Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

God declared woman would be ruled over by her husband because of Eve’s disobedience.  It was almost as if God had given her an opportunity to prove herself worthy of full trust, but she blew it.  Therefore, he gave man the role of helping to guide and direct his wife, possibly in an attempt to curb impulsivity and of course to protect her and her children from harm. 

I have seen and heard so many women take God’s beautiful gift of protection and interpret it as a stifling mechanism used for control and punishment.  With this idea manifesting itself as a dominant belief system, women have made themselves and their children vulnerable to the worldly wolves looking to destroy and devour.  Let me give you a clear example of the way in which women diminish a man’s authority and protection over his family. 

A few years ago I worked as a foster home consultant preparing families to become foster parents.  During this process, I met a nice couple who had two children, both were girls and under the age of 10.  The father worked away from the home usually for several consecutive days and sometimes a week or two at a time.  The mother was a stay-at-home mom. 
One day while completing a home visit with the mom, her kindergarten aged daughter asked if she could wear a particular pair of pump sandals to school.  Mom responded, “You can wear them today, but remember when dad comes home to keep them put away.”  Mom must have felt she owed me an explanation and quickly stated she and her husband disagreed about fashion regarding their two daughters.  Mom chose clothes for her girls that incorporated certain trends, while dad was more conservative and focused on preserving his daughter’s innocence.  Keep in mind that dad grew up in a rough home environment, while also working in an occupation that involved investigating fraud.  Needless to say, he was concerned about the impression others would have regarding his daughters if they looked like fashion models just entering kindergarten. 

A primary component of a father’s identity is an inherent behavior to protect his family.  The world is not as it used to be; therefore parents should exercise a greater level of commonsense regarding protection over their children.  Sex trafficking, pornography, drug pedaling, child molestation and sex crimes in general have risen dramatically over the years making it understandable for increased concern by parents. 

The argument within this home was between a mother wanting her daughter to fit in versus a father’s love and protection to keep his daughter safe from people with ill intentions. These days little girls, in and out of the church, are put on display in short skirts, make-up and heeled shoes sending a disturbing message that is it better to be seen, than to maintain a character of virtue.  Innocence is no longer valued in our culture.  Society pushes young girls to explore their sexuality at a very young age.  Culture screams at our daughters to engage in unhealthy premature sexual relationships in order to be accepted in social groups.  Running with the cool kids typically means leaving Christian morals and values at home.   

Husbands and wives commonly disagree in regard to the ways in which they should raise their children.  Each person’s experiences during their own family upbringing, tends to predict how they will parent their own children later on.  In this scenario, mom chose to conceal things and deceive her husband, to not only maintain some sort of power and control within the relationship regarding the raising of her daughters, but also to keep the peace by avoiding on-going controversy regarding the same unresolved issue.  By doing these two things she set in motion a destructive dynamic that could only lead to further turmoil and division within the home. 
Let’s look at several repercussions to the choices this mom made and what she hoped to gain by her decision making.  This is a scenario in which mom could clearly ask herself, “Am I being my husband’s Eve?”  In other words, “Am I making decisions that directly affect my spouse’s ability to do his job, not only as a husband and father, but as a spiritual leader and authority in maintaining his family’s safety and well being?”

This mom placed greater value regarding the worldly nature of her daughter fitting in versus her daughter’s perceived safety.  Much of the time, we are in denial of the potential of crimes occurring against our children, especially when we live in small towns where crimes seem less prevalent.  This was exactly the environment in which this family lived.  This mother loved her girls very much and it was clearly obvious that she was an excellent, kind, caring, nurturing role model.  However, her ideas regarding protection were much different than her husband’s.  Her ideas quite possibly centered on not leaving her children home alone or not letting them wander off in stores.  Dad’s ideas, on the other hand, were more focused around the scheming of child sexual perpetrators.  Mom believed her ideals regarding safety were warranted, while her husband’s were too strict and extreme. 

We cannot dismiss the true component of the disagreement in this home.  The issue was not about clothing.  It was more clearly about power and control and who would win the position of primary decision maker.  Because dad was often absent from the home, mom naturally had to exercise more authority in making daily decisions.  She had an easy opportunity with little accountability to disregard those rules that seemed too stifling for her girls.  In dad’s mind, there would be a time and place for his little girl to one day dress as a woman, however kindergarten was not the time, nor the place.  In mom's eyes, there was nothing wrong with her girls looking cute and fashionable.

Mom very clearly sent a confusing message to her daughter’s that their father’s authority and decision-making did not require respect or obedience.  Furthermore, the girls were inadvertently taught that lying was acceptable when used as a means to get what they want.  Quite possibly the most damaging underlying message sent to these little girls, was virtue was not an important quality to protect and hold dear until the cherished time of holy matrimony.  I can just hear this mom, like so many others, that believe “What dad doesn’t know won’t hurt him.”  The problem is “What dad doesn’t know makes his family vulnerable because he has a false sense of security.”  He believes in his heart he has taken strong measures to ward off threats against his family, when in fact his efforts are being sabotaged from within his own fortress.

How can we expect our husbands to make good spiritual family decisions on our behalf, when we as women, conveniently and often times, purposely leave out pertinent information?  Don’t get me wrong, women naturally have a built-in component to protect their children as well.  However, too much of the time, we spend our efforts protecting our children from the authority, guidance and discipline of their fathers.  We believe our ways of raising children are superior, more appropriate, more child friendly and nurturing than our husband’s “harsher” methods to teach respect, obedience and discipline.  The truth is children need a healthy balance of both, but it must be within the realm in which parents agree to be intentional about being united to best serve the interests of their children.  Let me say this more simply.  It is up to the parents to be united in working out a mutually agreed upon child rearing method.  This takes consistent and persistent communication, but more importantly is takes honesty. 

Ladies, we cannot expect our husbands to do right by our children if they are only given part of the equation.  How many times have you consorted with girlfriends in regard to your awareness of your child’s behavioral issues in school, your daughter dating a boy that dad would not approve of, or your child’s failing a class in which you concealed this information to help your child avoid punishment by dad?  The greater good and greater glory is to allow our husband’s equal opportunity to mold their child’s character to best represent God’s expectations for the parent-child relationship.  Women should not be assuming that a father’s role is any more or less significant than their own.  Often, women want to hold equal decision making power within the home, but then actually end up creating an unequal dynamic by parenting from a pedestal position.  

The best way for a mother and wife to maintain peace in her home is to strive to live by those standards established by God’s word.  Always being in communion with your Heavenly Father asking for direction on how best to parent your children, while at the same time respecting and honoring your husband, will bear great fruit that your children will appreciate and learn from later in their own marital relationships.  Remember, “Do unto others as you would want done unto you,” applies in the home, first and foremost.  You would not want your husband to lie and conceal things from you, so the rule of thumb becomes “Don’t think it is ok for you to do it.”  Always put into perspective that you answer to God first and foremost.  Ask yourself again and again if your decisions would be pleasing to your Heavenly Father or disappointing.  This is the best measure of accountability in which to live by.    
 
"Every Day is a Good Day When You Live it God's Way!"
 
-Rebecca-        

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Implosion: Trailer By Joel C Rosenberg



Please take the time to consider the dire economic crisis in the United States as well as around the world.  Revival and repentance are necessary for God to intervene on our behalf.  Our problems are far too great for us to conquer on our own.  Divine intervention is an absolute necessity for our country.  Do not let the media fool you into believing America can sustain their current debt load.  The markets are manipulated daily.  Our financial stability or lack thereof, has become a game and you are simply pawns spending, saving, buying or selling your hard earned money based on the increase or decrease of the markets.  Printing more money is only meant to inject dollars into a crippling economy to get people to believe that consumer confidence and spending are on the rise.   This is false.  Talk to your neighbor, your co-workers, your family and friends.  People are afraid; they are in debt; they are scared about the lack of stability in the job sector; savings, 401K's and retirement plans are all dwindling.  The majority of this country is in dire straits.  The answer from our current administration is to take from the top 2% of the wealthiest in this country to support the 47% who don't pay taxes.  Do you see how wrong this is?  Do you see how unfair it is to take from people who have risen to the top by their own efforts, only to have the government invade their bank accounts and demand they give more of their share to those who have little?

It is time for some serious discernment!

Those who know and love God, give and give generously, out of the goodness of their hearts.  We do not need to be forced by government bullies to give our dollars to those in need.  God provides the blessing and through the power of his Holy Spirit we are led to give.  A true love for God makes it easy to be obedient to his promptings to bless others.  This is the beauty of working within God's economy instead of being subject to man's greedy attitude of manipulation. 

Please consider purchasing Implosion to educate yourselves about the true condition of this great country in which you live.  Ignorance is no excuse to not act.  Criticism, name calling, and bullying between political parties keeps us distracted from the true issues.  We must be proactive in seeking the truth.  The truth does not lie with man, it lies with God!  Without knowing him, the potential of being mislead is inevitable.

"Every Day is a Good Day When You Live it God's Way!"

Rebecca