Sunday, August 18, 2013

Your kids will love you for it (someday).

I wrote a few days ago about “Spiritual Headship”.  I believe this is a dynamic that affects every person’s life, whether they are aware of it or not.  When you walk into a store you can tell instantly whether it is a pleasant place to work or if those who are serving you can barely wait until it is time to go home.  In some stores that atmosphere is mostly created by the manager of a section who gets along well with those working along side him or her.  In a smaller, family-owned or run businessA, that atmosphere usually comes directly from the owner.  I deal with different paint stores and there is a huge difference between the service I get from a big box store, a national francize paint store chain that sells only paint, and a locally owned, family operated paint store that works very hard at keeping my business.

            My point is this.  The spiritual atmosphere created at the top of the organization I have to deal with is largely created by the attitude of the boss in charge.  It is not hard to tell if that person is an angry person who is hard to please.  Or if he is a fair minded person who is open to suggestions from those around him. 

            I’ve done a lot of reflecting about this because my father-in-law just passed away two weeks ago.  Lots of nice things will be said about him at his memorial service this afternoon, as should be the case.  This sweet, unassuming 92 year old pastor had a true servant heart.  He was dearly loved at the nursing facility where he spent the last 20 years of his life.  But I can testify that without being dictatorial about his faith, he set a tone of tenderness toward the Lord’s voice that has brought his Faith in Jesus Christ down to our generation.  Now it is our turn as patriarch and matriarch of our family to continue our influence toward godliness, faithful obedience, joyful submission to do everything we can to make following God the most attractive lifestyle possible.

            There are so many applications of this principle.  How about applying this to our homes?  Am I, as father to my children, seen by them as a tyrant who is difficult to please or am I approachable by my kids, willing to listen to their suggestions and ideas?  Is it okay for them to offer an alternative on how to get a chore done or is it Dad’s way, period, end of discussion?  Yes, there are times when I need to say. “No, I want it done this way.”  But if I have worked at creating a trusting relationship, hopefully those times when I need to set my foot down will be few and far between.

            Is my home a place where it feels comfortable?  We have had a few people over the years comment on how “peaceful” our home feels.  (That could be the absence now for several years of no toddler’s or rebellious teenagers.)  But even when our kids were in that age group, there was very little rebellious behavior because they knew we loved them and respected them as delightful young people.

            So what kind of persons are you drawing them out to become.  What is the spiritual atmosphere you are creating?  You can do this!  Day by day, one attitude at a time, based on one thought at a time, taken captive to the obedience of Jesus, the Lord of my home.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Spiritual Headship

One of the great motivators in my life is based on this question:  “What is the spiritual atmosphere my life is creating that will impact my wife, children and grand children?”

            I don’t know if you have ever considered that question, but it is something I think about every few days, if not nearly every day.  It is based on the concept of “Spiritual Headship”, which is a fancy word for saying that how I live my life in the spiritual realm will have a profound impact on my family, my business, and ultimately everyone my life touches.  I am the spiritual leader of my home.  I set the tone, whether we will be a family who honors God or just spends its time in recreation or pursuing the “American Dream”.  What I set as priority for myself will affect directly what atmosphere is dominant in my home.  If I spend more time with the sports page than with God’s Word, that will show up somehow in the spiritual level of my home life.
            This gets really convicting for me, personally, when I think about the secret sins in my life that no one else knows about.  Yes, it is possible for me to sit piously in church on Sunday, looking very saintly, holy to the core, raising my hands in worship at just the right moment so everyone will notice—while entertaining lustful thoughts about someone across the room.  Yes, it is possible for that to happen.  But if I allow that to happen, and the decision is totally up to me and me only, it will set a limit on my true spiritual condition.  If I allow that lust to remain, it will take over more and more areas of my life until finally, it breaks out in open sin others can see.  The great spiritual leader/pastor who suddenly runs off with his secretary and leaves his wife and family to pick up the pieces did not do so on a whim of the moment.  He lost that battle against lust over and over, maybe hundreds of times, when no one was looking or knew what spiritual battle he was fighting.  He should have been doing warfare against that spirit by taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. 

            When applied to my family, this template for personal holiness is the only way I know to set a spiritual atmosphere that my grandchildren will be drawn by Holy Spirit to follow hard in righteousness after God.  I work very hard, every day, at keeping my mind and spirit pure, unblemished by sin.  In doing so, I am directly contributing to an atmosphere of holiness that covers my wife, children, and grandchildren. 

            You can, from this day forward, choose what your internal spiritual house will look like.  As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  Write me if I can be of help.