Jesus view of Authority, the Parents role
Posted by Steven Sarff
And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart. (Luk 2:51)
Jesus had no problem submitting to his parents. That is the way it is supposed to be. Can you even imagine the Messiah saying “do as I say and not as I do?”. He kept the law perfectly and part of that law was to:
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.(Exo 20:12)
Yes, Parents do not always get it right, they are imperfect. They chastise us to the best of their ability but they do not always do so as they should. Parents make mistakes.
For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. (Heb 12:10)
Here we have the goal for ALL discipline…that we may share in His Holiness. God does it all well, Parents do as seems best. Still, Parents are in charge of their children and need to accept that responsibility.
In regards to Authority, Parents have been given this from God.
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Eph 6:4)
But what parents are to do is a very interesting task. They are to discipline the child, bring up the child so that that child has the proper view of the Lord. It is my opinion that parents are like “God” to their children, much like Moses was like “God” to Pharoah (Ex 7). Parents are the first authority in the child’s life, the first to set boundaries, give warnings and teach the child whatever it is they want them to learn.
Parents are the one to first say “No” to the child, to set boundaries and expectations. They are also the first to share about the Lord and this is important! If the parent sets the Authority of parental control within themselves, it will over time fail. If the child obeys because the parent is bigger than they are, that will not be enough in many cases to control the child later on. However, if the parent shares that God is the Authority then there is something even bigger than the parent which the child learns to respect.
“You obey me because that is what God wants and I obey God” the parent says. “One day you will have freedom to choose and I want you to obey God too.”
The role parents have in the life of a child, first and foremost, should be instilling a love of God in their lives.
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deu 6:4-9)
However, that cannot be done if you do not have that love of God in your life. Telling the child “you obey me because God want you to, but I will not obey God because I….(fill in the reason here)…” will only teach the child that it is ok to disobey God when you get to be old enough. so about the time you can choose to stay up late and eat ice cream for breakfast (whether you do or not) is about the time you will be able to stop obeying God like your parents. Part of what God said in that passage above applies to how the Parent lives.
The other part is what God wants parents to focus on. Parents who want their children to learn about God need to be sure that they put God first in their life and then teach children to do the same. A 4.8 grade point average will not get a child into Heaven. Being a Rhode scholar or good in business will not either. It is not that school and education is not important but there is one thing truly more important than good grades. It is not a choice between an education and learning about God but if that were the choice, truly the choice, then choose God.
Authority needs to be honored and it is honored best when one responds to the ultimate Authority as Jesus did.