"… So that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth…"
Key point: Love, Lead, Offer, Value and Equip. Commit to building Christian values and principles that show Christ's value and theirs that lead the people in your church to quality and beneficial relationships at home and at work.
A call is made for children to listen and obey our parents, because we need to be cared for and to learn. Who better than those who are in the Lord and love us and who are family? We need to respect father and mother; we may experience less harshness of the consequences of our bad choices. If we listen to wise instruction--what to do and not to do--things go better for us. A call is given to parents not to abuse, harm, or frustrate their children; parents are called to love, protect, and raise children right in the Lord, and give them proper instruction in God's precepts. A call is given to employees to be the best workers possible as we are working for our Lord as witnesses for Him. A call is given to people who employ others, to treat them as real Christians, with care, not to abuse or frustrate; employers are to treat workers well as this reflects glory to the Lord (and creates a better workplace, too). How we work is a reflection of our relationship with Christ; our work should reflect caring to those around us.
What we exemplify and teach is that a family is a microcosm of the Church! We are all united in Christ; and, a church is a collection of families with gifts and responsibilities united not only in blood and bond, but in the greater connection of who we are in Christ! How we are in our relationships is the power indicator of how we are in our relationship with Christ. Family is not about power and control, about fears, usurping authority or rebelling from it. It is about His love and respect in each of the members, all in unison. This does not mean we do not have our ups and downs and problems. It does mean we can create an atmosphere of trust and love as well as encouragement and support (Col. 3:18-21)!
What we exemplify and teach is that we are called to Obey! Meaning to "listen up," a call to have respect for authority. This is a call to submit to those in authority and to value and respect them, enjoy orderliness, and learn from them. In contrast, a person with a lack of faith will not respect others because the emptiness where faith is supposed to be is filled with pride and even self-destruction, worry, and stress that lead a person nowhere good. Submission is respect; submission should not exceed the parameters of the will of God or of love and righteousness. To be in leadership is not an excuse to batter or put wives, children, workers or anyone down in any way. This does not mean we submit to dictatorial or dysfunctional family members or any form of bad leadership (Psalm 119; Isa. 21:8; Jer, 23:4; Ezek. 3:17; 33:6; 35:7; Hab. 2:1; Acts 20:28; Col. 18-22; Heb. 13:7; 1 Pet. 5:2-4; 3 John 9-10).
What we exemplify and teach is that the Bible declares that there is equity of all peoples! We are all equal in God's sight. The mandate to love, an extreme wakeup call that commands each family member to thoroughly exhibit all of the qualities of biblical character in their relationship with one another (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
The chief purpose for Christians, above all else, is to glorify God. Christ is our great example of respect and endurance; He endured and suffered for you, He took your place in God's wrath, and as a sinless, innocent person, went to the cross for us all. We then follow in His steps--not for our salvation, as it has already been given to the Christian--but to show another picture to those who are watching us. We exemplify Him by being a good example! Why? He has healed and saved us, so we need to trust Him out of our gratitude, and allow Him to be our Shepherd, Guardian, and Lord over all. So, how will we play this out on our families and work (Gen. 1:26-27; Lev. 19:18; Mark 12:29-31; Luke 6:31; 22:42; John 17:22; Eph. 4:1-16; 1 Pet. 4:11)?
© 2016 R.J. Krejcir, Ph.D., Francis A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development www.churchleadership.org/