With regard to the culturally distasteful notion of submission, it is important, certainly as a Christian, to understand that submission works when both partners are submissive to God first. There is an accountability that exists between us and God and between husband and wife. The husband understands that his submission to God means that he will always have the best interest of his wife at heart and display God to wife and family. This selfless behavior makes submission to him an easy commitment for his partner to fulfill.
Parenting has another form of accountability attached to that role. Parents are accountable to God for the gift of their children. We are called to raise our children in a way that is pleasing to him. That, by definition, gives us authority over our children. But again we’re called to lead our children by demonstrating the character of God and his love. Remember, children model the dynamics that occur in the home. Do your children obey and submit to your authority? Do we as parents help our children to achieve the expectations that God has for them? This may be something for you to consider. The Scriptures have laid out acceptable and unacceptable behaviors tied to God’s expectations of us and of our children.
Our accountability to God is to raise our children in the ways that he prescribes. As discussed in chapter one, God has the best interest of the husband and wife at heart, and he likewise wants the best for our (his) children. Children reap the rewards when the parents demonstrate the same care for their well-being as God does for the parents. So too the children are called to obedience and submission. Children are accountable to their parents (and God) for their actions, and parents are called to be accountable to God in the way they raise their children.
Make your children aware that your parenting decisions—as well as decisions in general—are in collaboration with and submission to God’s authority. This sets a great example to the kids and also sends a clear message that the decisions you make will not be so easily manipulated since, just as they are accountable to you, you have higher accountability as well. This is what facilitates the scriptural command for children to obey their parents.
©2018 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design
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