Wednesday, January 7, 2009

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD...home or visitor

When my kids played sports, I remember one of the important things to know was whether or not we were HOME or VISITOR. For some reason this really mattered! It seemed that when we were HOME we always played better. Maybe it was because the HOME side always had a better dugout, or better bleachers, or was closer to the concession stand and bathrooms!

In studying the book of Colossians this week, I was reminded that sometimes in our personal life it is far easier to put our best foot forward with the people that we only see occasionally. The best that we have comes out for VISITORS and the worst sometimes is ever present for those we share HOME with.

In the play To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch is praised for "being the same at home as he is in town." If we are striving to be hero's at home, our Christlike spirit cannot be a false front. Eventually in the privacy of our homes, we will slip and let the "real" spirit come out.

Paul outlines some "submissive" attitudes to have within our family. Some people may read the text in Colossians 3 and look at it as enslavement. We often stop at verse 18 that instructs "wives, be submissive to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord." We fail when we see this passage as "do as your told", rather than seeing the Christian teaching that it offers.

LUKE 22:25-27 And He said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called 'benefactors.' (26) But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. (27) For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves."

Servant hood is a call placed upon each Christian. Within our families, serving one another (or being submissive) means we each are called to do certain things that will help the family be a loving, rather than enslaving environment:


Looking at the word "subject", I see it means for us to defer to the will of another. In our family settings, if members are looking for selfish benefits - it won't be long until things fall apart. Being submissive requires us to understand that getting what we want must NOT be the priority. Understanding this will make a family strong.


Have you noticed that caring for all forms of life requires gentleness?

~a little seedling must be carefully uprooted when being transplanted
~children must be taught that little kittens or puppies must not be squeezed

People are the same.
Our spirits are sometimes fragile.
Such as a pup.
We need gentleness.

Paul calls the husbands to "love your wives and don't become bitter against them." (Colossians 3:19) Paul also points out the gentleness needed in our parent/child relationship: "do not exasperate your children, so they won't become discouraged." (Colossians 3:21)

The encouragement that Paul suggests for spouses and for children is making the choice to either be a gentle gardener, by nurturing life;


we can choose to be like the sheriff in that old song "I shot the sheriff"... killing the seed before it has time to grow.

Healthy families nurture hope and will avoid whatever might lead to discouragement.


COLOSSIANS 3:22 "Slaves, obey your human masters in everything; don't work only while being watched, in order to please men, but work wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord."

Paul lays before us a principle of showing integrity.

We need to teach it to our children.
We need to show it to each other.

What counts is whether or not we hold to our values in the privacy of our homes and even further - in the inner dimensions of our locked rooms.

Whether it is HOME or with VISITORS...we need to be the same in our home as we are in public.


In last weeks YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question, "What do you most feel enslaved with?" The top 3 responses were:

1. 35% of those polled, said that they feel enslaved with maintaining their house.
2. 21% of the readers voted and said they feel enslaved with keeping up with bills.
3. 7% voted and said they are enslaved with their tendencies to be a workaholic.

This poll reveals to me that many of us are overwhelmed by many things and at times we feel enslaved by our situations. Some of us need to make some changes in our homes but changing a family system requires patience and a willingness to include other family members.

Take time to talk to your family about the changes you want to make, and with their help and the guidance of the Holy Spirit ..YOU CAN MAKE IT. You are ALL on the same team!

I have been studying the book of Colossians and this has been some thoughts of what I have learned from Paul. It is my prayer that your family will be united like never before and that "being submitted" will have a whole new meaning for you and yours. God Bless.
YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL: Please take time to vote in this week's poll. You can find it on the side bar of this blog. Remember your opinion REALLY DOES matter!

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