Well, how ’bout them politicians? I don’t care what side of the aisle you sit on I think we are all pretty disgusted. With just about everything they do. So what can we do about the current state of affairs? Well the obvious is we can vote. We can call, write, email them and “let our voices be heard.” Oh they are heard alright. But nobody listens.
So what can we really do? We pray. We look above for answers. And then He reminds us that He already gave us the answers. He gave us the 783,137 word handbook, give or take. And right at the beginning of it He started with a family. He created all of the world, the oceans and mountains, every elephant, every mosquito, the sun and every star in the sky but He wasn’t satisfied until He created the family. And after Eve condemned us all with her apple, about 1000 years later He felt we were still worth redeeming. So He sent Noah and his family on a boat to save His creation. After starting again with a clean slate, Noah and his family repopulated the world. Then after several thousand years of sin, idolatry, witchcraft, paganism, impurity, adultery, and plain ole rampant immorality, He sent another savior. But this time He sent THE SAVIOR. The Alpha, Omega, Beginning, End…the It Is Finished, Shepherd, Healer, Teacher….the Head of the Church, Light of the World, King of Kings, Bread of Life, Prince of Peace….Jesus Christ. And how did He send Him? He sent Him through the womb of a woman, born into a family.
It would seem to me that God regards the idea of family as important. As in the most important part of everything He made. And the fact that every time He has reached down to save everything, He has begun with a family. So what if everything worth anything all starts with the family? What if we held all the power in the world to change the world, within our own family?
Every word of the Bible is intentional. Every word is divinely inspired and purposed. So what if we were to implement its teachings and lessons into every day practical life into our families? What would the world today look like if we followed the rules?
What if Paul really meant what he said to the Ephesians, “Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” What if husbands remembered that the wife is to be protected and revered and wives…*cough*cough*…obey? Hang on. Don’t close the computer. But think about it. Turn on any television show today and for the last 15 years or so. Husbands are portrayed as goofballs completely incapable of thinking for themselves. And perception is reality. So how many families emulate what mainstream outlets tell us is the norm? This is coming from a my way or the highway, I know best, bossy wife and mother. But what if we sought to live, even if just a little bit, as our roles were initially designed? Would we still be neurotic, over-scheduled, passing ourselves on the road, angry-half-the-time wives and mothers? What if we would see our goofballs rise to the occasion and lead more? What if it took some of the self inflicted burden off of us? There’s plenty of things that only us girls can do, period, so why do we have to be in charge too? We weren’t designed to be. What would we see in our children’s and children’s children’s marriages if we embraced, even on our modern, modified terms, traditional roles of marriage? What if it means we raised softer, more virtuous generations of daughters? What if it means we raised stronger, more Godly generations of sons? What then would be the state of the world?
What if Isaiah meant it when he said, “All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.” What if we applied biblical principles to our parenting? Principles beyond share, tell the truth and don’t steal. What if we expected better from our children than what society says is okay? What if we draw the line in the sand and the rule is not to cross it? They may still cross it but what if we have consequences? What if we thought beyond today’s standard of they’re going to do it anyway they might as well do it in front of me….at least they’re not driving…at least they used protection… at least it was this and not that…we did it so I would be a hypocrite if… What if we expected more of them? What if it then meant we raised more peace filled children in the process? What if we applied biblical principles to helping them choose friends, dates, clothing, movies, books, music, and colleges? What if we applied biblical principles to their use of social media? DING DING!! That’s how we help this generation we’re rearing….reigning in their social media use and setting biblical standards for what they post. Children will fail and make mistakes and we’ve got to continually show them grace when they do. But if we set the bar higher?
What if Peter was right when he said, “Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” What if we taught our children to respect authority? In particular, teachers. What if we didn’t march down to school over everything? Growing up, my parents marched down to school one time. And it was when the social studies teacher was looking up our skirts and down our shirts. That’s when a whole bunch of other parents marched down there too who had never marched down there before. We were taught that teachers are right up there with mom, dad and the police. I know that there are bad eggs but in general, teachers teach because they are called to teach. None of them do it for the money or lack thereof. What if we taught our kids to respect them, do the work and when the teacher does screw up, we all show him or her some grace? What if in turn we raised generations of respectable, law abiding, God fearing sons and daughters?
What if Moses was serious when he said, “Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” What if we remember what Sundays are for? Speaking in modern day, realistic terms, what if we made a general adaptable effort to honor Sundays with church, family and rest? It is hard to take my two little ones to church. As in I walk out with sweat dripping and near cracked teeth from all of the clenching. So “hard” that for 2 years or so, for the most part we went to separate Masses with our oldest so as not to drag them along. I for one needed that hour alone on Sunday to hear, focus and receive! And then we collectively decided that church as a family of 5 would become the rule rather than the exception. And after each Mass we’ve gotten one more under our belt. I told my oldest the other day that it feels like such an accomplishment when we walk out of church each Sunday. And her reply was “Seriously? I just feel exhausted when we walk out!” But we’re creating a habit and with each Mass we are one Mass closer to them sitting reverently, quietly and listening….right? There will come a day when they don’t moon anyone, blurt out that they have a booger or ask why the lady in front of us is so old? Right? Tell me that day is coming!
I don’t say any of this lightly. I say it from a place of being more often than not unsure of what I’m doing, a place of fear of losing my children to sin and society, and of confusion on how to line up what is right with what is today’s reality. My oldest is a rule follower and will end up rebelling in some way but it will likely be something comparable to ripping tags off of mattresses or not filling her parking meter. My middle one is an introvert follower so where will she be led? What crowd will she find herself in? My youngest is and will always be my hell raiser. Raising her will be a constant battle to keep her off of the pole. My Bible will be tattered and worn and my rosary in pieces by the time that one leaves the nest and far beyond that I’m sure.
The enemy slithers around in our lives, homes, school and even our churches. His purpose is to divide us and there is no place that he is more successful than when he divides us in our families. We have the handbook on how to handle him at our disposal. What if we used it?