There is an order to things. We are born into it. The truth or rightness of it isn’t dependant on whether or not we agree or like it. It’s just the way it is.
The subject of hierarchy in family relationships can be a touchy one, especially when you start using terms like “head” and “submission”. Our modern day interpretation of these words carries with it a characterization of greater or lesser in value and worth rather than in the sense of differing roles and areas of responsibility and accountability as, it is my thought, it should.
It has been set up like that and we have been created differently, men and women, so that when we each do our job, the work gets done, and in the most efficient and harmonious and clear conscious way possible.
I see the face of a lovely young girl about four or five looking up at me while I am talking with her mother. She wants her mother’s attention, the head is thrown back and her back is arched as she pulls on her Momma’s arm. And she is noisy. She lets go and runs around and her mother chases after her trying to settle her down, but not really having success. Well the whole conversation goes along and finishes in that vein and they go their way.
Why does this child act that way? Why does she do so, so freely and without inhibition? Why does she pay no attention to the authority in her life?
She displayed this behavior once in the beginning and it was not dealt with right then; positive reinforcement for a negative behavior. And now we have this on our hands. Life is not simplistic and details vary but this is a pattern and we must pray for wisdom and discernment in dealing with those varying details.
There is a father. Where is the man? Has it always been like this? Did the child make a decision to behave a certain way and there was no designated authority there to assent to or condemn such behavior?
There is a scripture that comes to mind about structure and areas of responsibility and of consequences.
“When a woman makes a vow to ADONAI, formally obligating herself, while she is a minor living in her father’s house; then, if her father has heard what she vowed or obligated herself to do and holds his peace, then all her vows remain binding-every obligation she has bound herself to will stand. But if on the day her father hears it, he expresses his disapproval, then none of her vows or obligations she has bound herself to will stand; and ADONAI will forgive her, because her father expressed his disapproval.” Numbers 30: 4(3)-6(5) CJB.
On the very day, the very instant this little girl’s father witnessed poor behavior, he had corrected it, action against the negative effects of it would have been put into action.
Negative effects, should we jump to that assumption?
We had a recent teaching on the drama played out in the Garden.
Adam was given instructions concerning food… not Eve… Adam. He was assigned the task of seeing that the instructions were obeyed, which carries with it the responsibility for failure if they weren’t.
The serpent approached Eve, in the presence of her husband, within his hearing. He beguiled her and she made a poor decision, something none of us is innocent of,
The point is Adam, knowing the instruction and having been given the task and responsibility to see that it was carried out, remained silent. And his silence was the same as permission, permission for Eve to disobey and him too. He did not exercise the authority Yahweh had given him.
And what were the consequences? Well it’s been a long journey in the wilderness, trying to get back to the Garden, and we’re continually making the same mistakes over and over.
If Adam had spoken up, right there on the spot, corrected the enhanced instructions Eve gave concerning the forbidden fruit and refused even considering the serpents hidden suggestion, the knowledge of good and evil, its shame and penalty would have been avoided. Though tempted and leaning toward a bad decision on Eve’s part, and who knows, the same consideration in Adam’s mind, ADONAI would have forgiven her, because Adam had expressed his disapproval.
The same scripture that applies to a father’s authority over the decisions of his children continue on to apply to his place in the husband and wife relationship.
The husband, the father, has a role, a responsibility and is equipped with a nature that makes him suitable to that role and task. It doesn’t make him a better person, or wiser or more discerning or more valuable than his mate. It’s just his role, it’s just his job.
And one might consider that what need would there have been to create Eve as a mate if the man himself was able to do all things.
So maybe our little girl needs a man in her life, a father who has his eyes and ears on her, who loves her and provides for her and protects her, a man who takes seriously his God given role and responsibilities, a man who corrects even to the point of tears that denial brings, over perceived joy in allowing poor decision making and behavior. I hope that man is out there and decides to show up.
Father, You are so good! The way You have made us and Your instructions for us are all for good. If we will take delight in Your Torah: if we will meditate on It day and night, and apply it, we will be rescued from the consequences of bad decision making because… You have given us instructions for good decision making and we will have won Your approval. May Your Word and may Your Spirit move in us to recognize immediately, conflict with You. May we express our disapproval and remain obedient to You. Then may we have peace and joy in knowing that You forgive our sin. May we have the joy and comfort that there is salvation from death and many sins have been covered because we turned back to, caused another to turn back to… Your instructions. You are so good Abba.
In Yeshua’s name we pray…most glorious and wonderful Father,
May God’s love be in us all.