Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Serving family... humbly

Today, while reading in 1 Peter, I was hit with something. It could be because of all the works I'm reading on being a submissive wife and serving your husband as his help meet (some of the literature goes a bit too far to the point of being legalistic unfortunately), or possibly the sermon we heard the other day on serving and what serving is and what it means to serve others, and how that affects your relationship with God. I think God is trying to speak to me about something....

So while reading 1Peter 5, I noticed that his section of his writing is directed toward church elders. Yet, when I read what he was writing to the elders, I just kept thinking "but this applies to EVERYONE!!" For instance:

"Care for the flock of God entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly - not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. 1 Peter 5:2, NLT
In my mind, I kept thinking of parents with children. Even one child. That child/ren are of God, and given to parents who are to raise them and teach them and help them to grow into strong, intelligent, able adults. Is this not caring for a flock of God? No matter how small that flock may be, this verse can easily apply to parents. As a parent, they should not grudgingly take care of their children. They should joyfully care for their children, and teach them and help them to grow. I don't have any children yet, but I am one to learn from my surrounding. I understand that sometimes, it can be overwhelming, and being human we all get frustrated and only do our duties (whatever they may be) grudgingly. However, this should not be a daily thing or even the norm. Parents should DAILY be eager to shepherd their children!!!

I have to tip my hats to the Duggars here for their constant desire to shepherd their children. They are open to a large flock, and open to serving that large flock God has given them. They do so not just willingly, but joyfully. Some people may say "no it's not them serving it's the older girls serving the family." Well, guess what? When you serve and set that example for your children, they follow by your lead!! Just as Ruth learned about God from Naomi's example, children learn from their parents how to behave. How to act. It's why this next verse also made me think of parents:

"Don't lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your good example." 1 Peter 5:3 , NLT
When I read this, especially the first part, my mind jumped to "Don't act in a holier than thou manner towards others." I mean, we are constantly reminded of the golden rule, this is basically saying that. Treat others that way that you would like to be treated, not just because we should all be nice to each other, but because people learn from how you treat them! They learn about you, and they learn how to treat others in return.

While I mainly focused on parenting, and the relationship between parents and children, I also believe that we each have a flock to minister to, even if we never talk about God with them. We have our coworkers, our family, our extended family. How we treat those people in our lives affects them, and as verse 3 talks about, we can always lead by our good example, and thus humbly serve others.

"So humble yourselves under the might power of God, and in his good time he will honor you" 1 Peter 5:8, NLT

I know that personally, I have to work on this. The humbling myself part.

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