For The Good of Your Child – Authority Part III - Lesson V
Over the last several centuries there has been a move away from authoritative institutions toward more egalitarian systems.
This has resulted in a general aversion for anything authoritative and that includes the structure of authority in the home.
It is a structure designed by God and given in his Word for the good of the human race.
God is authoritative and all that he created reflects that authority,
For God’s Word is clear about the responsibility of every soul to be subject to the higher powers for the powers that be are ordained of God.
We usually think of the word “ordain” to mean: to establish in a particular office or order such as a preacher being ordained.
But the word ordain as used “in the powers that be are ordained of God” is from the Greek word, tas’so which means to arrange in an orderly manner.
So God tells us that the powers that be are arranged in an orderly manner.
In God’s power arrangement there is nothing out of order.
In our previous lesson we learned that authority is to arrange in an orderly manner but God also tells us that he arranges the powers that be in an orderly manner for all power originates from Him.
So all power that is arranged in an orderly manner is established to arrange all things in an orderly manner.
Powers are organized to organize.
Power or authority used to bring different results is not the proper use of power.
Order begets order. Disorder begets disorder.
Think about the powers that arrange the road system upon which you travel each day.
Proper use of that power so arranges the highway into two or four orderly lanes commanding that travel on each lane be in one direction with limitations given as to the speed your vehicle may go.
All of this power is to be exercised for the benefit of the travelers.
The traveler who rebels against this power and exceeds the established speed limitations puts himself in the place where Paul’s admonition to the Romans applies.
Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and therefore is to: be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he (the delegated authority) is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
God is relevant even in this matter of obeying speed limits for those who resist the power, those who oppose that which established power or authority has instituted, resists the ordinance or degree of God.
God is saying here those limits proclaimed by speed limit signs are My speed limits, for authority delegated by Me has placed them there and if you oppose them you oppose me.
Now here is a thought that perhaps should replace that thought in your mind which permits you to speed just a little for the authorities that be, turn their head at such a little opposition and you know that and take advantage of that weakness.
But does God turn His head? No, Thou God seest me even when going 75 MPH in a 70 MPH zone.
Romans 13:1 doesn’t change on the highway.
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
This principle of course is a must when it comes to teaching our children about authority for opposition to properly constituted authority is opposition to God.
Think seriously about this, for the father who does not insist upon obedience to his commands from his children is putting his children in opposition to God.
Am I teaching false doctrine here?
Paul did you write with the pen of inspiration? Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God:
God has given authority to fathers and mothers and to neglect using that authority in seeing to it that children obey them in the Lord is placing their children in great peril by them, in their disobedience, being opposed to God.
Can you imagine being opposed to God?
An ant looks up and sees your approaching foot and shakes his antenna at it.
That is the picture of being opposed to God.
Hebrews 10:31 says, It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Knowing this can a father or mother truly say they love their children when they do not rear them up to obey for when they do not exercise their God given authority they will raise children opposed to God?
So you as a parent have a great responsibility to establish in your home a respect for your authority and for those to whom authority has been delegated.
It could be of life or death importance for it is common to hear news reports almost on a daily basis about young people who defied authority and have lost their lives because of it.
If you as a father or mother have a defiant streak can you expect any difference from your son or daughter?
Example is so important in the home for example always rules over words.
The silly and downright thoughtless admonition: Don’t do as I do, do as I say, never works for they will do what do and outdo what you do.
So in support of this principle of not opposing God given authority, Dr. Hobbs in his book, For the Good of Your Child, brought into the discussion authority that you face or will face relative to your child’s education.
But these principles of course apply across the board in parent’s relationship to all authorities.
Dr. Hobbs went on to write “Of the many things that must come together to comprise success in the educational process, it is my opinion that none is more important than that those in authority over the child be solidly united. Parents back the school, and the school backs the parents. This combination practically assures success for the child, and after all, isn't that the bottom line?”
And by the way the bottom line is accounting lingo or language adopted into common usage meaning: that which is most important.
For the bottom line in the accounting report indicates profit or loss and in the life of your children this is what child rearing is all about for parents who operate homes according to the Bible Way want profit in the lives of their children.
Can you imagine having to do so much for 18 to 20 years and at the end receiving no profit?
No one would be so careless in their financial dealings so why is it so acceptable to raise children who bring no profit.
So in support of this profit premise: otherwise expressed “For the Good of Your Child” he included a list of Do’s and Don’ts.
Number 1 - Do Support your child's school, including the administration and the teachers.
If you find you cannot do this in good conscience what is the point in continuing this parent – student - school relationship?
For the good of your child place him or her in a school where you can fully support the administration and the teachers.
That means finding a school that lives the name of Christian not just having Christian in its name.
A true Christian school operates according to the principles of the Bible in both the inside and outside of the classroom.
Again “Let all things be done decently and in order!”
For there is much more to a Christian school than its name.
Number 2 - Do express your support openly so that your child knows your position.
Attend the school’s activities and parent teacher meetings so you can get to know your child’s teachers and learn to feel free to discuss matters relative to your child.
Encourage an open dialogue where the teacher knows that you are sincerely interested in your child’s progress in all areas, be they academic or in matters of discipline.
So many problems can be solved without making every problem a huge mountain by establishing a good relationship with the classroom teacher.
It used to be in the old days when children were found doing some prank by the police, a simple stern talking to them was enough to put fear of authority into them.
Nowadays too many things that should be handled at a lower level are elevated to high levels and take on too much importance.
In other words to quote a famous Mayberry philosopher: Nip it, nip it, nip it in the bud!
Another way to say it is to keep short accounts!
And communicate to your child the results of meetings with his or her teacher in a non-critical manner.
Number 3 - Do take the teacher's word about incidents.
Again lean toward the word of those in authority.
If you have questions, talk privately with the teacher without the child's knowledge.
Trust that mature adults who are serving the Lord and are there to help you in the rearing of your child will be honest with you whereas children tend to shade the facts in order to avoid your displeasure.
They are children remember and they do childish things!
Again who is to get the benefit of the doubt?
The benefit of the doubt should always go to the one in authority.
Get the facts believing those in authority until the facts disprove otherwise.
Number 4 - Do help in any way you can in line with the school's prescribed procedures.
Parents on some occasions agree with their children before they know the facts.
So know the prescribed procedures before expressing opposition.
There may be policies at school that some would ridicule but upon knowing that the reason for the policy is for the ultimate good of the child it is easy to come to the right conclusion.
A Christian school should have well developed reasons for doing all things and have policies in place concerning proper dress and classroom behavior to walking in lines to the bathrooms from quiet places versus places where students may talk.
But all of the policies should be in place for the good of the child and parents should know the whys and wherefores in order for them to support the school.
We’ve had the DO’S and now the DON'Ts:
Number 1 - Don’t be anything but supportive of your child's teacher in the child's presence.
Always present to your child a united front.
Children are very well prepared to find cracks and to take advantage of them.
Sure there are cracks in anything human but the wise person does not pry them wider nor allow children to do so.
Number 2 - Don’t react emotionally to events that may happen at school.
We don't solve problems on an emotional level, we only agitate them when we do so.
This is the age of emotion but emotion does not solve problems.
Take time to gather the facts.
Talk to those who are close to the event and make judgments on a reasoned level.
Number 3 - Don’t be afraid that your child will think you don't love him/her because you stand behind the school instead of the child.
They are wiser than we think.
Too many times today we try to convince our children with words of love rather than deeds of love.
But deeds of love are what will prevail as far as a parent loving their children and children will come to know that.
Deeds indeed speak louder than words.
Number 4 - Don’t let your child drive a wedge between the authority and you.
Children will never respect authority if they do not learn to as children.
If you as the God established authority over your child and your school as your delegated authority over your child both operate for: For the Good of Your Child then the best outcome will result.
Think about it as teamwork with the same purpose!
And Dr. Hobbs concludes Chapter 2 of his book: These observations come from more than 40 years of teaching and administering in both public and Christian schools. I hope they will prove helpful.