Blueprint Truth #4
FATHERS AND MOTHERS HAVE UNIQUE ROLES
Honor your father and mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God give you.
- Exodus 20:12
In the family formed by God, like any successful organization, we see unique roles for each valued member. We initially see this played out in Genesis when God makes Adam, the first man in Genesis 2:7 and later places him in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 2:15 says, “Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.” Adam, representing all men, was to be the husband to the culture of life that God created, and in doing so, reflect part of God’s nature. Man, acting as husband, means many things including providing for his family, protecting his family, leading his family spiritually (priest) and maintaining a fertile (life-giving) environment for his loved ones to thrive. Eve, the first woman is then added to the picture, as God creates her to be the finishing touch of glory on God’s created order. Eve, brought to the man as a co-equal vice regent on God’s behalf (Genesis 2:22), completes the picture of male and female, and then husband and wife (Genesis 2:23-24), creating the picture of wholeness that all of God’s relationships prescribe. God calls the woman the “helper” because Eve will uniquely help govern the life-giving environment alongside Adam. God intentionally uses the same word Helper (Ezer) He uses for Himself many times in scripture. It is a noble name revealing the power all woman have to help a child with his shoes, help a friend in distress or help bring insight at a corporate board meeting. The story continues…After the wedding, Adam names his wife Eve. This name means “life-bearer.” As a wife and later as a mother, Eve represents all women who do many things with purity, power and purpose. In doing so, she also reflects part of God’s nature. Eve, as a co-creator, is uniquely designed to bring forth life, so she becomes a mother. Genesis 4:1 says, “Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain…” As a co-creator, she cooperates with the Holy Spirit and is able to nurture and care for life around her in a feminine way. If any woman is not able to biologically have children, she still has all the design features needed to be a wonderful mother through adoption or foster care and can impact her world like Mother Theresa. Her power to communicate, like Adam’s, gives her great influence in the lives of everyone around her, beginning first with her husband and children. God thinks so highly of the roles of mother and father that honoring them is included in the Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:12 says, “Honor your father and mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.” Being a father or mother is one of the greatest privileges any person can experience. In God’s eyes, these roles are key to His “life” plan and understanding His nature. He is our ultimate “parent” and uses earthly parents to extend His care and training of us.
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Leaders who love what they do are the most compelling, most respected and the easiest to follow. Mom and Dad, you are leaders. Your role as a parent is a leadership role, and the more you enjoy it, the better it is for your whole family. The first step in enjoying your role, is to keep growing in it because none of us has ever “arrived” or done it perfect! Initially, you will want to be your best at being male and female to represent a glimpse of God to each other, your children and to the world. Sexual integrity means living in agreement with your male and female design in all five aspects. (Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, Social, Spiritual) Then, two important aspects of the roles of Dad and Mom come to mind, although there are so many we could discuss. Who does laundry is not what I am talking about. Think bigger! For instance, God intends for men to provide. This doesn’t mean women shouldn’t, as many women work inside and outside the home and this is your decision as a couple depending on your personal situation. It does mean men however, that men should always provide unless there are unusual circumstances. In this, they reflect God and teach their children that God can be trusted to provide and this builds a child’s faith in God. The man also gets the benefit of building “masculine muscle” by working. Here is another: All women should nurture. This doesn’t mean men shouldn’t also nurture, because in fact they do. However, when a woman isn’t nurturing, something in our trust and understanding of God is missing. Creating a nurturing environment is a priority for women regardless if work is at home (all women work!) or also outside the home. Thankfully, women are recognizing they need to tend to the first garden God gave them, their family, before adding a second or third such as ministry, a second job etc. You can know these two areas (provision and nurture) are important by asking yourself: “Did I feel nurtured by my mother? If not, how has that affected me?” “Did my dad provide for his family, and if not, how has that affected me?” These two areas have lasting impact on a lot of people I know and affect our view of God. Don’t get caught in the wrong argument of trying to prove the sexes are equal—God’s word has answered that with an emphatic YES! Instead, get caught up in being who God intended you to be as a man or woman! This is a much better way to expand His Kingdom! I am a wife, mother and grandmother first, a leader, teacher, radio host and author/speaker second. Those closest to me should get my best efforts and then God’s grace allows me to tend to my other roles with efficiency and grace when I have tended to my first garden well.