Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Biblical rod yields light...

If I approached you and wanted to be your friend...and I was wearing a Halloween costume which I would never take close could we ever become? If I always wore a mask or even...if I just always wore dark sunglasses so that you could never look me in the close could we ever become?
Matthew 7:22-24 
Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

In order to really know someone you must be totally "real" with them, true? You must "be yourself." You must "be real." True? So, too, with God you can't know Him if you try to wear a mask and hide from Him.

And, have you ever considered what a mask does to the person under it? It puts that person "in darkness." The inside of a mask is dark...that's interesting, isn't it?

Ephesians 5:11-13 
Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.

Here's an example...

Your child is super mad at you and they say, "I HATE you!" and stomp off.

You could react by telling them. "You do NOT talk to me that way!" and punish them with a spanking (or something else.) You could make the punishment such that you could be sure they will know never to do that again! 

But, will that punishment remove the feelings inside them that led them to feeeel, "I hate you?" The fear of punishment will maybe stop your child from expressing that feeling to you again, but, it will leave that anger festering inside your child.

You see...focusing on your child's behavior and spanking/hitting them when they do something ugly encourages them to hide their true self from you...which is you...participating in the unfruitful deeds of darkness because you make sure that those things stay in the dark. 

Satan is the prince of darkness. He cannot operate in the light. He cannot work in the light. What you don't realize is that when you force your child to focus on their teach your child to wear a mask and put their true faces right where satan wants them; in darkness.

The only way to bring the bad things inside your child out of the dark is for your child to live in a household where that child feels safe for those feelings to be exposed...and those things aren't pretty, are they? It isn't pretty to hear your child shout, "I hate you!" It hurts and it stirs up really unhappy feelings inside of us. But, the only way to clean the mess is to be able to see it...and love...wins. Always. It is love that will change that hate and anger to love inside your child...

If you want to use the Biblical rod with your parenting, you must use that tool as it was designed. The Biblical rod was not an instrument used to hit and punish the sheep but a weapon used against predators to protect the sheep. The proper way to use the Biblical rod is as a weapon against what wants to attack your children. Sin is the predator that wants to attack your child and the greatest weapon against darkness is light. And, you cannot yield light with your rod if your children hide everything you dislike under a mask and keep it in darkness. You must remove the mask and let the light in to cast the darkness away from them. THAT is how to use the Biblical rod...

To allow your child the freedom to be real and reacting to them with NOT punishing is not "permissive" parenting. It's allowing light to shine in the darkness. It's God's way of salvation...

Romans 2:4
Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

Ephesians 6:12
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood (your children's outward behavior), but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

1 John 1:6
If we say that we (our children) have fellowship with Him (because their outward behavior is good) and yet walk in the darkness (they are merely controlling their behavior but feel totally differently inside), we lie and do not practice the truth;

1 John 2:11
But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Sermon that inspired these thoughts today:

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