A Lost Concept: Respect and Honor to Authority

I am rereading the book Discipline: The Glad Surrender by Elizabeth Elliot. This book contains powerful, timeless biblical principles. She discusses the discipline of body, mind, place, time, possessions, work, and feelings.

When Elliot talks about discipline of place, she is talking about giving others the honor and respect that is due them based on their position in our lives. Our culture teaches us that we don't have to submit to anyone and no one is in charge of us. This line of thinking also appears in the church. Submission to others and to those in authority is a wonderful and powerful truth! Let us not rob our children of this provision and protection from God. Here are some excerpts from Elliot's chapter on The Discipline of Place:

A second reason for confusion in the matter of respect, in addition to that over the definition, is the current notion that everyone deserves tit-for-tat equality. This is one of the excesses of democracy, which ought not to be confused with Christianity. The truth is that not everybody has a right to everything. A child has the right to be taken care of. An adult has not. An adult has the right to vote, get married, be taxed. A child has not. . . . Different kinds of honor and respect are suitable to different people. . . .

Christianity teaches righteousness, not rights. It emphasizes honor, not equality. A Christian’s concern is what is owed to the other, no what is owed to himself. . . .

A sense of place is important for a Christian. We cannot give honor duly—where it is due—without a sense of place. Who is this person, who am I in relation to him? We are people under authority at all times, owing honor and respect to a king or a president, to parents, to master, teacher, husband or boss, to ministers and elders and bishops, and of course always and most important, to Christ.”
— Elizabeth Elliot, Discipline: The Glad Surrender

Who's Your Master? (If you think it's you, think again)

Last Sunday, July 19, 2015, I taught on Genesis 4:1-8, the story of Cain and Abel. I was amazed at the powerful truths contained in this brief story. We are presented with a beautiful picture of the gospel, of human freedom to choose salvation, and the power given to us to overcome sin! We can choose to submit to the rule of God in our lives, or the rule of evil. Satan has deceived us to believe that we can rule ourselves. Here are the basic ideas:

1. When we submit to God's rule, we come to him with humility, accepting his terms for forgiveness.

2. When we submit to God's rule, we choose to obey him by faith.

3. When we do not submit to God's rule, we will be ruled by evil.

10 Ways to Teach Your Children to Know God's Will for Their Lives

Here is the outline for my second session at the Thrive! NCHE Conference. You can  view the prezi I used in the presentation. 

Ten Ways to Teach Your Children to Know God’s Will for Their Lives

  1. Surrender your life to God (Rom 12:1-2; John 7:16; Luke 9:23-25).
  2. Study Scripture (1 Thess 4:1-6; 2 Tim 3:16-17).
  3. Pray (Phil 4:6-7; Jer 29:11-13; James 4:2b).
  4. Listen to God’s Spirit (Acts 5:32; 20:23; Rom 8:16; John 15:26; 16:7-15).
  5. Wait (Ps 25:4-5).
  6. Observe your personal desires and abilities (1 Cor 7:8-9, 36-38; 12:4-7, 11).
  7. Observe God’s work in your circumstances (James 4:13-17; 1 Cor 16:8-9).
  8. Listen to the counsel and those in authority (Matt 15:15-17; Heb 13:17; Eph 6:1-2; 1 Cor 12:14-21; Prov 15:22).
  9. Reason and test ideas and opportunities (Prov 14:15; Rom 12:2; 1 Cor 10:15; 1:20-21; 2:4; Prov 3:5-7; 1 John 4:1-6).
  10. Evaluate impressions and signs (Acts 8:26; 22:17-18; 2 Cor 11:13-15; Gal 1:8).

How to Stop the Fighting in Your Home


Here is the outline for my first workshop at the Thrive! NCHE Conference. You can download it and you can view the prezi I used for the presentation. If you would like the article that unpacks biblical conflict resolution, sign up for post updates in the right sidebar and get How to Stop a Fight Before It Starts for free.


How to Stop the Fighting in Your Home
Session 11 Saturday 1:50-2:50 p.m

Why do we want to stop the fighting in our home?

  • Because it is pleasant to have a peaceful home (Prov 17:1).
  • Because we want to love and obey God (Eph 4:1-4).
  • Because we want to prepare our children for a life of maturity (Eph 6:4).

Three ways to stop the fighting in your home:

1.        Set a peaceful example.

  • Stop fighting your spouse (Prov 26:21; Prov 21:19).
  • Stop fighting your children (Eph 6:4; Prov 15:1).
  • If you are fighting, then you are choosing to be selfish and prideful (James 4:1-2; 1 Cor 13:4-7).
  • Let the Spirit of Christ live in you! (Gal 2:20; 5:22-23).

2.        Set basic rules of engagement.

  • No yelling
  • No violence.
  • No manipulation

3.        Teach your children to speak truth to one another (Eph 4:15; Matt 18:15-17).

Teach them the Matt 18 process:

  • Speak to the other person privately.
  • Ask another person to help verify problem (I don’t require this step).
  • Go to those in authority to handle the situation.

4.        Teach your children biblical conflict resolution. 

  • Give space (James 1:19).
  • Check yourself  (Matt 7:3-5).
  • Let go of anger (Eph 4:26-27; Matt 18:21-35).
  • Love (Mark 12:30; Gal 5:14).
  • Pray (Matt 5:44; James 1:5-8).
  • Talk about it (Prov 18:13;15:1).
  • Discern the issue (Rom 14:1-12).
  • Speak the truth (Matt 18:15; Eph 4:15; Gal 6:1).
  • Give space

Thrive Homeschool Conference!

We are looking forward to attending Thrive! The NCHE Homeschool Conference this week, May 21-23!  I highly recommend this conference for the encouragement, resources, relationships, and information available for homeschooling families. It is not too late to attend. You can register when you arrive.

I will be presenting two workshops this year:

How to Stop the Fighting in Your Home—Are you fed up with the ugly talk and fighting in your home? It’s amazing that it is easier to be polite and patient with those outside the family than those we love the most! A major part of preparing our children for life is teaching them how to interact with others. In this session, we will apply biblical conflict resolution principles to the relationships in your home. You will receive practical tools for teaching your children to handle conflict (and practicing it yourself!).

Ten Ways to Teach Your Children to Know God’s Will for Their Lives—How can you know God’s will for your life? Many Christians want to know God’s will for their lives, but feel unsure how to discern it. Our children have their whole lives in front of them. They have the opportunity to avoid many mistakes and live for Christ. You can give them the understanding and encouragement necessary to know and follow God’s direction and calling. Come learn ten basic biblical principles for discerning God’s will that you can pass to your children.

Seven Surefire Ways to Find Yourself in Sin, Part 1

No one ever intends to be stuck in fear, depression, or addiction. No one ever intends to be trapped by sin. It happens over time, through a series of choices that we make. There is a path to sin and there is a way to avoid it. We can clearly see the path to sin as we observe the first human sin in Genesis 3.

Below you can stream or download the audio recording of part 1 of my teaching on Genesis 3:1-7, given at Highland Christian Fellowship on April 26, 2015.

Why Did God Make Marriage?

On April 25, 2015, our church had the privilege of witnessing the marriage of Galen Wilkes and Victoria Stringer! It was a beautiful time. The way that God brought them together is a great testimony of his goodness as we trust in his ways.

I am sharing the audio recording of the brief charge I gave to them at the ceremony. Why did God make marriage?

How to Survive the #1 Attack on Marriage

Galen Wilkes and Victoria Stringer are getting married April 24, 2015!

Galen Wilkes and Victoria Stringer are getting married April 24, 2015!

Your marriage is under attack. I bet you can feel it. The world, the flesh, and Satan are all working to keep your marriage from being a powerhouse for God's kingdom. I have always been committed to my marriage, to never giving up or getting a divorce. But when I recently studied Matt 19: 1-12, Jesus' teaching on divorce, I gained insight into how God designed marriage and how he sees it. It only deepened my understanding and commitment to God's awesome creation in marriage!

Here is a recording of my teaching on this passage, given last Sunday, April 19, at our church, Highland Christian Fellowship. This passage contains Jesus' teaching on divorce. While there is a brief discussion at the end of the teaching on the exception clause (which is what is often discussed), I focused on Jesus' main point in the teaching: God does not want his people to divorce.

When we study Jesus' reasoning for this, we get a rich understanding of the nature of marriage!

God's people are not to divorce
because God designed marriage to be the exclusive union
of a man and woman through sexual intimacy.