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The role of the child within the structure of the home

Series Five – Structure
Theme = God’s way for family, church, and society
‘Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.’ Colossians 3:20
“Just you wait until your father gets home! He will give you such a hiding!” 
The disobedient little tyke looks up at his mother and you can almost see the thought bubble above his head. Thinks: ‘Yeah right! Mom has no power over me. I think I will do what I want right now and take my chances with dad later. ’
Children are supposed to submit to both the father and the mother. As the Holy Spirit submits to both the Father and the Son, so should a child submit to both parents. Only, in the case of children, the primary responsibility is to obey, not simply acquiesce. If a child disobeys his mother, then the mother should immediately exercise her authority and impose whatever corrective measures she and her husband have generally agreed upon.
In our postmodern society, particularly in westernised cultures, children are often treated as equal partners in the home and full citizens in society. There are cases where young children have sued their parents because they expected the child to obey them! Obviously parents are supposed to nurture, protect and lovingly develop their children. Why? Because children are neither equal partners in the home nor full citizens in society. They are vulnerable and not yet able to function as adults. Paul writes, ‘Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.’ (Ephesians 6:4).
The biblical structural roles within the family are as follows: Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church, and self-sacrificingly assume the role of head of javascript:void(0)the home. Wives, respect your husbands and submit to them as the church submits to Christ. Parents, train, discipline, and instruct your children in the Lord. Children, obey your parents in the Lord. This divine pattern is based on the structural unity of the Trinity and when implemented it brings harmony and health to all members of a human family.
What does your home structure look like and how does it work for you?

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Christopher Peppler



3 thoughts on “The role of the child within the structure of the home”

  1. There are two words within the dictionary of Christianese that seem to draw attention or raise eyebrows in this age: ‘judge’ and ‘discipline’. In my experience, the word judge is most often assumed to mean judge and condemn. Rarely is it accepted as an act of discernment or just judging the merits of a situation. Discipline, the other word, so often is understood to mean punishment. Strange to me that being objective in judgement takes discipline (keep the emmotional forces at bay) and discipline takes good judgement – one size may not fit all situations. Yet, both are so often assumed to be negative – and politically incorrect, may I add – yet are a vital part of any Christian family.

    I see discipline as the act of creating AND communicating relevant boundaries. Because all children will at some stage challenge boundaries – how else would they know where implied boundaries exist – correction is required. Where correction and guidance (discipline) fails, punishment may follow.

    In your article, Chris, you mention, what to me is a very important point, that is the fact that the husband and wife have ‘agreed on the measure’. This is critical in my opinion for without agreement between husband and wife… divide and rule by the child!

    So, finally, I agree that the Scriptural model for the family is the best. It honours God. It brings order where extreme disorder exists today. It provides a wonderful model for all children of the Trinity and demonstration of God’s love, provided that men -and I pick on men in particular – submit to Christ and learn how to lay down their lives for their wives.

    The fact that children sue their parents is ludicrous and terribly self-limiting. It is, unfortunately, the natural result of a series of ‘minor’ deviations from the truth, over time; a fatal deception of Satan, which can affect the whole of society. One could say that the Devil has attacked the soft underbelly – subtle, but deadly.

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About Me

My name is Christopher Peppler and I was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1947. While working in the financial sector I achieved a number of business qualifications from the Institute of Bankers, Damelin Management School, and The University of the Witwatersrand Business School. After over 20 years as a banker, I followed God’s calling and joined the ministry full time. After becoming a pastor of what is now a quite considerable church, I  earned an undergraduate theological qualification from the Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa and post-graduate degrees from two United States institutions. I was also awarded the Doctor of Theology in Systematic Theology from the University of Zululand in 2000.

Four years before that I established the South African Theological Seminary (SATS), which today is represented in over 70 countries and has more than 2 500 active students enrolled with it. I presently play an role supervising Masters and Doctoral students.

I am a passionate champion of the Christocentric or Christ-centred Principle, an approach to biblical interpretation and theological construction that emphasises the centrality of Jesus

I have been happily married to Patricia since the age of 20, have two children, Lance and Karen, a daughter-in-law Tracey, and granddaughters Jessica and Kirsten. I have now retired from both church and seminary leadership and devote my time to writing, discipling, and the classical guitar.

If you would like to read my testimony to Jesus then click HERE.