These words that I am commanding you today must always be on your minds. Recite them to your children. Talk about them when you are sitting around your house and when you are out and about, when you are lying down and when you are getting up. (Deut 6:6-7, CEB)
God expects me to be a male role model. Today, the rules for being a good male role model change daily. If you play golf, you might say that somebody keeps moving IB (inbounds) and OB (out-of-bounds) markers in between rounds. Expectations have changed for me as a guy, as a husband and as a father. When I was growing-up, my dad was right because he was “dad”. Nowadays, questioning my decisions is the rite of associates, wives, teens and children. “Why” is, apparently, a completely valid response to any decision that I make. Oh, how times have changed from my belt-wielding father! If this was not enough, society is adopting a moral code where right/wrong are situational and subject to everyone’s opinion. Today’s cultural tolerance bids me to blindly accept others view of right/wrong as on par with my own (or God’s).
Wise peers have counselled me to avoid some typical evangelical pit falls. These perspectives are lessons that I impress on my children … when I sit at home … when I walk along the road … when I lie down and when I get up..(Deut 6, different translation) In short, my goal is for everyone to, “be God’s children, blameless, sincere and wholesome, living in a warped and diseased world, and shining there like lights in a dark place. For you hold in your hands the very word of life.” (Phil 2:15, JB Phillips) As the leader of my family, I proclaim God’s authority and truth. I avoid the middle by letting everyone know that I, too, try to follow God’s moral code!
As a friend, husband and dad, I declare God’s truths with love. Yes, it takes more time and greater patience. “What Would Jesus Do” is the real question! I seek to understand what Jesus would do based on what he did! My role is to be in-sync with Jesus’ reactions and lessons. Furthermore, when His Laws are being violated (or would be violated), my job is to communicate moral truth in a loving manner. This takes biblical understanding and spiritual guidance. I let scripture speak through me. My job, as a role model, is to model how God’s Laws apply to today’s issues … lovingly
Brothers, we are in the same boat. My authority is not my authority. I am caught in the middle when I use words like, “I said, it is wrong!” God defines moral right/wrong; not me. My job is to lovingly point-out the path God advises. I model Christlikeness when I say, “God said, it is wrong!” Then, I let His Holy Spirit work inside the hearts of others. Still, in modeling truth in a loving manner, God expects me to use my practical, life experience to shed insight on:
The protection of His Law. His laws protect us all from guild, shame, broken relationships, disease, physical danger, emotional distress, unfaithfulness and more. His Laws apply to everyone, always.
The provision of His Law. His Laws provide spiritual rewards, physical safety, psychological security (trust, peace, intimacy, accomplishment, etc), health, attractiveness, approval, integrity, clear conscience and more.
God expects that I will lovingly model His truth. As a God’s man everywhere (at work, at home, at the gym, in the car, etc), my role reflects God’s plan for living. God doesn’t need me beating my chest, standing on a soapbox or crying-out, “I’m right, follow me!” He asks for my Christlike devotion to his Laws and standards. Oh yes, and when I have doubts, I check my ego with fellow brothers-in-Christ who walk in the same trenches.
“Happy are those
who reject the advice of evil people,
who do not follow the example of sinners
or join those who have no use for God.
Instead, they find joy in obeying the Law of the Lord,
and they study it day and night.
They are like trees that grow beside a stream,
that bear fruit at the right time,
and whose leaves do not dry up.
They succeed in everything they do.” (Psalm 1:1-3, GNT)