Who is the Rooster in Your Home?
by Joey and Carla Link
My (Carla’s) grandparents had a chicken coop on their property in Arkansas. I loved to watch the chickens and collect eggs for my grandmother on our visits there. There was one rooster, and he was in control. How did I know this? After all, he wasn’t wearing a sign saying, “I’m the boss!” I noticed all the hens did whatever he wanted. They were at his beck and call. The hens were the nurturers of their chicks. There was no chaos in that coop.
There are many who think kids can’t behave like little chicks do. In Ephesians 6:1, it says, “Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.” According to this verse, God expects children to obey. He doesn’t hope they will, want them to or keep His fingers crossed. He expects it, no ifs or buts about it. Not only does He expect children to obey, He goes on to say, just in case anyone thinks this is unfair, that this is right.
How do children learn to obey? This verse says God gave every child parents to teach him/her what authority looks like.
What does authority look like?
1. Authority is not equality. People in positions of authority are not your peers. This is why they have titles such as boss, policeman, teacher, coach, and parent. To be an effective parent means you are not your child’s equal, or friend. You are certainly friendly, but your kids are not on a peer level with you, and you need to stop treating them like they are.
2. Authority requires obedience. The person with ultimate authority in the home (this should be the husband if you are married) is the rooster. The hen (the wife) submits to him and the chickens (the kids) obey both the rooster and the hen. What is the difference? Children obey because they have to (their fear of consequences). Wives submit because they want to (because it is the right thing to do). (Ephesians 5:22)
3. Authority needs to be balanced. Balanced authority does not exasperate those under him. (Ephesians 6:2) This means parents do not ask their children to do something they can’t do. Your child can do his homework. Telling him to do it when he is too tired or stressed to think or has other commitments is exasperating him. If he doesn’t have time to do his schoolwork, work with him to prioritize his time and scale back on his other commitments.
4. Authority teaches. Teachers share what they know, they help their students understand the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of the topic at hand (age-appropriate). A toddler won’t understand why he has to say ‘please’ when he wants something because he doesn’t know what being polite means, but he can still be taught to say (or sign) it. An older child will comprehend why you need to be polite and saying ‘please’ is how you can be polite.
5. Authority trains. When you train you teach, but you also guide and direct those under you, using discipline when necessary. Discipline motivates a child to use the teaching you have given him wisely.
6. Authority loves. Loving authority is not demanding or legalistic. While it will require disciplining those under them, this authority is respected and loved in return. The chickens trust their rooster when he is a balanced teacher who trains in love.
Who is the rooster in your home? If it is one or more of your kids, are you ready to take your coop back?
© copyright September 2013