Lord's Day Liturgy

Guard Rail Posts Scotch Taped to the Road

As sparks fly upward, so man was born to riot against being told what to do. Every generation has its millennials, or millennials are like every other generation in some ways, namely, disliking, deriding, disobeying authority. I myself have thought a lot of things sounded good to do until someone asked me to do it.

When it comes to emotional control issues, young people have a fleshly tendency toward being fussy about submission. This is not due to adolescence, it is due to being in Adam. Sin makes you steer directly at the guard rails, who in this illustration are the authorities God has put in your life to keep your feelings from driving off the cliff.

But the ones I really want to address today are the authorities, the dads and moms, the bosses and teachers, the shepherds and disciplers. Teaching others about keeping their fleshly feelings in check won’t work if our guard rails posts are Scotch taped to the road.

Parents pass things down. Every sinner is responsible for his own sin, and also, is it really so surprising that a son acts like his father? We look at a kid, we say she has her father’s chin and her mother’s eyes, and we look at her again and say she has her father’s anger and her mother’s anxiety. It’s not pretty.

Many years ago I heard the phrase covenantal permission. A Christian household is held together on a promise to honor the Lord and vows from the spouses toward each other. A dad who preaches against lust to his son while watching porn on his phone is obviously a hypocrite, but is actually condoning, if not promoting his son’s behavior. His words are like fighting a forrest fire with cotton balls.

A popular word today is systemic, related to how a system is connected. A family is connected, a flock is connected, and a mother who hates her husband’s instructions and priorities is raising haters, even if she spanks them for it.

This does not mean that you must be perfect before you can say anything, especially to someone you are responsible for. But God says you must be perfect even as He is perfect, which at least means it’s wrong for you to expect someone else to be at emotional peace while you’re raging on the inside like a toddler with fetal alcohol syndrome.