When I was young, it was mandatory for us kids to respect our elders. My parents had a kids should be seen; not heard rule. We were not allowed to ask for anything or say no to any request and if grandma had started to clean-up I had better jump in to take over. And, in my home sentences ended with sir or ma'am. When we decided to ignore these rules, my parents also believed in a more "capital" approach to discipline. So, needless to say, overall me, my sister and two brothers were pretty good kids. Now, that's not to say we weren't a little mean to each other; of course we were. And, I think we all would be lying a little if we said we didn't take some enjoyment when one of the others got in trouble at least once. But, that was okay, we were equals. We knew we could be disrespectful to each other as long as there was no disrespect aimed at any adult. I guess what I'm trying to say is: We knew our place; with each other and with everyone else.
Of all that I was taught as a child, that lesson still resonates in me today. I've always tried to teach my own children to have respect. I've always told them that I don't want to just raise them to be good kids but to be good people. To be a good person they needed to have respect for others and to always know their place. I wanted them to understand that whether they are four or forty, they will always have place that they need to stay in the boundaries of. A place with God, with their elders, with authority, even with their peers. Of course, at times, it has been an up hill battle considering I feel that this is a Godless generation and respect is turning into a 4 letter word. The problem is not just with children not knowing their place; we as parents need to know ours. It is not our job to be their friends(at first). First, we need to be their teachers and disciplinarians. Love them and guide them and make sure we equip them with the tools to be productive, respectful adults. Then, once we're done raising them, we can look at our children as friend.
I have a different place for each role God has blessed me with. Some of them I need to be a leader and some I have a more submissive part. No matter what the role, I try to fulfill it to the best of my ability because I know it all is to be a better steward for Christ. For us to truly learn and to submit to God's will, we need to accept His authority and know our place. I will be honest, being submissive was a very hard concept for me to grasp considering that I have a domineering personality. It wasn't until I started reading The Word that I realized that submission doesn't mean weakness nor is it a measure of worth. Jesus, himself, submitted to God's will and washed the feet of His disciples before they betrayed Him and He was crucified on the cross. If the Son of God can know His place; I can know mine as well.
Now, consider this: What if we all were equally submissive? I absolutely understand my place with my husband. He is the provider in my home and he works many very hard, very long hours to take care of our family and still comes home and makes time for me. Because of this, I'm proud to say he is the head of my house. In turn, he understands his place with me. He acknowledges that with or without a paycheck I work long hours too and I still find time for him. He doesn't downgrade my worth or importance of the role I have in this marriage So, we have equally submitted to one another. I am NOT the woman behind the man. I am the woman at my man's side; each in our place and each submitting equally. Because of this, we are a team with the utmost respect for one another.
When we forget our place whether it be with our parents, our children, our spouse, ones in authority, and especially with God we lose the ability to have respect for one another and for Him.
Ephesians 5:21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.