Who Speaks for Me?


The Bible
The History Channel

When we see family or tribal based societies, we have difficulty appreciating them. Many Muslim countries adhere to these relationships just as the Jews did throughout the Bible. The father, as head of the family could speak on behalf of the whole family – and the extended family. All who lived as part of his family were subject to his decisions. Joshua could, therefore, commit his entire household to serve the Lord God.

Imagine how such a commitment might play out today.

“I have committed this family to serve the Lord,” said Joshua as he walked into his suburban home outside a major American city.

“Now, Joshua,” replied his wife. “We’ve talked about you committing me to things without me agreeing to it, first. You can say whatever you want, but don’t expect me to blindly follow.”

“Dad!” replied his eldest son. “All the kids are into worshiping the Baals! I’m not going to be a social outcast, just because of you.”

“Hey, don’t look at me,” replied another child. “I’m your stepson. When I talk to my REAL dad, he’ll be honked off.”

Today the dynamics are different. In a faith centric family, the husband and wife are hopefully already on the same page. Two committed adults are stronger than one and better able to guide the family together. It’s different, in that each of us has more of a voice.

But that means each of us is called upon to commit ourself to God and his way individually as opposed to relying on someone else to commit us.

3 responses to “Who Speaks for Me?

  1. Rick Martinez

    Wow, Steve. Maybe I’m reading your message and thoughts wrong. Maybe that time has come when our thoughts just don’t see eye to eye. Or, perhaps we just need to define the age of the child we’re talking about. For example, I’ve heard a number of parents with kids ages 5-10 who have no religious foundation or affiliation say, “I’ll let my kids decide which church they want to attend or even if they want to believe in God when they grow up.”

    Surely, Steve, we’re not saying we shouldn’t commit our children’s early years to Baptism, Sunday Mass, Holy Communion, Confirmation, Bible Study, Lent, Easter, Good Friday, Holy Thursday, Holy Days of Obligation, and all the other significant Sacraments and traditions of the Church.

    Should our children at an early age not learn the Our Father (The Lord’s
    Prayer), the Hail Mary, the Apostle’s Creed–just in case they ever go
    to Japan, Germany, Russia, Iran, or anywhere in the world they can be part of the “universal” Church in any language?

    Should they not know how to make the Sign of the Cross…the centerpiece of all Christian faith? Should WE not tell our children in their early years that the Church came before the bible? And, ultimately, how can they believe Christopher Columbus discovered America or that 2 + 2 equals 4–or believe anything since they weren’t there–if they don’t believe that someone can be three persons: A writer, a medical administrator, and a dad…like the Holy Trinity: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

    Yes, not only can we commit our children, we MUST commit our children to God at an early age. If and when our children begin using phrases like “social outcasts,” all we can do at that point is pray.

    • Rick,

      I love when I spark a discussion.

      The core thought was that as people if we want to define ourselves as individuals, as opposed to defining ourselves as part of a family, then it is incumbent on each of us to commit. As “cradle Catholics”, you and I had the initial decision made for us, but each of us reached a point and questioned and challenged all authority – including our faith. However, even though someone else had sought Baptism on our behalf, we eventually reached a point where we decided and completely committed to ourselves to a relationship to God.

      And that was a very good day.

      Authority belongs to adults – children depend on adults to guide them. However, when as adults we assume authority, we can’t lazily drift along with the way we’ve always done it. Instead we have to decide, speak and act.

      Blessings, Rick.


  2. Rick Martinez

    Steve, one last thing on this subject. God gave us “dominion” over the earth.
    Not domination, but dominion. I take this to mean care, not power. Perhaps authority, but not tyranny. And I also believe this includes speaking to our children “about” God…in order to “know” God. You and your blog speak to God’s children.

    If God is our Father, then we are His children. He says His children shall be the most blessed! God does not cease loving us just because we are His disobedient children—just like WE don’t cease loving our children just because they are disobedient children.

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