We might be tempted to think of a chain of command as the ultimate guide for group structure, but what we see in scripture is the Lord encouraging a loving, purposeful order where each person’s dignity and worth is celebrated, and their contribution can be offered and appreciated. When you open up your family to the influence of love and begin to personally connect, you will be surprised by the response you get. Teens in particular are asking questions like, “What is my role in this family?” “Where do my gifts and abilities fit in?” “Does the family even need me?” It’s easy to see how your family could begin to grow and unite when you start discussing things like this!
Perhaps you have a mission statement for your family that drives your structured actions, or maybe you just feel like you’re barely hanging on and completely winging it. Wherever you find yourself on this spectrum, reaffirming your personal submission to Jesus and his love is a critical first step. Next steps may include some or all of these ideas—making God known, serving through Christ’s love, and working at unity.
When Mr. Banks’ very efficient and structured world collapsed around him, he did not lose the family’s respect as he feared, but gained their love and admiration. It was the personal connection with his family members and discovering the joy and hope that love can bring, which led to true transformation.
Three Scriptures to balance your chain of command
1. Making God known (Psalm 78:1-7)
The Lord gives us a glimpse into His purpose for establishing families. It shows how structure tempered with love is a powerful formula that creates families with legacies that last generations and faith that is nurtured and passed on from parent to child again and again. While the child’s role is to learn and obey, the parent’s responsibility is to actively love and pursue a life serving the Lord. This is how the glories of the Lord pass among your family and down through the generations.
2. Serving through Christ’s love (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
Those you lead need to know you love them. The key to a vibrant, nurturing chain of command is love, which was modeled by the ultimate servant leader, Jesus Christ. This involves respect and appreciation and knowing your family members—they are all very different people made in God’s image!
3. Working at unity (Mark 3:24-25)
Stresses and strains of military life on people in a family unit are bound to create tension and flares of anger every once in a while. That’s pretty normal. Destructive families attempt to undermine and create failure and ruin for each other. This kind of competition of win/lose, crush and destroy is what Jesus warns against. Make sure that in your “family fighting,” you aim for a win/win where everyone is left standing and knows they are valuable and loved even if they disagree!