Now it's time to get personal.
Have you ever met someone really, really gross? I have. That guys who isn't sure how to relate to people, so his only social mechanism is to be completely over-the top obnoxious. Maybe it's just at home. Maybe it's in front of other people too. Think of the guy who always looks like a slob. He questions the sexual preference of any guy who takes more than a second to work on his appearance.
This one time, we visited a church, and there was a guy by us who was cutting a callous out of his hand with a FOUR INCH HUNTING KNIFE the entire service. These are really extreme examples, but I think you probably are starting to see what I mean.
As dads, we are generally the biggest, loudest, strongest, and yes, rudest ones in our families. We usually have the biggest egos. We think that we can do what we feel like when we like it - fart, burp, hoc, interrupt, snore, pick our noses, spit - and everyone just has to deal with it.
1 Corinthians 13:5 says that love is not rude.
Now before I go on, I should clarify. Paul is not talking about The Ren & Stimpy Show, and he's not talking about personal hygiene issues. He's talking specifically about how one behaves with the Church. As I mentioned last week, the Corinthian church had some significant troubles with arrogance, and thus putting others first. Being rude and offensive when they got together was just another symptom of the bigger issue. The curious part is that Paul thought it important enough to include rudeness in his list of attitudes and practices that undermine the greater Christian message of love.
It doesn't take a lot of thinking to figure out that just as the Corinthian church was a corner of the greater Ecclesia or Universal Church, the family is also a small corner of the Church. Fathers are the spiritual leaders of their own little church. Go think about that one for a minute. Ever wonder why I use the term "vocational minister" when describing what I did for a living a couple of years ago?
Leaders are always careful to avoid practices that undermine their leadership. When you are rude to or around members of your family - embarrassing or making them uncomfortable, you are undermining your own authority. In other words, you look like an idiot, dude.
So why is it important for us to dress like we have it together? Why is important that we act civilized? So that we can look like competent leaders in our families' eyes. Seriously, do you think you can lead an important conversation amidst the stink of your fart?
Uh....that would be a no.
We have to be good, trusted leaders to help our families on toward the vision Christ set for his people in the New Testament - a perpetual community of purity.
What Is Love? Baby Don't Hurt Me. - Part 1
What Is Love? Baby Don't Hurt Me. - Part 2
What Is Love? Baby Don't Hurt Me. - Part 3
What Is Love? Baby Don't Hurt Me. - Part 4