I love the story in the fourth chapter of Mark’s Gospel about a time when Jesus and the disciples encountered a storm on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus had been teaching along the water’s edge. When evening came, He and the disciples departed in a boat for the other side of the lake.
During the crossing, a furious squall erupted. Waves broke over the boat. The disciples feared the boat would capsize and they would drown. And remarkably, Jesus was sleeping through it!
So the worried disciples woke him up. “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” they asked.
Jesus got up and rebuked the pounding waves, saying, “Quiet! Be still!” (Mark 4:39). The storm stopped. The wind died down. The waves became completely calm.
As soon as Jesus called for peace, everything became peaceful. The reason Jesus could produce peace externally is because He was filled with peace internally. His control over the world around Him reflected his own temperament.
On the other hand, the disciples were powerless over the storm. They were filled with fear and anxiety. The storm around them was a mirror of their own souls.
In all my years of counseling husbands, wives, and families, I’ve found this to be an excellent illustration for our homes.
Jesus was able to control his environment because what he wanted—peace—was something he already had inside him. The disciples feared their environment because they had no control over it. They sought peace, but inside they were filled with turmoil.
Moms and dads, you just can’t produce in your environment something you don’t have. You can’t build it in your home and you can’t create it in your children.
If your life is consumed with worry, your children will worry, too.
If you are mistrustful, angry, or unforgiving in your own spirit, your family will have the same negative spirit.
If you rebel against authority in your own life, you will find that your children rebel against your authority.
If your own life is filled with chaos and confusion, your home will also be a place of chaos and confusion.
Do not blame your kids when they reflect your own shortcomings. Instead, examine your own heart. Take a hard look at your relationship to the world around you. Reflect on your relationship with God and with your spouse. What do you see?
When you reflect upon your own heart and become obedient to what God’s Word says, you will find that the changes in your life begin to spill into your family life as well.
That’s why proper parental authority is so important. It endows our children with a true model of success. Order and respect within our own lives can calm the seas of our family life with a simple command.
ABOUT JIMMY EVANS
Jimmy Evans is founder and CEO of MarriageToday and co-host of MarriageToday with Jimmy & Karen, the marriage ministry and broadcast television program that airs to millions of households each week and in over 200 countries.