In this sermon clip, Pastor Sheffer discusses parenting and a caution against the desire to control and dominate others. This tendency manifests in various aspects of life, including governance and family dynamics.
A prime example of this is seen in the way parents interact with their children at different stages of growth. For young children, close management and supervision are essential. Young ones need constant guidance to ensure they’re safe and not engaging in inappropriate activities. This level of control, however, should evolve as the child grows. As they mature, the balance between responsibility and freedom becomes crucial. The ultimate goal is not to raise perpetual children but to rear mature, self-governing adults capable of managing their own lives and making wise decisions.
This principle extends beyond the family unit to all areas of leadership, including the church. In Church of The Word, for instance, we practice having a plurality of elders. This structure is not just for the sake of accountability but also to prevent the concentration of power and control in the hands of a few. It emphasizes the importance of community and shared responsibility. However, it’s also a reminder that even in a community, each individual should strive to be self-governing, exercising self-control, and acting responsibly.
The story of Nimrod in the Bible illustrates this desire for control taken to an extreme. Nimrod’s attempt to build an empire represents a dangerous inclination to dominate and control on a grand scale. This same impulse can lead to controlling behaviors in personal relationships – be it domineering spouses or overbearing parents. Such behavior not only stifles the growth and independence of others but also stands in contrast to the Christian call for servant leadership and humility.
The impulse to control and dominate is a sinful one, rooted in self-exaltation rather than in the glorification of Christ. It goes against God’s design for us, which is to live in a way that reflects inner transformation rather than external coercion. As our children and those we lead grow and mature, our role should shift from controllers to mentors and advisors, encouraging them to develop the wisdom and self-governance needed to navigate life.
In conclusion, whether in a family, church, or any form of leadership, we must guard against the Nimrod impulse to control and dominate. Instead, we should foster environments that promote self-governance, maturity, and independence, always pointing back to Christ as the ultimate example of leadership and service.