Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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It is the tendency of the human fleshly nature to shirk its responsibilities. A person “walking in the flesh”, as Paul would put it, will be inclined to escape duty, sometimes by making another feel that the duty is his. And this can happen among believers as well as those of the world.
It is a father’s responsibility to lead his family in the ways of Christ. It is not a pastor’s responsibility to teach anyone else’s children about Jesus and the truth of the gospel. The flesh would have a parent to take the children to religious gatherings and be content with that for their education, but there is nothing that can ever take the place of godly instruction from the parents, at home, especially instruction from the father.
It is the shepherd’s responsibility to feed the sheep, but it is the ewe’s responsibility to feed her lambs. The sheep know the shepherd’s voice; the lambs do not. The little ones follow their parents wherever they go, and they trust their parents. It is the parents’ responsibility to know who they are following.
It can be flattering to a minister when the congregation begins to laud him and lean on him and look to him for spiritual guidance for their whole families. It can puff up a man to think that he can actually feed the whole families of other men, but to try to do that is a self-destructive trap. To labor to supply others’ families the spiritual meat which the head of each house alone is ordained by God to supply is too much of a burden for any man. It is to spend one’s strength doing what is another’s responsibility to do, and no man is capable of bearing that burden for long.
Fathers, guide your own children, whom God has placed in your care, “in the fear and admonition of the Lord.” No one can replace you in your children’s eyes. Mothers, diligently do your part in teaching your children of the ways of God. No one else can do that for them as you can. Everyone in the body has a part in the life of everyone else in the body. But no one in the body can play the part of anyone else, for “God has set the members, each one of them, in the body as He pleases. If everything was one member, where would the body be?” (1Cor. 12:18—19).