Living in the Image of God M04S17
The bible account of the separation of Ishmael from Isaac provides four lessons toward understanding the individual responsibility in family leadership. First, after recognizing the need for the separation, Sarah honored Abraham’s overall leadership by asking him to send Ishmael and his mother away. Abraham honored Sarah’s leadership of the specific matter by taking her demand seriously and seeking God’s guidance toward resolving his personal conflict regarding the demand. Second, God’s guidance to Abraham provides a conflict resolution strategy of focusing on the underlying concerns regarding a dispute. Third, Abraham’s response illustrates quick and permanent resolution of a potentially dividing husband-wife disagreement, to preserve their unity before God. Fourth, the separation highlights selective development of family opportunities: based on selecting the opportunities to develop and those to abandon, delay, or de-emphasize; in order to focus better on the selected opportunities.
We continue the bible study series toward understanding the individual responsibility regarding family leadership, based on bible examples of husband-wife interactions and relationships. Previous studies in the series led to understanding the husband as overall leader of the household and the wife as spiritual gateway of the family and occasional leader in specific matters. Both husband and wife are individually responsible to honor and support family leadership. The family will benefit greatly if they do.
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