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  • Writer's pictureJonathan George

Tributaries of Love

Kids Bible Devotional for June 6, 2024

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Focus Verse

Colossians 3:18-20 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.  Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. (KJV)

Jump Start

In the audio, you would have heard a snippet performed by an orchestra. An orchestra is a group of musicians who play instruments you might hear in a symphony. An orchestra is led by a conductor. This is the person with the little stick directing the music. Jesus is like the conductor of the church, overseeing the harmony of the body of Christ.

Orchestra instruments are grouped into four main families: string, woodwind, brass, and percussion. Within these groups there are leaders known as principals. The principal is responsible for leading their group of musicians and for playing solos. A husband is like the principal in the home. In Scripture, he is ultimately responsible for harmony in the family. This is possible because he and his wife share the load for ensuring order in the home. Neither is more or less important than the other, just as one musician is not more or less important than the other musicians in an orchestra. And, of course, a husband and wife’s most cherished creations are their children.

Instead of an orchestra, in today's devotion we’ll examine the family in the context of rivers. In nature, smaller rivers, known as tributaries, combine into a larger river or lake. They become one.

Today's Devotion

Jaqueline arrived home after spending the night at Monica’s house, one of her friends.  “Well, did you have fun?” her mom asked her.

“It was okay, but it was a little weird. Monica’s mom waited on her dad like she was his servant or something. Cooked for him. Made his plate. Even ran out to get him a cup of coffee from the coffee shop because they were out at the house. When I’m married, it’s going to be fifty-fifty.”

“So, what makes you think that Monica’s mom wasn’t doing all that because it was her way of expressing love for Monica’s dad?” Mom asked.

“I don’t know. I don’t see you making Dad’s plate for dinner.”

“That’s because Dad does most of the cooking because of our work schedules. Besides, he enjoys cooking for his family. He says it’s his love language.”

“Still, it just didn’t seem like Monica’s mom and dad were equals.”

Mom left the room and returned moments later with the globe from the study.  She set it on the kitchen counter. “Do you remember when you were studying about the Mississippi River for Geography?”

“Yes,” Jacqueline replied. “Why?”

“What did you learn about tributaries?”

“They are rivers or streams that flow into a larger river or lake.”

Her mother pointed on the globe to the many sources of water that flowed into the Mississippi River that looked like branches on a tree. “That’s correct. The lesser flows into the greater. How can you tell which part of the water came from which tributary after it dumps into the Mississippi?”

“It’s impossible,” Jacqueline said. “The water is all blended together.”

“That’s right.  You can’t. It all flows as one. This is a good illustration of a family. Husbands, wives, and children all submit to one another in one form or another. Children obey, husbands and dads protect, and wives and mothers nurture. It’s not fifty-fifty. It’s everyone giving one hundred percent, each from a place of love.”

“So, what you’re saying is that Monica’s mom is doing all those things because she loves doing them?”

“Maybe, but what I’m saying is she loves Monica’s father so much that she expresses her love through acts of service. With your father, he values more our time together. Which is why we plan little trips throughout the year for just the two of us.”

“Oh, I thought it was just to get away from Michael and me. But I think I understand now. People express their love differently.”

“Yes, and we all act as one when we do our part for this family, not out of duty, but with love,” Mom said.

Wrap Up

Sadly, submission is a word that is often misunderstood, especially in the context of family. Some think that submission means you allow someone to walk all over you. Submission in the Biblical sense is about honor, respect, and love in close relationships. This is shared by all.

Jesus is the best example of this. Paul wrote in Philippians 2:8, “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Jesus humbled Himself by coming as a man and dying for our sins. Biblical submission is not about being dominated. It is about putting another before yourself out of love, just like Jesus did for us at Calvary.

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