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One parent is usually the disciplinarian, and the other the 'comforter'. Most comforters do subtle things to communicate to children that the disciplinarian is evil. When they do this, they undermine the authority of the disciplinarian. Many, if not most, children grow up with a monster image of the family disciplinarian. Most of the 'monsters' are neither sadistic nor deliberately unfair. But the mere fact that they mete out punishment and make demands is usually enough to label them monsters. The more the disciplinarian (Dad?) is seen as a monster, the more the comforter (Mum?) is seen as a saviour. It's tempting for comforters to encourage this misconception, making themselves angels in the process.

The Bible may be referring to this principle in Genesis when it talks of Eve beguiling Adam. 'Eve' symbolises a feminine spirit that is present in all of us to a certain degree. It is a spirit which rebels against discipline (whether we are receiving it or whether we are being asked to mete it out). And it is a spirit which tells us that we are more loving than God, who is unfair in his demands. 1 Cor. 6:9 says that no effeminate person will enter the kingdom of God. In other words, no person who rebels against God's discipline will inherit His kingdom.

When Adam should have been leading Eve he followed her, and that was Adam's sin. Every true leader must be willing to confront the monster accusations that will come if he/she tries to discipline his/her followers.

This same leadership concept may be referred to in The Revelation (Revelation 14:4 & Revelation 7:3-4) when it mentions an army of 144,000 servants of God who 'were not defiled with women'. The Bible says marriage is holy and that it is heresy to forbid marriage (1 Timothy 4:3), so the defilement referred to here must come from something other than physical marriage. It may come from a feminine spirit within each of us that tries to pull us away from God's discipline, thus stopping us from being God's servants.

Neither women nor marriage are evil; but there is a feminine spirit trying to seduce us into rejecting God's discipline, and that is evil.

The homosexual epidemic which is sweeping the Western world today is closely linked with rebellion against men in general and against God's discipline in particular. But that's only the tip of the iceberg. People everywhere speak of fathers, religious leaders, employers, etc. as though they were all sadistic beasts, and often just because they expect children, adherents, or employees to measure up to some kind of standards. Our society has been beguiled by Eve.

Consider the Catholic myth that we can get our way by praying to Mary, because she's softer than God the Father. The spirit of Eve has been renamed Mary. And consider the self-indulgence of the charismatic movement and its wholesale justification for all forms of disobedience to God. The spirit of Eve has been renamed the Holy Spirit.

If we would submit to God's discipline, even when tempted to think of it as painful and cruel, we would see fewer monsters in the world. We would gain greater respect for the disciplinarians of our childhood. And hopefully we would learn to be firm but loving disciplinarians ourselves.

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