As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 1 Peter 1:14-15 NASB
I have been “studying” and living out first Peter. When I’m into a study I’m all in. I’m googling Greek & Hebrew words all day, I’m having conversations with people throughout the week about what they think of of the verses, I’m reading books about it, I’m watching YouTube videos, and I’m listening to podcasts. I’m engaged in prayerful conversation with the spirit throughout the entire process. I’m fully engulfed in trying to understand every ramification of my text. Now, I don’t say this to boast, (which would be a strange thing to boast about) but some people have wondered how much time and effort I might put into these posts.
Last night at the basketball game I glanced over to see my youngest son Reid and his friends looking like they were praying about the basketball game from the sideline bench! It was super cute and a little bit endearing that they were asking God to influence their little basketball game as they laughed and giggled. As I begin to consider them, it came to me, isn’t this the kind of relationship that God is looking for? In their child like faith they didn’t consider it abnormal to ask God to intercede in their day today matters as they were giggling away.
As I reflect on this passage in first Peter I stop at the phrase ”obedient children” – I smile to myself and think when am I actually supposed to grow up? As I dig deeper you, guessed it, there’s more to this phrase than you might think. The Greek expression is tekna hupakoes. Tekna (children) is a special word in the New Testament. The connotation is a diligent pupil that carrie’s spiritual implications. John uses it as a tender address (“my little children”) and it’s often applied to the followers of Jesus in their early obedient walk.
The word for “obedience” is hupakoes which literally means “through hearing.” Now most people would never know this, but when I read it this way all the sudden the light goes off! You see, the phrase “children of obedience” is a Hebrew idiom. And you might find it surprising that I’ve been studying first Peter for almost 6 weeks and I just finally picked up on this as I’m translating Greek to Hebrew.
It means “children whose mother – is obedience”.
In Hebrew it’s the idea that you’ve been taught obedience from your mother at an early age, and you readily accepted without question. When we enter into new life with God, God takes over guiding us into obedience with him. We often think of God as our spiritual father, but there are many aspects of God that represent him as our spiritual mother as well.
When we are “reborn” We have an intimate connection of obedience with the father who “birthed us.” Therefore when we can continue to live in disobedience it suffers that intimate relationship.
I praise God that my boys were raised to obedience under an amazing Godly woman. I’m thankful every day that God blessed me with someone that would partner with me in instilling a heart for God in our children from a young age. But I also rejoice for the new life that they have in Christ and love to see these moments where they are now being guided not only by us, but even more so in their spirit walk.
When we choose to live in the light, we choose the path of obedient faith.
I pray I might never grow up in this sense, that I may walk in the obedient faith that I was destined and designed for!