We have a sort of hierarchy established at our house. I have talked about having the younger ones respect the older and having the older ones be the hero by serving and caring for the younger ones. You have to see it work to be convinced of the benefit of it, but we saw the Pritchard family at the end of such a system and see the value in establishing it. It is a Biblical concept that you see played out in relationships with siblings, husband & wife, parent & child and God & humanity when you read the Bible. It makes sense to reflect it in our homes. The problem with the word “submit” these days is that people view it negatively based on how it’s been tainted by people in authority who abuse their authority and have failed at their role. How it is meant to look is having an absolutely loving and servant-like authority figure who has the best intentions in mind. Would it be hard to yield to someone that you know has this at the heart of everything they do? It is perfect when played out by God because He is perfect, so theoretically, it would be a natural to yield to His perfect will. Yes, definitely harder than it would appear. Yes, it’s submission. However, it’s submission to someone with your best in mind. We try and reflect this concepts in our home. This part might be hard to swallow, but the oldest in our house gets first choice. So, let’s go back to the t.v. analogy I talked about a couple days ago. The oldest gets to choose the show for the afternoon. What she wants, she gets. We have taught her to some days say, “Kenzie, I want to let you choose today.” I saw that played out in our home today when we were choosing chores for our responsibility week. Abby said, “Kenzie, you can choose first.” Now ultimately I’m the oldest, so if I see the powers being abused, I can take over and choose to let one of the other ones choose or choose myself. I would later pull the older aside and try and establish, again, what being a servant leader looks like. It takes a lot of teaching because we are, by nature, selfish beings. This hierarchy has helped eliminate so many battles. You have the little ones respecting and submitting to the older ones and when that happens, the older ones are willing to let their little siblings be around, serve them and honor them in a way you don’t find in all families. We also try to establish with our oldest the fact that with more privilege comes more responsibility. There is more expected of Abby at this point, and so she is sometimes the one asked to do more around here. It’s encouraging to hear the Pritchards tell stories of the college age kids inviting the Jr. High kids to come visit them for a week at college. Why would they do this? They love the littler one and know the little one is going to listen, respect and not be an annoying brat around them. We also hear stories of the older ones spending all their money to buy a younger one a really expensive pair of shoes just because. It takes a lot of work to really train the older ones what being a servant leader looks like. It takes a lot of work to teach the younger ones to submit to the older ones. However, it is the vision God established in the Bible, and I see the benefits of it played out within the family life. I also see the importance of understanding this concept when they get out into the real world dealing with people who have authority over them or dealing with people that they are leading. Here’s a link to the Pritchard blog where someone asked a question about this topic.