Officer or enlisted, everybody knows there’s a chain of command in the military.
It’s one of the things that makes the military work. But what about the family? Should a military chain of command be imposed on the family? What about family discipline and structure? Does God’s Word have anything to say about this?
“Mary Poppins” is an amazing Disney movie about the Banks family and the ordered lives they lead in London. Everything in its place and a place for everything! Mr. Banks is, in fact, a banker, and he prides himself in running a “tight ship” as the ruler of his personal domain. While not a military family, you might swear that their structure resembled one. The chain of command is clearly delineated and followed, that is until the old nanny quits and they need to find a new nanny.
Watch this song by Mr. Banks called “The Life I Lead” to get a feel of how his chain of command works:
As the dictated advertisement is mysteriously collected by a magical nanny named Mary Poppins, things around the Banks household begin to change…a lot! When Mary Poppins shows up, the children are astounded by her powers, then begin to respond not only to her amazing stunts but to her heart and her love as well. She brings a sense of life to a very structured world, and Mr. Banks resists this change at every turn. Culminating in an embarrassment at his bank, Mr. Banks feels completely undone.
On of the major themes in this story is not about a disruptive nanny as much as it is about a family who discovers how to be a family and acquire some shared values that acknowledge each person for the part they play in the whole family. The final scene shows this transformation from a family who hardly knew each other to a family who is learning to play and be and love each other. So, it’s time for Mary Poppins to go.
Check out the final scenes from the story.
What they learn as a family is simply supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
Let’s see what God says about the establishment of order and respect and obedience within a family. What elements of a chain of command do you see in his description?
Scripture: Ephesians 5:21–6:9
- Why do you think children are told to obey their parents? How do you respond if your parents tell you to do something that you don’t want to do?
- If you’ve seen the movie, how do you think the children in ‘Mary Poppins’ obeyed and disobeyed their parents? From what you know, how would you rate the Banks family in accordance with some of the Scriptures above?
- Closely read the passage above from 1 Corinthians 13. How is love displayed/not displayed in your family? What are some of the qualities of love that you realize you need to work on as you relate to your family/friends/neighbors/teachers/etc.?
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Father, I thank you for blessing me with my family. I ask you to bring us into unity through you. I ask that anything that is hidden in darkness – to cause disunity – will be brought to light. I ask you to lead us into your perfect truth and help us to be the family you intend us to be. Lord, help us to be a blessing to one another and to others. Reveal yourself to us and let us come into agreement with you. Lead us in your ways. Grant us compassionate hearts, fill us with your love that does not keep records of wrong, and bring joy to our hearts when we think of one another. Bring your perfect peace and unity into our family. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.