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Supporting His MUSAR

June 25, 2007


Listen, my child, to the instruction from your father,

 and do not forsake the teaching from your mother.

I have always liked this verse.  I have had my kids copy it many times as they were beginning to learn how to write.  But, as I was recently preparing to speak at a conference I wanted to know if there was a deeper message to this verse.  And of course there was. And it was a great one too.

I wanted to know why did they use two different words that I thought basically had the same meaning to the action of the parents.  “listen…to the instruction to your father…” and “do not forsake the teaching of your mother.”  Are they not the same???  In Hebrew they are different, but still similar.

 The Hebrew translation for “Instruction” is musar.  It gave a 3 fold meaning.  The first meaning was the physical or parental instruction: “discipline; chastisement” , then was the verbal instruction: “warning; exhortation” and lastly was the moral instruction: “training; instruction”   This is the biblical role of the father in the family.  Then I looked up the hebrew word for “teaching”.  It gave a very familar word, “torah”, and the definition said, “instruction, moral direction rather than law. Point the way.”  I thought this was really interesting.  I immediately had a picture in my mind of a mother duck guiding her little ducklings along, scooting them on with her wings.

My own personal interpretation of this scripture is that as a Christian wife & mother my role is to support his musar.  I am to support his discipline, instruction and training.  I am to guide my children along.  I am the life giver and my husband is the law maker.  They are both vital roles in the family.  When God created woman and Adam named her Eve, he said that she was the giver of life.  That made sense  because she was the one who would have the babies, but I know that it means much more than that.  As women we are the nurturing and compassionate one’s.  Dad’s can be compassionate, but they have to work at it.

I was talking to my mom one day & she was telling me how she had been sick.  She said that Dad was taking good care of her.  She also said that it wasn’t easy and he had to work at it, but he rose to the occasion just for her. We both laughed because we know our husbands mean well.   It is a more natural action for us moms to take care of our sick kids and kiss their boo boo’s.  We are often more soft spoken (but not always) or sympathetic.

It is not always for me to support my husbands musar.  There are times when I think he should discipline differently or more often or not at all based on the circumstance.  One night I teased him that our kids would behave better if he would discipline my way.  I was teasing, but at the same time I was serious.  It doesn’t take long before the Holy Spirit is tapping on my conscious reminding me that I am to support him, not compete with him, even when I don’t agree. I am also supposed to capture every thought.  Even if I don’t verbalize my disagreement, my thoughts toward him are just as bad.  When I let them build up then my attitude toward him and my actions are not very positive & he knows that something is up.  It is easier for me to watch what I say to him, but my thoughts are what get me in trouble.

I’m always working on this.  I want to provide my husband the support that he needs.  When we work together we provide our children with a stable and loving home to grow up in.

How are you doing at supporting your husbands musar?

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