There are two important and influential devices in every home. Whoever controls these devices wields great power and influence. They have the potential to bring great joy and excitement as well as tension and discord.

The first device is the remote control. Oh yeah. Whoever has the remote control determines what everyone else in the house watches. Have children? Little ones? I do. They don’t like the news or what Mom and Dad want to watch. At the same time, Mom and Dad don’t want to watch Dora, Little Mermaid, or Enchanted all the time! Take your attention off of the remote and you might lose it. Go to the bathroom and when you return someone might have grabbed the power and have already succeeded in exerting their influential role as king or queen of the remote control. This device is aptly named “remote control” because whoever has it has “control” of everyone else!

If a family serves each other well and wants what each other wants, meaning they exercise the kingdom of God in their home, the allure of the power of a remote control is less about individual control, but more about mutual control. What would it look like in our home if we were not selfish rather we were selfless? What if our families (and the individuals in it) are more concerned about the interests of others rather than themselves? Homes where there is great conflict or underlying resentment is a home where power fought over and the interests of others are stepped on. If you give up control you are weak. If you care about someone other than yourself, well, yourself might never get taken care of.

It’s a wonder that the enacted vision of God’s kind of world (aka the Kingdom of Heaven/God) actually brings about a REAL humanity instead of a FALSE humanity. REAL humanity realizes love, mutual submission, selflessness, and a concern for the interests of others. FALSE humanity realizes selfishness, a hunger for power and control, and concern only for your own personal interest.

The remote control in and of itself is a neutral party. It does not choose sides. The metaphor serves to illustrate how we as human beings use things well or poorly. And often, how we use things reveals whether we care more about God’s kingdom or our own kingdom.

Tomorrow, I’ll write about the second most important device in the home… (click here)

Thanks to Steve DeNeff for the inspiration for these two metaphors!