Learning Parenting from Job

February 26, 2011

Scripture speaks highly of Job in several passages (1:1, 8; 2:3; Ezek. 14:14, 20; cf. James 5:11). In fact, God Himself commends Job twice to Satan by declaring, “There is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and eschews evil” (1:8; 2:3). Job thus was the godliest man of his day. 

Because God attested to his excelling character and life, it seems reasonable to conclude that Job was a model father. Along that line, the initial account of the book reveals an aspect of Job’s parenting that is worth considering carefully. 

After describing the habitual practice of his children, the writer of Job tells what Job did out of concern for his children: 

And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually (1:5). 

In some unspecified manner, Job regularly met with his children and sanctified them. Their having their own houses and feasting in them shows that at least his sons were adults (1:4). Job thus ministered to his adult children on a regular basis regarding their spiritual state. As circumstances allow, many parents today also actively interact regularly with their adult children with the intent of ministering to them directly concerning their spiritual condition. 

Job’s great concern for his children’s spiritual state also led him to offer burnt sacrifices to God continually in view of what his children may have done against God in their hearts. Job, therefore, understood that the wrong thoughts of his children were also sinful and required the offering of burnt sacrifices

Job was an exemplary father in his day. How many fathers today routinely minister to their adult children out of concern for their sinning against God in their hearts? How many fathers regularly consider the possible sinfulness of the thought life of their adult children and bring that concern to God in their prayers for them? Job’s practice seems to inform us that parents, especially fathers, should continually parent even their adult children in at least these ways.

Rajesh

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