Archives For Christian Living

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.

Prove the Will of God!

February 25, 2011

Picture a cool fall day in a Midwestern farming community in the year1947. A faithful, young farmer heads out to his fields at the break of day. He notices a slight scratchy feeling in his throat. As he puts in a full day of work, he has a sinking feeling that he is coming down with something. By the middle of the week, he can hardly swallow. Hating to go to a doctor, he tries gargling with a mix of lemon juice, apple cider, vinegar, honey, and one “special” ingredient. His throat, however, keeps on getting worse. 

Early the next week, he is barely able to swallow. Reluctantly, he agrees to go see his uncle, who is a doctor. Taking one look inside his mouth, his uncle’s face grows very serious. “Jake, you have a bad case of strep throat.” “I’m giving you a new medicine that I hope will take care of the problem; be sure to finish all the pills.” Jake takes the pills, thanks his uncle, and heads home. 

After a few days on the medication, his throat feels so much better. Because the pills were so bitter, and he is feeling better by now, he decides to stop taking the pills. He says to himself, “I am over the problem, and I don’t want to overdo this medicine business.” 

Two weeks after stopping the pills, Jake is flat on his back, hardly able to speak. Now, he has a fever and a rash. When his uncle comes and examines him, with tears he grimly informs him that he has rheumatic fever. 

For the rest of his life, Jake is a crippled man who no longer can take care of his farm or even himself. The damage to his heart was just too severe for him to do much of anything. He is unable to live out the life that he might have lived had he followed the full prescription given to him. 

God has given us His prescription for our sinful condition (Rom. 12). Although we must present ourselves to God, we must not stop with just making a decision to do so. We must go on and live out His will for our lives as He teaches us in Romans 12:1ff. 

If we do not fully follow that prescription, we will be crippled and not fulfill His will. God wants us to prove His will for our lives.