It's been a while since I've finished the book of Job, but another section that stood out to me were verses 4 and 5 in Job 1. It reads: His sons used to take turns holding feasts in their homes, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would send and have them purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, "Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." This was Job's regular custom.
He cared deeply for his children, their relationship with the LORD and the Holiness of the LORD. It would appear that all his children were grown and had left home and yet he was still very much concerned with their lives and the way they lived them. He knew the condition of the human heart, knew the pull of worldly ways and knew his children were not immune to this. I'm sure Job taught his children the ways of the LORD and very much lived it before them, or the LORD could not have said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil." He lived a godly life before the eyes of his children.
His children feasted and once that period of feasting had run its course Job would send and have them purified. He was not naive as to what could happen at these feasts when the wine flowed so freely and people let loose of the control of their bodies and minds. They were to examine their hearts and see if there was any sinful action or thought that they had committed during that time of feasting and to seek forgiveness. Job cared for the souls of his children and he was very much mindful of the holiness of the LORD. After he sent to have them purified early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them and this was Job's regular custom.
It wasn't a one time thing for Job, his children were lifted before the LORD regularly and individually. Even though his children were no longer at home he still took responsibility for their spiritual well being as their father. He loved his kids and he loved the LORD.
I think of my own children and my responsibility as a parent. When my kids were small life with them seemed so much simpler so much more contained. Their world was smaller and I had more control of what they were exposed to. But my kids are growing up, they're all pretty much adults and their world has become much larger and they do venture out and are exposed to things that I have no control over. They make their own choices and at times those choices have not been wise and there has been pain, hurt and struggle as the fallout of those choices. We live in a world where the lines between right and wrong have become so blurred and my kids grow up and live in that, as do I.
Though I can't change society I do have control over what I have taught and am teaching my kids. It's my responsibility to teach them the ways of the LORD and not just teach them by words but by action. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 says: Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates."
I can't take this commandment lightly, I am accountable to the LORD for how I have taught my children and how I have lived before them and before Him. His life in me poured out to them. That is my heart and yet I fail so often. But I also know that Satan seeks to snatch them away and we need to be aware of that and not take the responsibility we have as parents for the souls of our children lightly. Life on this earth is never just a physical life lived but a spiritual one as well.
And so I pray continually for my children that the LORD would hold them in the palm of His hand, that He would watch over them and that they would become mighty men and women of God. I pray that their lives would be used for His Kingdom purposes, that they would seek Him and share their lives with Him. As a parent I don't think there's any greater joy than to know that your child follows the Lord and has given his or her life to Him. He is the answer in a world so filled with brokenness and sin. He is the TRUTH that cuts through the confusion.
I am continually reminded that I can't protect my kids from all things or make their choices for them, they are not mine to control, they belong to Him. Yet I am responsible for what I allow into our home. My husband and I are the "Door Keepers," of our home, it is our duty to be aware of what comes through that front door and if it's not of God, it needs to go. We have that say in our home. Whether that be the music they listen to, the movies they watch, the clothes they wear, the books they read, etc. We can't turn a blind eye to what we know is wrong...the LORD holds us accountable for that.
I can't be lethargic in in my parenting. It's not always easy putting my foot down...who wants a fight...a struggle...rebellion...pain...a disruption of the peace? Yet if I'm to parent well, I'll have to deal with all of that and we have and it hasn't been easy but I can say it's been worth it. So often in our times of struggle as parents I am reminded of my own rebellion, my own pride and how there is a Father in heaven who loves me and loves me enough to deal with me and who doesn't just cast me away but fights for me.
My kids are His and He is theirs if they so choose. It's a choice I can't make for them, I can lead and live by example but that is all anything more is idolatry. I can't control their lives and their circumstance so much so that it becomes me living through them. They can never be put on the throne that belongs to Him and Him alone.
My kids cannot become my life, that is suffocation to them and idolatry before God.
He let me go to live my life and I need to let them go to live theirs. He has set His commands before me and has asked me to walk in them and so they are set before my kids and it is their choice whether they walk in them.
Trials will come their way, they will be hurt, they will make wrong choices and those choices will cause me, them and the LORD great pain but He is still LORD and He is in control. Their life in His hands, my life in His hands...together.
No parent wants to see their children fall and make wrong choices, choices that can alter life forever but there is a Redeemer.
JESUS...the kinsman redeemer, the sacrificial lamb. His blood poured down for me, for my kids, for the entire human race.
JESUS...the resurrection and the life everlasting.
JESUS...the way the truth and the life.
One Thousand Gifts journaled for days 245 ~260
732. A God who hears our prayers
733. Problem solving husband who perseveres
734. Jocelyne mowing the lawn
735. Cool evening breezes
736. Cool Fall like day
737. My security is in God and not man or my circumstance
738. Quiet at the end of the day
739. God's truth trumps my feelings
740. Our health care system, doctors and nurses
741. The eldest son's courage and excitement in stepping out
742. Early morning walk with a friend on the boardwalk, saw two swans fly overhead
743. The beauty of the country
744. Making salsa with Jocelyne
745. Gorgeous early morning sky
746. The sound of the wind rustling in the leaves
747. God's Word
749. Celebrating the 1st birthday of Molly and Lola
750. Jocelyne's cupcakes...delicious
751. Charissa out riding Amadeous
752. My husband's grin
753. Met a kind Vietnamese woman last night - I dropped something off for her and was struck by her kindness and gratitude
754. Produce from the garden
755. Rest at the end of the day
756. Early morning thunder storm
757. A big brother who loves his two baby sisters - "I can't wait to hug and kiss the babies."
758. The responsibility my husband takes for his kids
759. A beautiful morning talk and walk with a friend
760. A jump in the pool with my husband on a hot and humid day - the pool was 72!
761. The Holiness of God and what He requires of me
762. More of Jocelyne's delicious cupcakes
763. Fellowship in Christ
765. The abundance of fresh running water
766. Courage of a woman whose husband is suffering
767. Good news
768. Gorgeous weather for an outdoor wedding
769. A father's love for his daughter
770. Cuddling with my husband after a long but good day shooting a wedding
771. Worship leaders
772. A story of perseverance a family running a race together to completion
773. Visiting with Will in TO to celebrate his birthday
774. Thinking of Will today ~ his birthday and how much he's grown to be a mighty man of God
775. Afternoon sunshine
776. Homemade pizza
777. Morning frost in the sunshine
778. The ability to read
779. My husband ~ committed to truth and holiness
780. A cool but refreshing early morning walk with a friend up the road