Friday, January 24, 2014

Job style Parenting

         I was having lunch with friends this week when one of the moms confided the sweetest story of her husbands role as dad.  It reminded me of a passage I have been meditating on.
From Job 1:1-3 Job was a man who lived in Uz. He was honest inside and out, a man of his word, who was totally devoted to God and hated evil with a passion. He had seven sons and three daughters. He was also very wealthy—seven thousand head of sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred teams of oxen, five hundred donkeys, and a huge staff of servants—the most influential man in all the East!
4-5 His sons used to take turns hosting parties in their homes, always inviting their three sisters to join them in their merrymaking. When the parties were over, Job would get up early in the morning and sacrifice a burnt offering for each of his children, thinking, “Maybe one of them sinned by defying God inwardly.” Job made a habit of this sacrificial atonement, just in case they’d sinned.
         My friend shared about her four children.  The older three have all been living for the Lord.  The youngest is in her last year of high school.  My friend’s husband had taken a second job to help pay off debt.  My friend continued to mention she felt their youngest was feeling her husband’s absence with the new job.
         The youngest began to make compromising decisions.  After months with this new job, my friend said she was surprised to see her husband on his knees in front of their youngest daughter asking forgiveness for his taking this second job.  He went on to apologize for all the time he had been away from her and her siblings.  He told her he put in his two weeks notice and was giving up that job to be with their family.
         That was the breaking point for their daughter.  They began to see immediate improvement in her decisions, behaviors and attitudes.
         After hearing this story I went back to Job’s response to his children’s actions.  He took responsibility for his children, “just in case they’d sinned.”  This has spawned the question in me, “how am I seeing my part in our children’s behavior?”  “Am I taking responsibility for my children’s action?”
         I’m not insinuating that we are responsible for all our children's choices but maybe I am influencing their choices.  Both their good choices and the bad.  I feel confident that the description of Job is in many ways a reflection of his parenting.  Job was described as “honest,” “a man of his word,” “totally devoted to God,” “hating every kind of evil,” and he was “the most influential man in the East!”
         The Bible doesn’t give attention to Job’s parenting style as authoritative or permissive.  It doesn’t tell us how he corrected, instructed or encouraged his children.  It simply records, “in case they’d sinned” Job offered sacrifices on their behalf.

         Just like my friend shared her husband’s response to his daughter’s choices, we too can help our children as we take responsibility for our part in their choices.  This week as we parent, before we dole out corrective measures lets consider what part of their choices reflect a deficit in our parenting. As parents we can ask the Lord to reveal what is really in our hearts and how we can do a better job as their parents.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful Joannie! Love this! So true! And very timely for the season I am in!