“There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job, and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil.” Job 1:1
Job had seven sons and three daughters. God called him blameless and upright. His relationship with God was close and real.
“And his sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them, And it came about, when the days of feasting had completed their cycle, that Job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, ‘Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.’ Thus Job did continually.” Job 1:4-5
What do we learn about Job’s parenting skills?
1) Job knew his children were capable of sin. A wise parent will know that their child is not only capable of sin, but thoroughly sinful. They are in need of redemption.
2) Because he knew they were prone to sin he offered sacrifices on their behalf. He prayed for them.
3) He recognized the problem was not in what they did, but in how they thought. “Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.”
4) He was persistent. “Rose early…did continually”
Job loved his children and was a good father. Severe trouble came. Job lost everything. What was his reaction?
“Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.” Job 1:22
His response was humanly impossible. The following verses give us an insight into how he could have responded the way he did.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
His roots were deep.
Anyone who has had children knows that trouble comes with them. Some more than others. We can’t prevent the trouble, but if our roots are deep we can be free of fear and anxious thoughts. We can continue to be useful to God even in the midst of trouble. God uses the heat or trouble in our lives to change us into His image.
Being a parent is often overwhelming, but we have a great God who does impossible things through weak people.
“And such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” II Corinthians 3:4-6
What is my advice to fathers? Pray. And when you are done praying, pray some more. Like Job, do it continually. We aren’t able to raise Godly children, but as we leave them in His hands He can do a work in their lives and ours.