Snapshots: Day 180
The Snapshot: “His sons, however, did not listen to their father’s rebuke.” (1 Sam 2:25) One of the follies of sin is that it rarely listens to correction because first and foremost it is a heart issue. A heart is either righteous and set on God, or unrighteous and set on self. From that starting point the rest follows. Part of the unrighteous heart is resistance to the truth that is being told it. As parents we can a) teach and b) correct and c) set an example for our children but how they walk out the years of their lives is down to them. If you do those three things to the best of your ability, don’t get bogged down in guilt if they go off the rails. They are ultimately the keepers of their own hearts, and that will be seen in the way they live out their lives. Pray for them every day.
Further Consideration: We continue to be confronted with this all-important subject of raising children. We need to reiterate it again and again. You and I as parents have a responsibility before God to seek to do all we can to raise them wisely in the fear and knowledge of the Lord, teaching them the difference between what is right and wrong, despite what the world may teach. We have the advantage of creating an environment of love which can provide fertile ground for teaching knowledge, understanding, wisdom and discernment. We need to teach them to question what they hear around them to discern the right paths to walk, and the wrong ones! We need to provide an example of gracious and humble righteousness in the way we live. No doubt we will fall short in some measure because we all have feet of clay and don’t get it perfectly right. So learning to say sorry is also part of the ‘curriculum’ of home life, as well as learning to forgive and look for the best.
So yes, we can do all these things, hopefully with the Lord’s help as we speak to Him daily about it (I wish I had done that more when our children were younger – I’m trying to make up for it now), but having done that, as we have sought to say before, they will grow and mature and they are unique individuals with free will, who will determine their choices and sometimes, as much as we may anguish over it, the responsibility for those choices are theirs. Eli’s sons chose to ignore their father because the truth is that he did rebuke them and did seek to correct them but by now it was too late. It should have happened much earlier and in the unique role of the priesthood, he should have been instructing and setting an example all the way down the line to stop even the hint of impropriety. Foolish sons (and foolish people generally) think they can get away with it and fail to realize that all-important biblical maxim, “a man reaps what he sows”. (Gal 6:7). That may be by the general outworking of their folly or by a direct intervention of the Lord – or both.