To honor God in my writings

Posts tagged ‘fathering’

Fathering Flaws from Great Men of Faith 3

Eli served as a priest of Israel. He was the representative of the people to God. He had 2 sons, Hopni and Phinehas, who were also serving as priests. However, they were wicked and treated the sacrifices of the Lord with contempt (1 Samuel 2:12, 22).

We can see in their lives that when we serve God with the externals, all we have is religion. We can be doing things for God, doing ministry in the church, helping the poor, and yet live unholy and wicked lives. The Bible tells us: “they honor me with the lips and yet their hearts are far from me.” and Jesus said to the  people claiming to know him and serve him in his parable “I do not know you, away from me you evil doers.”

We can see from Eli’s life that religious leaders are not exempted from family problems and struggles. There are many pastor’s children and children from Christian homes that wander off from the faith and rebel against their parents. 1 Sam 2:24-25 tells us the action the Eli took when he heard the sins his sons were doing. He rebuked them and gave them a lecture. But his children didn’t listen.

Modeling is a strong teacher. There is a great urgency for us to take on the responsibility of training our children and instilling on them godly principles while they are young. For when they reach their teenage years, their values are internalized and they have their own minds. If we don’t have a close relationship with them then our influence on them will be a weak link. Their friends will easily persuade them with their values. Moreover, if they see us as hypocrites – teaching them principles that we do not abide by and we don’t practice, then they are more likely to move away from the values that we want them to adopt and apply. So modeling is of utmost important.

Eli’s children were taking the meat while the fat was still in it. They don’t want the fats to be burned because fat is delicious. but God as our creator knows what is best for us. From my point of view, i think Eli also had part of this because as the bible says he was fat. So if he corrects his son, they’ll say “Hey, you’re eating it too.” Ungodliness slowly crept in to their lives. First, contempt for the sacrifice then no more regard for God’s laws leading to wickedness and immorality just as stated in Romans 1. Instilling God’s word to our children’s hearts is valuable but it can easily become head knowledge or even a plain subject or vocation. What we need to achieve is for them to have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. We must show them that God is real in our everyday circumstances – praying and trusting in Him. Our faith and trust in God is displayed through our reactions and how we deal with our circumstances. Do we react in anger or in sweet surrender? In thanksgiving or in grumbling and complaining? In prayer or in anxiety and worries?

Amidst our imperfection, it is by God’s grace that our children will thrive. Let us continue to pray for them and for ourselves. Never stop learning and changing for the better. God’s Holy Spirit will help us change from the inside out as He is in the business of transforming people and making things new. He who began a good wok in you will be able to complete it (Phil 1:6)

Fathering Flaws from Great Men of Faith 2

David and Modeling

David acquired more and more wives and concubines. He acted on his impulse specially with his sexual desires (1 Sam 25:42-43 marrying Abigail and Ahinoam, aside from his first wife Michal, daugter of Saul.)  This happened again in 2 Sam 11 with Bathsheba: he saw her, desired her, inquired about her, invited her and had sex with her despite knowing that she was already married. In 2 Sam 5:13, it says “After he left Hebron, David took more concubines and wives in Jerusalem, and more sons and daughters were born to him.”

So we begin to see David’s weakness with women and with sex. He did not exercise self-control nor restrained his desires. Sad to say, his children followed his example: Amnon raped his half-sister, Tamar, whom he thought he “loved” (2 Sam 13).  Solomon following and topping off his father’s record got 700wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:3) which led to his downfall.

It is so difficult for these children of David to grow without any father figure. Moreover, you can see your dad having sex with different women as he so chooses, degraded women in their sight. Modelling to them that as a leader or a man of power, they can do anything they wanted and by any means they thought of.

Our actions speaks louder than words – MODELLING. In my experience, my authoritarian parenting style coupled with my strictness and high expectation often results in my anger being modeled to my children. Guess what i passed on unintentionally? My son also displays anger in dealing with his younger sister. In return, her sister shouts at him. They learned to use expressions like “Hoy!” Or “lousy!” We end up correcting them with what we have modelled to them unintentionally.

My life of anger is a process, that i continue to surrender to God day by day, praying and looking to God for transformation. As i learned from pastor Peter Tanchi last Sunday, we need to respond and not react through an acronym PRAY:
Resist the initial impulse
Ask God for help
Yield to God’s Spirit.

1. Invest Time

By God’s grace, the children have been growing well, still happy and smiley as we continue to bond and spend time loving them and having fun with them.

2. Be Humble

I talk and apologize to my son every now and then, telling him that “dad and mom are not perfect and God wants us to love one another – to be gentle and kind, not to shout and be angry.”

3. Pray For God’s Empowering

“Dad and mom are trying our best too and we continue to pray that God’s Spirit help us make right choices.”

Fathering Flaws from Great Men of Faith

David (2 Samuel 11-14)

We know that David is a man after God’s own heart. But even in his success, he sinned against God and had a weakness for women. He acquired more and more wives. One that displeased the Lord was how he got Bathsheba – through murder. So his consequence was the sword will never cease to devour in your own house.

Indeed, this came true with Amnon and Absalom. David was a very wise and discerning king. He seek God’s advice for every actions that he took when he was going to war. Could it be that David backslided? How come in regards to his family affair, he was not seeking God. In his relationships he did not seek God’s will – like what to do with Amnon’s sin of raping his half-sister, Tamar. What to do with Absalom for murdering his half-brother, Amnon. He wasn’t even bothered if he did not see his son Absalom for many years. He longed for him but did not bring him back. When he brought him back courtesy of Joab’s idea, he didn’t go see him for 2 years as well.

Could it be that David has backslidden or he has compartmentalize his life about seeking God’s will with nation’s affairs but not family affairs? This reminds us of the value to seek God’s will specially in terms of our relationship and family – dispensing discipline, justice, involvement, and most important of all love. Maybe he was too busy and had too many families to be able to mind them and be involved in rearing them up. We can see that David had a weakness in being a great father despite him being a great king and leader. It reminds us that even as we succeed in our careers and earn a lot of money but if we didn’t invest our time with our families they will be led astray. They might even just squander our riches foolishly.

It is never too late to correct this problem though it may not be easy. Teens will have their own agendas and groups that they don’t want to spend time with us anymore. But through repentance, prayer, and God’s grace there is hope for restoration and reconciliation.

As parents, you have the first move of reconciliation, will you take it? Will you humble yourself and ask God and our children for forgiveness of our shortcomings and sin of neglect?

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