The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 11/12

Posted on | November 12, 2015 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 11/12

Scripture reading: I Samuel 2:12–26

The Perfect Parent

Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the Lord has spoken: “Children have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me. (Isaiah 1:2)

A pastor friend of mine has a son named Isaiah. One Sunday morning during church, Isaiah was misbehaving so badly that his father felt he needed to rebuke him. In their family, when a parent began counting, it meant the child had a brief moment to adjust his behavior before punishment fell. Pausing in his sermon, with a stern voice, my preacher friend called out, “Isaiah! One, two . . .” A lady in the congregation assumed the pastor was giving a Scripture reference, so dutifully took her Bible and opened to Isaiah 1:2. Realizing the family drama that was being acted out in the sanctuary, she was startled to read: “Children have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me.”

Most parents go through a phase where they believe that if they do parenting right, their children will turn out perfectly. The assumption, of course, is that problems in children are the direct result of problems in parenting. While that may some- times be true, the reality goes much, much deeper. Our Father in heaven is the perfect parent. He did everything right. Who would ever accuse him of faulty parenting? And yet look how his children turned out! The book of Isaiah begins with God calling heaven and earth to listen as he laments what has happened: I had children and raised them well, and they turned on me (The Message). The most comforting thing I know to say to parents coping with a wayward child is this: God understands. He really does!

Bill Cosby can hardly qualify as a theologian, but his insights into parenting remind us that God the Father understands what is involved in raising children.

Whenever your kids are out of control, you can take comfort from the thought that even God’s omnipotence did not extend to His kids. After creating the heaven, the earth, the oceans, and the entire animal kingdom, God created Adam and Eve. And the first thing He said to them was “Don’t.” To the animals, He never said, “Don’t”—He hurled no negatives at the elephant—but to the brightest of His creatures, the ones who get into Yale, He said, “Don’t.” “Don’t what?” Adam replied. “Don’t eat the forbidden fruit.” “Forbidden fruit? Really? Where is it?” Is this beginning to sound familiar?

“It’s over there,” said God, wondering why He hadn’t stopped after making the elephants. A few minutes later, God saw the kids having an apple break and He was angry. “Didn’t I tell you not to eat that fruit?” the First Parent said. “Uh-huh,” Adam replied. “Then why did you?” “I don’t know,” Adam said. At least he didn’t say, “No problem.” “All right then, get out of here! Go forth, become fruitful, and multiply!” This was not a blessing but a curse: God’s punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own. And so, they moved to the east of Eden . . . and they had your typical suburban family: a couple of dim-witted boys. One of these boys couldn’t stand the other; but instead of just leaving Eden and going to Chicago, he had to kill him. (Fatherhood)

Of course, we would want to clear up much of Cosby’s understanding of biblical theology, but his point is well taken. If God has trouble handling his children, then don’t be surprised if you do too. God does understand.

 

We never know the love of a parent till we become parents ourselves. —Henry Ward Beecher

point to ponder Perfect parenting does not guarantee perfect children.

prayer focus Parents.

 

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