Christian Family, Free Online Correspondence Course Lesson — 7

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Encouragement for Sons, Daughters and Parents 

In the last two verses of the Old Testament we read that God will send  Elijah the prophet to turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the  heart of the children to their fathers. We are therefore warned that the  heart of the children and the heart of the fathers will be turned away
from each other in the last days, and a prophetic ministry will be needed  to turn their hearts towards each other. When Joel prophesied about the  outpouring of the Holy Spirit that was to happen in the last days, he said,  “your sons and your daughters shall prophesy” (Joel 2:28). It is our  prayer that our sons and daughters be filled with the Holy Spirit, and  prophesy in these last days. This has been happening, and we pray that  there be an increase. 

The Father–Son Bond:  If you would see a most fundamental aspect of the bond between a father  and a son, please read Genesis 22:7-8, and note the conversation  between Abraham and Isaac. Isaac addresses his father as “my father,”  and not merely as “father”; Abraham addresses his son as “my son,” not  merely as “son”. This very ancient example shows us the emotional
bond between the father and the son. From this bond arises the desire to  honor the father. Whether you address your father as my father or merely  as father; whether you address your son or daughter as my son or my  daughter, or, merely son or daughter; please seek to have the emotional  bond that is implied by the “my”. May this be true for both father and  mother, as well as for sons and daughters. 

Honoring Father and Mother: If the first blessing to the first parents was to have many children (Gen.  1:22), the first commandment with promise to the children was to honor  their parents (Ex. 20:12); and the promise was long life on earth with  related benefits. Paul repeats this in Eph. 6:2-3. It is so very important,  therefore, for children to learn to honor their parents from early age.  “Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and keep My  Sabbaths: I am the Lord your God” (Lev. 19:3, New King James  Version). Note how solemn is this commandment! The commandment  to revere the parents and the commandment to keep the Sabbaths are  joined in one sentence, made most solemn by the addition of “I am the  Lord your God.” How blessed it is to believe and obey! 

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how to honor and revere your parents.  Your attitude, your love, your obedience, your words, your tone, your  consideration, your willingness to listen, your actions; all these add up.  Gifts and kind words on special days have their place, but honor and
reverence in daily life are far more important. Sons and daughters, never  raise your voice at your mother or father. You may forget to repent, and  you would remain blind to the harm it does to your parents and to you. If  you believe your parents are wrong, plead with them and pray for them.  God will richly reward you.

Respect for the elderly (not parents only) is pleasing to God. “You shall  rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and  fear your God: I am the Lord” (Lev. 19:32, New King James Version).  Note, here also, how solemn is the commandment. There are elderly
people in your extended family, in the Church, and in the community.  When you honor them and show them respect, you have a blessing from  God. In some Eastern countries, the younger people rise when an elderly  person walks in. In every culture there are traditions that show respect to  the aged. It is good for young boys and girls to be with, and listen to,  elderly people who love them. We should train the children to enjoy the  friendship of older people, and receive wisdom from them. 

Parents’ Care for Grown Children: The twelve sons of Jacob were fathers themselves when blessed by their  dying father. If they were to receive the blessing at that stage, surely  they had to be honoring and revering their father at that time. Jacob  himself was in his late seventies when he obeyed his mother, and  obtained his father’s blessing. Sons and daughters, esteem and inherit  your parents’ blessing. Even as a queen, Esther obeyed her uncle  Mordecai who reared her (Esther 2:20). Sons and daughters, esteem and  submit to the spiritual care of your parents. 

Job’s seven sons and three daughters were grown and living in their own  houses. Yet Job cared for their spiritual welfare. From Job 1:5 we may  learn: 

(1) At the conclusion of the days of feasting, “Job sent and  sanctified them.” This implies that the caring father invited the sons and  daughters to come to the altar at his home, and participate in the prayers  and offerings for them. Job was sensitive to the possibility of sin
entering his children’s hearts while they were feasting. A caring father  has the duty and authority to call even his grown children to repentance.  From the place of feasting, let us hasten to the place of sacrifice. 

(2) Job  rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to  the number of his sons and daughters. Burnt offerings for ten children,  one offering for each! This teaches us how earnestly we should pray (as  if offering a burnt offering; remember Christ’s atoning death for our
sake) for each of our children, even grown ones. 

(3) Job did this  continually; this was his custom. Please read Job 1:4-5.  As a father, I have been moved by the example of Job who “was the  greatest of all the men of the east” of his day. I would encourage the  fathers who read this to reflect on Job 1:4-5.

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