Job is an amazing book.
It is a book of wisdom and poetry and it addresses one of the most puzzling questions: If God is fair and loving, why does he allow the righteous to suffer?”
The first chapter of Job talks about how Job was “blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.” Even God, when talking with Satan, says, “There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”
Blameless means Job had moral integrity. He was faithful, reliable, honest and had undivided loyalty. The word “upright” implies that Job’s words, thoughts and actions measured up to God’s standards.
He did what was right, true and honorable.
What a great picture of how we should live! He was noticed by God as blameless and upright. A goal we are all working towards.
But that isn’t what I want to point out about Job 1.
There is more to the first few verses, that as moms and women and as parents that we need to get a hold of for our children.
Knowing what kind of man Job was will help us understand his character and how he parented his children.
Verse 4 shows us that Job’s children were grown and they often ate together in their homes. They took turns hosting each other which shows us how much his children respected each other and still appreciated being together.
As I studied verse 5, I realized a few things:
“When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would send and have them purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom.” Job 1:5
Purified – this word means that he urged them to examine themselves and repent of wrong attitudes, actions or thoughts during their time of feasting
Morning – this showed Job’s devotion to God, he rose early in the morning to take care of the spiritual needs of his family
Burnt Offering – as the head of his household, Job acted as priest for his family and offered sacrifices on their behalf
Perhaps – he didn’t expect his children to have sinned, but he knew they were able to make mistakes and sin before God
Sinned and Cursed – Job knew his family was blessed and he didn’t want his children to forget that everything they had was from God. He knew that in their time of feasting, it might have been easy for them to have thought highly of themselves and not give thanks for God’s blessings
Hearts – Job cared not only about outward sin, but of the condition of his children’s hearts. This shows his genuine fear and love for God because he knows God sees the inside of us as well as the outside.
Regular – Job did this often. He encouraged his children to examine themselves and he went to God on their behalf regularly. It wasn’t something that he did occasionally, he went to God as a regular custom. It was part of his daily life.
Do we understand the responsibility we have as parents to encourage our children in the ways of God? I’m not just talking about bringing them to church, putting them in a class or praying before you eat. Although those things teach invaluable life lessons to your children, it must be backed up with making God a part of your day at home. Do you impress upon them the things of God? Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
Children need to be taught the things of God from you. You must be concerned with the spiritual welfare of your children. You must go to God regularly on their behalf. You must care about the inside attitude as well as the outside actions. Deuteronomy 11:2 says, “Remember today that your children were not the ones who saw and experienced the discipline of the LORD your God: his majesty, his mighty hand, his outstretched arm…” Your children haven’t seen the things you have seen, they don’t know what you know.
You can’t assume they know about God and how to live for Him. They have to be told and shown by you.
Which means you have to know about God and how to live for Him. You have to have relationship with Him.
I am so challenged by this verse. One verse that says so much. It teaches us how to have concern for our children and where they are at with God.
No matter how old they are.
Little ones can be taught about God… and, as Job shows us, even our grown children still need to be encouraged in the things of God by their parents. It is never to late to begin going to God on behalf of your children.
No matter what season of motherhood you are in… whether you are a school teacher or children’s church leader or however God has placed children in your life, these principles can be a tool we can use to parent, teach and guide in children godly ways.