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What it Means to Be a Godly Parent


Job 1:1-22

What do Axl Rose, Katy Perry and Marilyn Manson have in common? They were all kids of devout or actively religious parents. I don’t know about you, but I grew up in church, around lots of second generation Christians. A significant percent of my friends turned from the faith after high school and never set foot in a church again.

As a father, I look back at these experiences and ask what I can do to be a godly parent. Thankfully, God gives us an explicit example in Job 1. Job does three things we can all learn from: he pursued God with all of his heart, he interceded for his children daily and he left the results in God’s hands.

God said Job “is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil” (Job 1:8). That’s a pretty amazing endorsement of character. Job’s pursuit of God was blameless. This would have included Job’s relationship with his wife, the way he handled his money and business, and the teaching and care he gave to his children.

Job interceded for his children by sending a priest to purify them after their feasts and by offering burnt offerings for them in case they sinned (Job 1:5). It’s interesting to think about all the things Job doesn’t do in reaction to his children’s parties. What he does do is intercede for them daily, at great personal cost.

Finally, Job utterly committed his children into the hands of God. Often as parents we want to control the outcome of our child’s heart, but God has only given us control of the input. We can control how much time we spend with them and how much of God they see in our example. We can train and teach them, and spend time interceding on their behalf. But God controls the results. When Job learned all of his children were dead, he said, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” That’s not an attitude Job acquired in a moment, it was a product of years of trusting God with the output.

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