My morning prayer and Bible reading brought me to the opening chapter of Job today, and these words I don’t think I’ve ever really taken time to notice before:
His sons used to hold feasts in their homes on their birthdays, and they would invite their sisters to eat and drink with them. When the period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for them to be purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice burnt offerings for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom. (Job 1:4-5, NIV)
When we read of Job we often focus on everything that come later, but this morning I find myself reflecting on Job as a model for parents.
As a pastor, I interact with many parents and grandparents who are distressed by or worried about their sons, daughters, and grandchildren. They do not know how to reach them, and they worry over poor choices that they feel helpless to do anything about.
I wonder if Job might serve as a model here.
We no longer need to sacrifice animals, of course. I don’t want to advise grandmas to be slaughtering goats in the back yard. Jesus Christ was the final and perfect sacrifice for all sin.
But perhaps, like Job, we parents and grandparents might rise in the morning and seek purification and forgiveness for our households and our children. We can turn to God in prayer and lift them up in the name of Jesus, praying that by the blood of the lamb the Father might forgive them – even for sins we are not sure they may have committed.
Just as Job loved his family, so we might follow his lead in loving ours.