Contend Earnestly: A Father's Pride and Fall

Monday, May 07, 2007

A Father's Pride and Fall

Yesterday I had the opportunity to teach our 4 and 5 year-olds at our church. I taught on 1 Kings 17 with the miracle of Elijah and the widow's oil and flour. It, as usual, was fun to see how the brains of these little ones take in the Word of God. I asked after the lesson what were some miracles that God gives us daily. To no surprise one of the kids said, "toys" while another piped in and said, "No, Santa gives us toys!" After I got them back on track and corrected the error of Santa, and not God, giving us our toys, I asked again. This time one said, "the cross." another stated our food, clothes, parents and one even said, creation. It was great to see the miracles of God shown in the voices of these little men and women.

Here is where my pride welled up. When we got home I asked my four year old, like I do every week at lunch on the Lord's day, "what did you learn in class?" He responded by going through the entire story almost verbatim and even told me that the story was about God's miracle of the oil and flour showing that God is our provider. I was amazed and will admit that I said, "that's my boy!" It is truly amazing how much our children understand and can take to memory.

But then the fall came. As Caleb (my four year old) was supposed to be sleeping he decided, for the second time in the week, to make a complete mess in his bathroom. He completely emptied his toothpaste, had water all over the floor, and when we started coming up the stairs, the fear of God was now in his eyes. Needless to say, he got a spanking, but what happened afterwards was the time I will always cherish. Afterwards, we spoke about God's hatred and grief over sin and also His forgiveness and patience found in the cross. I had my son pray to God and say sorry and also told him to ask God to help him not sin. My son prayed with tears. He was no longer crying because of the spanking, as we were speaking about sin and redemption for about 10 minutes, but these tears were because of the disappointment he saw in his father's eyes, and in his FATHER'S eyes.

This brought me once again to the cross in my own life. Seeing once again, the great disappointment and grief over my sin that God has, yet the forgiveness He shows us daily because we are His sons and daughters. How amazing. To see my son in tears over his sin made me honestly think on my own sin. To think of how many times I can repeat verbatim the "lesson" I learned through a book or preaching and then turn around and sin against God, just as my son did. I pray that my response will be just like my son's: Praying in tears for God to have mercy on me, and to keep me from sinning, all because of the cross of Christ.


Jake said...

That's really cool... I read a quote about marriage once that said, "What if God's plan for marriage is not to make us happy, but to make us holy?" I think that might be true about parenting too... Except I'm a 19-year-old college student who knows nothing about it. But that's kind of what I imagine it'll be like :).

Arthur Sido said...


as a father of seven, soon to be eight, we all have times like that! But I also agree that we often take credit for ourselves when it belongs to God. The real miracle is that my kids are as good of little people as they are by God's grace, in spite of my failures as a parent. I sometimes climb into my pulpit full of self-doubt and fear, and it is only knowing God's mercy and love that let's me declare His Word.

Anonymous said...

It's so good to see parents raising their children with Godly values! And it's true...we can learn lessons from even children! Great post, Seth!

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