“Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” Colossians 3:21
“But if any man provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”1 Timothy 5:8
“Train up your child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Our weekly Christian devotional
Celia’s feet trudged slowly towards the tiny apartment she called home. Like always, she was in no particular hurry to get there.
Beyond the threshold of that front door, misery awaited. This wasn’t a matter of opinion; it was a fact. The only question was…what kind of suffering? Everyday seemed to hold a certain kind of surprise.
“Today will be different…” Cece’s young mind tried remaining positive. She imagined her mother’s grilled cheese sandwich awaiting her arrival–the kind she used to make before spiraling into the depths of a world Celia couldn’t reach.
Wildflowers popping through the cracks in the concrete bowed their heads in wait of tomorrow’s sun. Celia meandered along the sidewalk as long as her growling stomach would allow. The streetlamps flickered alive; their humming sound churned her empty belly even more. Pushing down the discomfort, the little one quickened her pace.
Reluctantly, Celia climbed the crumbled concrete steps leading up to her home. Peering through a rip in the screen door, she searched for her mother. Instead, a looming silhouette stood in the middle of the kitchen. Every ounce of her lithe frame wanted to hold back from moving forward. But, it was too late.
The heavy figure shifted in his chair before getting up. Celia could tell by the rhythm of his breath that today wasn’t her lucky one.
The front door flung open, thrusting the fourth grader into the eye of the storm.
“How nice of you to grace us with your presence.” Her father’s smile wasn’t the real kind. Billy only grinned like that after putting down a few.
Ker-plunk. Ker-plunk. Celia felt her heart skipping beats.
“My friend Rachel invited me over to see her guinea pig.” Celia stammered, fixing her gaze on her pink shoelaces.
Bill gripped his daughter’s wiry arm, pulling Celia deeper into the kitchen.
“Cold food is still food.” His thick hand waved over an overcooked frozen dinner.
“Where’s momma?” Celia’s thoughts ran wild with fear. She dared not utter them. But old Billy must’ve read her mind.
“She’s gone. Now, it’s just me and you, Celia.” A smile crept across his face like liquid sin, relishing her pain.
In the silence, little Cece’s heart cried out to heaven. She wondered if God was just like her father.
In a world rife with stress and turmoil, the home was always meant to be a haven of respite and refuge. In Biblical days, the Jewish people were a nation set apart not only in their religious customs, but also for their family life and traditions. The father was held in high regard, not only because of his position as the spiritual head of the home, but because God ordained him to be the protective covering for his wife and children.
The young Jewish boy learned his God-given responsibilities through the rites of passage leading him into adulthood. In those days, Jewish communities fostered the care of the family unit as a small microcosm of their heritage as a nation.
God specifically designed the father/child connection to reflect the spiritual relationship of man with his heavenly Father. Just because we live in the Twenty First Century, doesn’t make the laws of God any less binding or the blessings of God any less true.
In today’s postmodern world, it seems as if the honorable father figure is quickly becoming a diminishing breed. Not only are we noticing the lack of a father’s presence and influence in the home, but our expectations as a society doesn’t hold them to the same standards as it did years ago. The honor of father-ship has lost its lofty position. Men aren’t stepping up to their responsibilities and it seems society is no longer expecting them to.
Because of this shift, we are witnessing a broken-hearted generation. Many children spend more time bonding with their iPhones rather than having real conversations with those who should be guiding their lives. This epidemic has become common. But, just because it’s popular, doesn’t mean we need to embrace it! As Believers, we should be warring hard for our families.
God holds all parents responsible for the legacy they instill within their children. It will be the measure by which they’ll learn to trust (or distrust) in the authority of God.
What’s the legacy you are leaving? Take the time to really think about it. Your good intentions don’t matter. But, your actions do.
“Dear Heavenly Father,
I’ve been given a great responsibility. Up until today, I haven’t considered the weight of it all.
I repent, Lord.
As the leader of my home, there are many things that I regret. But, the most important issue is: I haven’t reared my children in the fear of the Lord.
There is a blessing to those who guard the hearts of the ones God has entrusted. Lord, show me where I am missing the mark.
Help me to see my children’s individual needs and help me to be sensitive to your will first. This will ensure that I will meet those needs in your way.
If I am working with the wrong heart attitude that will lead my children into bitterness and anger, show me. Give me the humility I need to make those wrong things right.
Help me to be a stellar example to my family. I don’t want to rule by force; I need to rule with love.
Show me what this means. Help me to live out what you reveal to me.
Give me discernment when it comes to proper discipline so that my children will not be rebellious and entitled.
In Jesus’ precious name, because my children are a gift from God, I will honor them with your ways. Amen.”
Thank you for reading our weekly Christian devotional on verses: Colossians 3:21, 1 Timothy 5:8, Proverbs 22:6
Please check back and see what we have for you next week!
Author: Julia Shalom Jordan