Thursday, August 24, 2017

The ULTIMATE MODEL of Parenting.
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Sometimes parents may ponder to themselves: “can anyone else relate to me in this situation?” Or, “has anyone else ever gone through this?” Parenting can seem lonely. When children disobey, when young children act defiantly, when teenager revolt, parents may think that they’ve done it all wrong and that no one could relate to the despair that has risen in their soul. But I want to encourage every parent with a simple reality from Scripture. The ultimate parent is God. Remember what God said in Isaiah 1:2 - “Listen, O heavens and hear, O earth; for the Lord speaks, ‘Sons I have reared and brought up, but they have revolted against me.’” Indeed, later Isaiah says: “Israel has abandoned the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they have turned away from Him” (Isa 1:4). Have you, dear parents, ever felt like this? Be encouraged: God can relate to you in every situation in life -- even the discouraging, lonely, and confusing parenting moments that enter into your life.

God is the PERFECT model. Of course, God is perfect...He is God! And He calls Israel, “My Son” (Hosea 11:1 and Isa 1:2). Let us remember that our God takes on the title of “Father” (Eph 3:14-15) and loves for His children to call Him “Abba” Father (Gal 4:6). God is the perfect model of a parent. He is the Father. He has children. And He had sons, and as Isaiah tells us, they were wayward and rebellious. Let us look to God as our model and observe how He parents.

God is a SYMPATHIZING parent. As involved as God is in the lives of His creatures, we see that He is a God of emotion and that He is a God who cares. And God refers to Israel as “sons that he has reared and brought up” (Isa 1:2). But these sons have revolted against Him. Indeed, they have acted corruptly, abandoned Him, and utterly despised God. Could you imagine? Maybe you’ve been there, or maybe you’re going through it. Sons rising up and revolting against their parents and abandoning and utterly despising them! So God can relate. So God was one who was grieved by this. So much so that God invited them to come back to him, to return to him, and to be forgiven (Isa 1:18). O how God wanted to reconcile with them! He was grieved and hurt by their sin.

God has WAYWARD children. Israel was greatly rebellious. Indeed, they were full of evil deeds (Isa 1:16). They offered heartless sacrifices and were prone to just going through the religious motions of offering sacrifices (Isa 1:11). They trampled God’s courts (Isa 1:12) and prayed with uplifted hands as though God ignored their sin but would hear their petitions (Isa 1:15). So bad had Israel become that she didn’t even know how to blush over sin anymore. O yes, God can relate to you if you have children that have strayed. But wait, Did God do something wrong? Of course not! How faithful and tender and patient He was! Yet He had wayward children.

God UNCONDITIONALLY LOVES  His own. Never, ever, does God abandon His people, Israel. God tells them that the fixed order of the moon and stars and sun would have to pass away before God would give up Israel as His people (Jer 31.35-37). Of course God is faithful to His promises and HIs covenants! Consider the elect of God! While we were His enemies, Christ died for us (Rom 5.8). He loves us unconditionally. He remains faithful -- even when we are faithless (2 Tim 2.13). How does God treat His elect children (=believers) when we sin against Him? He is faithful to love, diligent to discipline, constant in compassion, long-suffering in patience, and ready to forgive. O what a most merciful and gloriously gracious God we worship and serve! How faithful He is with us -- even when we sin in those moments of stubbornness and being wayward. May we learn from our Father and love our children in the same way.

God LAVISHES LOVE and PROMISE-FILLED HOPE to His children. As the perfect model, God shows us that we can constantly communicate and remind the children of wonderful promises that come to all of His children -- He will still love us (Rom 8.35-39) and He will never leave or forsake us (Heb 13.5). How does God treat you as His child? He lavishes constant love upon you as you study Him, know Him, and seek to plumb the depths of His unfathomable love (Eph 3:14-19). He is always available to communicate with you through His Word and provide hope -- faithful, sure hope -- to you as His child through faith alone (2 Cor 1:20). May we learn from God, our perfect model, as we seek to be faithful in parenting our children as God Himself loves His own.


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