Read Job 1:5
And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, "It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts." Thus Job did continually.
• How can I lead spiritually in the "good times"?
• Spiritual leadership includes helping our children nurture their relationships with God when life is easy. Why is this important?
• Just as Job, we can lead by example and by actively calling our children to worship. In what ways are you doing this?
Job's wealth provided an easy life for him--and an easy life for his ten children. While others were striving for their livelihood, whether out in the field with the sheep or in a trade, Job's adult sons and daughters had time to spare. Some of that time was spent holding extravagant parties. Not only did these parties span many days, but they also rotated among the sons' houses.
These two verses give a glimpse of Job as a father and a spiritual leader. We can glean that he was generous with his children, sharing the wealth that he had accumulated. His sons presumably had married and established their own homes. Whether directly or indirectly, his riches likely provided for the food and drink at their bashes.
Job understood that his children needed times of fun and relaxation. But, as a spiritual leader, he also understood that they needed God. He reflected on how his children's easy lives could have tempted them to sin. He knew they needed cleansing from their sins.
Thus, Job was proactive in nurturing the spiritual lives of his children. Scripture does not tell us the details of their daily lives. We can assume that Job led his children by example in his own prayer life and devotion to his Lord. I can just picture him sitting around the campfire surrounded by his sons and daughters, sharing with them about God.
His spiritual leadership didn't stop once they were grown and off on their own. Verse 5 points out that his regular practice was to call them to a time of worship and cleansing when their celebrations were completed.
How does Job's example fit with how we as parents disciple our children today? One difference is that our society focuses quite a bit on happiness--our own and our children's. As some psychologists note, many homes have become child-centric, with the primary focus on the children's needs, wants, and activities. Giving our children things they enjoy, seeing their smiles, and hearing their laughter warms our hearts. Yet we can't let providing these pleasures and comforts distract us from our primary purpose.
In these verses from Job, we're reminded that, just as an easy life can make us spiritually lazy, it can also have the same effects on our children. They need us to care for them, lead them, and teach them about the risks that come with an easy life. Just as Job did, we must keep pointing them to God, the One who loves them, saves them, and will sustain them in the not-so-easy times.
Lord, strengthen me to lead others during the peaceful times. Thank You for the people You have put in my life to lead and disciple. Please give me the sensitivity to know where each person is spiritually and the wisdom to guide them. Show me how to encourage them to walk in obedience and remain focused on You in all seasons. Amen.