TOPIC: Protect Them First.
MEMORISE: Matthew 7:12
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
READ: Luke 15:11-32
11 Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. 13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with [a]prodigal living. 14 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. 15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the [b]pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.
17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ’
20 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, [c]‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.
25 “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’
28 “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’
31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’ ”
The elders have a proverb that says you first chase away the fox before you ask the hen, “Why did you stray?” In Mark 4:35-41, when there was a storm in the boat and the disciples woke Jesus up, He first stilled the storm before saying, “Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?” This is how Jesus treats us His children.
He will first solve the problem before scolding you. Why then do many parents or guardians leave their children to be devoured by the fox when they see that they have strayed? When the children God has planted around you err, protect them from the error they have made first to ensure it doesn’t destroy them, before you turn to discipline them.
A father, for example, may throw out his daughter because she got pregnant out of wedlock. Such an action would further expose the girl to the fox already trying to destroy her. At the end of the day, that child may get into worse problems, especially if she finds help from the wrong set of people.
Children must not be cast away because they made a mistake. With all the mistakes you make, God continues to call you His child. Should there be discipline? Yes, of course. Children should be disciplined when they misbehave, but first, fix the problem and keep them safe. While you discipline a child, it should always still be clear to that child that you love them.
There is something called tough love. A child will know if the real reason you are taking an action is to protect your reputation or out of your love for them. Nothing hurts a child more than to experience lack of love from the parents.
I know it can be disappointing when children don’t meet up to their parents’ expectations. I am a father too and sometimes I would have taught my children to behave a certain way, only to hear that they did the opposite outside of the home.
However, let us remember that we do the same thing to God and He doesn’t cast us out. He chastens us because He loves us. Your labour over all the children God has planted around you will not be in vain, in Jesus’ name..
Bible in one year: Ezekiel 28-30
Hymn 31 Wonderful Story Of Love