By Mrs. Joseph Wood
“Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel�And he said unto them, why do ye such things? For I hear of your evil dealings by all this people. Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the Lord’s people to transgress. Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the Lord would slay them.” 1 Samuel 2:22a, 23-24,25b
I was sitting with the Lord this morning and want to share what He was teaching me. I pray that you too can be blessed by it and that His name will be glorified in each of our homes.
“Winking at Sin.” What image do those three words create in your mind’s eye? For myself, I see sin running full course and someone (could it be me?) allowing it, even “winking” at those creating it. I hardly picture a young mommy making excuses for her child’s bad behavior, yet that too is “winking at sin”.
Dear ladies, I want to encourage you today as the Lord encouraged me, to not only mention to my child their wrong doing but to refuse it – to deny it access and to devote myself to their correction and training in the Lord.
In first Samuel we read of Eli and his son’s sinful acts. In chapter 2 verse 12 we read that his sons knew not the Lord. Matthew Henry writes, “They did not go and serve other gods, as those did that lived at a distance from the altar, for from the house of God they had their wealth and dignity, but which was worse, they managed the service of God as if He had been one of the dunghill deities of the heathen.” In verse 22 we read of Eli’s request that they stop what they were doing and they refused.
Eli was right in correcting his sons but he was wrong in his mildness with their sin. I can find myself in this state as well. Correcting my children for their wrong yet I still allow them to carry on in their sin.
I have witnessed young mothers especially, watch as their children commit an offence while they offer a “mild rebuke” and then explain that “Tommy just needs a nap”. How many times have I seen my child error and continued washing dishes instead? I too am guilty of seeing my child sin, and offering only a mild rebuke; a half hazard rebuke, while I continue on in my tasks.
Ladies, lend me your ear. Please do not stop reading my note to you for it is with great urgency that I write to you these things.
We must not allow our children to continue in their sin, we must be passionate about correcting our children and must never “wink at sin”. We must never make excuses for their sin; our God hates sin despite the “size” of it.
If we do allow our children to continue in sin, if we continue to not take our duties of correcting them and training them up in Godliness with all fervency, then we too may expect to see the same end that Eli did. For not only did God kill Eli’s sons but Eli as well. Our Lord does not look lightly upon our lack of diligence in raising our children for Him.
HE has placed these little ones, His people, in our care for this time. He has given us a great responsibility to train our children in the Lord and if we fail to do so we will be judged accordingly. This is not to say that if our children choose to sin against God that we are accountable for their sin. What I am saying is that if we make excuses for their sin, if we do not plead continually for their repentance, if we choose to do the chores of the day instead of passionately and continually rebuke their sinful deeds we are guilty of the same sin as Eli. God forbid I find myself in that place.
If we grow weary in well doing… we will reap sorrow.
I pray each of us commit ourselves to His ways, for there, in His presence; we will find the strength, wisdom and grace to raise these little ones for Him.
Prayer: “Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for your wisdom and instruction; thank you for showing us our error so that we can have victory in our homes. Father, I am confident that you would not show us our sin unless you had also given us the strength, courage and wisdom to change. Lord make our hearts soft so that we might allow your voice to penetrate our own ways and ideas. Lord, I pray for your strength for each of my sisters and me, you know how we can become weary. Lord allow yourself to be made strong through our weakness. Father, allow your presence of peace to invade our hearts and homes so that the world might know you through our example of “peace that surpasses all understanding.” Lord, thank you for loving each of us tenderly, and gently leading us as we raise these little ones, you have so graciously given us for your glory.”