Our Heart-Broken Father-God
From: The missionary Challenge paper May, June 1998
Today American parents are being tormented by the worst wave of rebellious children than in all history. And the tragedy includes many children of Christian parents. This heart aching and deplorable condition is obviously a part of the “mystery of iniquity (rebellion, lawlessness)” predicted in 2 Thes. 2:7
Many Christian parents have been so humiliated and crushed by the sins of their children that they have stopped much of the service to the Lord Jesus. Guilt-ridden by feelings of failure (whether real or imagined), they consider themselves unworthy to serve the Lord anymore. And some have actually dropped out of church. They stay home rather than face their fellow members, whom they imagine harbor accusing thoughts against them.
Many, many pastors who began their ministries with dedication, courage, and prophetic zeal have been so humiliated and guilt-ridden by the sins of their teenage and young adult children that their ministry has lost its power. Only God knows how many of His faithful pastors have all but quit the ministry because of rebellious children. They seldom preach powerful sermons anymore. Whereas they once took a stand for public righteousness, they now just “go along,” having been shamed into silence. And tragically, the number of pastors who are quitting the ministry is epidemic. (Rebellious pastors’ wives are a major factor too!)
But even worse than the sins of their children is the “guilt trip” caused by friends, church members, and even some preachers who accuse the heartbroken parents of failure: “If you had been the parents you should have been, your children would NOT have turned out bad. It’s always the parents’ fault, you know. You are to blame for your children's’ sins and rebellion. We thought you were good parents until now, etc.!”
Added to these slanders are the tormenting accusations of Satan! He causes godly parents to ask, “Where did I go wrong? What more should I have done? If I had it to do over, what would I do differently? I tried so hard to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and yet I failed! How? Why?
In The Image Of God
When Almighty God created Adam and Eve in His own image, He built into them (and us) many of His own characteristics. The crushing heartaches suffered by godly parents over the sins of their children were suffered FIRST by Almighty God!
Consider the following statements from none other than our broken hearted Father-God: “I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me!” (Isaiah 1:2) How many godly parents have said that! If it is ALWAYS the parents’ fault, then is God to blame for people’s sin and rebellion! But all Bible believers know that such thoughts are blasphemy!
What More Could I Have Done!
Only God knows the agonizing parents who lament, “What more could I have done for my children that would have prevented them from turning out bad?” But God said exactly that first: “What could have been done MORE to my vineyard, that I have not done in it?” This almost unbelievable statement was uttered by our grieving Father-God in describing His people. Our Lord did everything He could for His people (His vineyard) and yet they brought forth “wild grapes!: (Isaiah 5:3-4)
Remembering this is Almighty God, Who is all powerful, all wise, all loving, and yet asking, “What could have been done MORE to my vineyard, that I have not done in it?” But this is not a question from God as if He didn’t know the answer! Father, is the expression of His broken heart because the people rejected His perfect love for them, his perfect dealing with them, His perfect provisions for them.
Not only are godly parents and faithful pastors tormented by accusations from fellow church members, and even some preachers’ sermons; not only is their heartache made more painful by feelings of guilt from Satan’s slander; but many wicked children add to their parents’ grief by accusing them of failure.
Blame God and Parents!
Only God can measure the heartache of godly parents whose children not only break their hearts with sin and rebellion but who then slander their own parents by accusing them of being responsible for the children’s own sin! Since there has never been a perfect parent, wicked children can always find some fault with their parents. Also, children by their sinful natures, are natural born con artists who try to make their parents feel guilty for the children’s own sins. Sound familiar? But Adan started it! He told God, “The woman whom THOU GAVEST to be with me.” (Gen. 3:12) those who follow satanic psychology and claim that it is always the parents’ fault when children go bad, are by implication saying that if God had been what He should have been Adam and Eve would never have sinned! What blasphemy!
Godly Parents Suffer The Most!
Strangely, people who make no attempt to raise their children according to God’s Word are not tormented by feeling of failure and guilt nearly as bad (if, at all) as godly parents who tried with all their hearts to obey the Bible in their homes! Even those who were saved after their children were grown or nearly so, and try to make up for past failures, seem to cope with this problem with less agony. The godly parents and pastors who suffer the most anguish and shed the bitterest tears are the ones who tried the hardest from the beginning.
Tell Me Where I Went Wrong!
Many, many, many grieving pastors and parents have asked their wicked children, “What wrong have we done to cause you to break our hearts with your sinful ways?“ But, amazingly, God said it first! “Thus saith the Lord, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have waled after vanity (sin)?” (Jer. 2:5) Again our suffering Heavenly Father said, “O my people, what have I done unto thee? And wherein have I wearied thee? Testify against me.” (Micah 6:3)
Are these thoughts familiar? Yes! Because we are created in God’s own image with many of His characteristics as parents! (Get 5:3 Shows that man lost the image of God when he sinned. My comment-Ken McDonald)
Grieve For Children
Human beings are the only creatures of God that grieve for their children. Also human beings are the only creatures that NEVER want to give up their children! (This is not true Ostrich in the bible - my comment) Why? Because we are like God! There is much that we don’t understand about these heartaches, but when we stand before Him one day, He will explain it all to us. So we must be encouraged and don’t quit! We must stay as close to our Lord Jesus Christ as we can and do our very best to obey His Great Commission in the time that is left and get as many souls saved as possible!
From: The missionary Challenge paper May, June 1998