This is just a snippet from my book RETOOLED (see here for more), and the chapter on the power of gentleness. I felt impressed to share it after reading far too many “bad news” stories online today. The fatherlessness factor is affecting men, women, children and future generations (negatively) and we need to reverse that trend. Let’s unite our hearts in prayer and hear what our Father would want from us and let’s obey with passion and focus.
Fathers should not Trouble the land
I was reading in 1st Samuel one day and came across this scripture.
“And Jonathan said, my father has troubled the land. See, now, that my eyes became bright, for I tasted this little honey.” 1Samuel 14:29
I stopped and said…wow, that’s huge! (Father God said…uh, no kidding!) That led me to look deeper in the Scriptures to understand how fathers can trouble the land given to them, the soil of their children’s hearts. This search reminded me of the times I lost my cool and denied the “honey” that would refresh relationships. In Psalm 106 are some weak areas that can trouble the land of our families.
When a Father:
- Forgets God
(7) Our fathers did not understand Your wonders in Egypt; they did not remember the multitude of Your mercies, but rebelled at the sea, even at the Red Sea.
- ·Does not wait for counsel
(13) They hurried and forgot His works; they did not wait for His counsel
- ·Despises God’s path
(24) And they despised the pleasant land; they did not believe His Word,
- Serves anything else but God
(36) And they served their idols, which were a snare to them.
In verse 7 forgetting God led to rebellion and disobedience. This turns (in verse 13) into rushing ahead and not waiting on Him, yearning for something other than God’s plan. In verse 24, God presents a pleasant land to live in and the fathers, because of a lack of faith, despise it. It’s one thing not to choose God’s plans, but despise them? All this leads to serving something else than Father God, trapping them in a deadly snare, leading to horrible choices in verse 37-38. Are you ready for this…its harsh reading!
(37) Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons, (38) and shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was defiled with blood.
Fathers should never trouble their land; the danger is far too great. Rather, we should cultivate it with gentleness, carefully and purposefully tilling the soil with this tool. The gentleness of God’s love has brought us back into right relationship with Him. In like manner, so should our own fathering help restore family relationships when they go astray. Gentleness fruit reminds our children who they are in Christ and their place in the family. This retooling requires a special touch, one Father God is all too happy to give us.
“We do not believe, or we forget, that the Holy Ghost came down, not in shape of a vulture, but in the form of a dove.” – Emerson
What do you think? How can we as fathers NOT trouble our land (our families)? Love to hear your thoughts.