Fathers should not Trouble the land


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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.


Dusty Rayburn said…
We can stop being disconnected, absent, and irritated by our family.
Jay Cookingham said…
As Jean-Luc Picard would say....ENGAGE! Well put my brother!
Tim Millard said…
Love God.  Humbly and honestly desire to obey Him.  His grace will make up for any shortfall.
Jay Cookingham said…
A great recipe for success...thanks Tim!
Beezeytemple said…
Dear JayBro ... love how you write. :) It seems the culture today is full of  coarseness existing in both men and women - and gentleness screams to be found by those who can hear. In my own life, growing up without a dad and not seeing a lot of gentleness in important relationships in my family; it was only the hand of Jesus reaching down to forge that new pathway in my heart, which enabled me to taste and then desire to exercise that sweet fruit. 

If not for Abba Father, I would be lost in the "unnecessary roughness" of incivility and unkindness, as that is what I saw most in those tender, formative years. So thankful the curse was broken and God showed me wonderful Dad examples like Marshall Temple and many others. While I know this book is geared towards fathers, your words are timely encouragement for us all ... including this Mom. Hope that's ok. ^, ^
What a great reflection, Jay. I guess anyone we are given to love is our 'land' and we better not spoil it! 
Jay Cookingham said…
Absolutely Corinne! We don't want to add our love ones to the list of "causalities of war". Thanks for your input and insight.
Jay Cookingham said…
I so appreciate the expression of your heart here Bee. Mr. T was a godly example for both of us and our kids reap the benefit of that example. Of course, our heavenly Father is the one who "set" us in families and all glory goes to Him!

Thanks my sister and yes, it is more than OK...it's wonderful to see my writing bless someone. Appreciate the kind and wise words BJ!
floyd said…
This is a tough one. I've troubled my children with my issues, I push often and forget gentleness. I've ran before getting council. On and on. This is a good reminder, I've read that verse countless times and never really looked at it like that. Nice job, solid Truth.
Michael said…
You provided a wonderful spiritual breakfast for us today, Jay!

Even apathy troubles the land. Abandoned relationships don't heal by themselves. Like you said, "Engage!"
Jay Cookingham said…
Thanks Michael...the art of engagement is vital to "Not Troubling" our land. Bless ya!
Jay Cookingham said…
I suspect that you have used a dad's secret weapon when you troubled your land....mainly asking for forgiveness. I know I have!
Ed Damas said…
I agree with Dusty, but will add that we need to stay focused on and dedicated to our families.Too many fathers have too many children by different women.
Jay Cookingham said…
So true Eddy...focus, dedication...those are great tools for staying on mission for our families!
Joanne Norton said…
Well, as usual, I'm going to be blunt.  Hopefully, not too blunt. Don't want to drive you nuts.

The father issue is very important, and I know that after having such a rough childhood.  Also, my former husband, a Christian, but with a lot of tough background issues, poured his anger on me and the kids.  After 15 years together, when he would step forward for a while and then drop back [I think something connected to mental problems, but he refused to have counseling], he said, "I know what I need to do to be the right kind of Christian husband and father, and I'm not going to do it."  A few months later, as his physical abuse of the kids--especially my son-- increased, the Lord told me very clearly to get out.  A year after I left, God gave me my sweetheart of a husband and he was everything for the kids they ever could have wanted as youngsters.  BUT they were teens and didn't want anything to interfere with the lives they were headed for... including addictions.

Even years later, I was struggling.  I felt guilty b/c my kids stopped walking with the Lord. then, at church a pastor was talking about this sort of situation and he said that the stats show that IF the father is a solid Christian, 85% of the kids will remain with the Lord.  If the father is NOT a true Christian, and the mother is, the result will be the 15%.

I don't know whether that's actually true or not, but Dave said that he has observed much of the similar situations, since he was a youth leader at a church.  Percentage or not, a good and godly father, can have a huge impact on the family.  [Now that doesn't mean I don't have to be nice and do the best I can with kids and grandkids...oh, well...;-).]

As usual, you're filled with good thinking.
Jay Cookingham said…
Oh how I love your heart sister and your willingness to share form your story...priceless! The stats are overwhelming when it comes to fatherlessness...over 14 million children will go to sleep tonight in a home with no father in it. We need godly dads to spread their influence over their children and their communities.

May God help us...

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