Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Life Lessons From Biblical Characters | Abraham and Sarah

Typically our Life Lessons happens on Tuesday, but as I was trying to figure out the lesson from this passage I thought I would just meditate on the verses for a day before writing anything.  And I am so glad I did. 

In Genesis 21: 8-13, about 2 to 3 years have gone by and Issac has now been weaned.  During the celebration that takes place because of Issac's weaning, Sarah sees Ishmael (Hagar and Abraham's son) mocking. 

And this mother has had it with that whole situation!

Sarah goes to Abraham and tells him to get rid of Hagar and Ishmael.  She does not want her son- the son of promise- to share his inheritence with the son of her maid. 

Abraham was stuck in the middle.  Both boys were his sons, but one was the son God had promised and one was the son born out of impatience. 

Now, I know Sarah looks like a horible woman for feeling this way (after all, wasn't Abraham and Hagar's arrangement her idea to begin with?), but if you think about it, sometimes as wives and mothers we have to make the same decisions concerning our children (and even ourselves individually and as a couple) and the people they are around.

We see the attitudes that our children pick up and we know where they pick them up from.  We see the crushed spirits of our children when they come back from being around certain people.  We see the questioning of authority after our children have spent any amount of time with particular children.  We see the tantrums that are tries out because our children have seen them acted out by others.

As parents, it is our responsibility to step in and cut off the source of that influence.  Sarah saw the mockiing that was happening coutesy of Ishmael, and as a mother she knew what that constant mocking could do to her son's spirit- the son who would one day inherit his father's inheritance and role of leadership- and she was not going to have it.

Before you begin the "But our children are supposed to influence others" arguement, remember that God's Word even says that bad company corrupts good morals.  When I notice a bad grape in the fridge, I don't leave it there in hopes that the good grapes will help it turn into a healthy grape again.  Of course not!  I pull out the bad grape and toss it because soon all of my grapes will become fuzzy little creatures with fur coats.  I would rather get rid of the one grape and save the rest of the grapes in the container (and the money I spent on those grapes). 

Aren't our children's souls and spirits more important than grapes? 

God told Abraham to listen to Sarah.  Apparently, God had no problem with what Sarah was doing in protecting her son and his inheritance.  In fact, by telling Abraham to listen to her, I believe He approved of her reasons.  God reassured Abraham that He would bless Ishmael and make him into a great nation as well.

We need to protect our children from the influences around them as much as is in our power to do.  God has given us these gifts and we are responsible to Him for them and their spiritual welfare.  Do not let anyone tell you that you need to let your children be exposed to (......) or that you should allow someone else's child to hang around yours for the influence (remember, that is not how it works).  You are the one who will one day answer to God for the care you gave to this precious gift of a child that He gave to you.  He has not given anyone else the responsibility or priviledge of  making decisions for your child.

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