If Eli Could Speak to Parents

[519 words]

First Samuel tells us of the life of Eli. He was the high priest of Israel. He loved God and was very sensitive to His word.

During his time, spiritual conditions were not good. People mocked God and lived immoral lives. Tragically, Eli’s sons became ungodly. They were disrespectful to God in their worship and immoral in their conduct (1 Samuel 2:12–25).

For whatever reason, Eli failed to restrain and discipline his sons (1 Samuel 2:12–17, 29). Because of this lack of restraint, his children became careless and undisciplined, and they died as ungodly men.

We live in a very busy world. Many parents are so busy that they also fail to restrain their children. Thus many children have grown up to disrespect God in their worship and in the way they live.

If Eli were here today, in hindsight he might tell parents:

Dedicate Yourself to God. Our dedication must come from within and not consist of just a few “noticeable” acts. Whether at home, work, or play, we should live like a child of God. Joshua knew his family could tell if his life was a fake. Therefore his faith was seen in his daily living: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

Give Your Family the Attention They Deserve and Need. Helping our family see the joys of Christian living should be a supreme objective. Many good people fail to give children the spiritual nourishment they need. God instructed parents to “bring” their children up, not “send” them up (Ephesians 6:4).

Restraint Is Necessary to Please God. Eli knew his sons were wrong and did nothing about it. Many homes today have this problem. Some parents listen more to some “noted psychiatrist” than to God. God’s truth never changes (John 17:17; Malachi 3:6). Current fads may seem better, but what if the “expert” is wrong? Solomon said, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12). Therefore parents take heed when God says, “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.” “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.” “No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness” (Proverbs 19:18; 29:15; Hebrews 12:11).

You Will Pay the Price if You Fail. God tells us: “The way of transgressors is hard” and, “The wages of sin is death” (Proverbs 13:15; Romans 6:23). Eli’s sons lived and died in rebellion to God. Their lives brought them misery and Eli heartache. The same destiny is true for everyone who fails to heed God’s way. The price we pay will be here and in eternity.

Eli cannot speak to us today, but through the Bible, God still does (Psalm 119:160; 1 Timothy 4:16). We only have one opportunity to raise our children right. Let’s do it God’s way.

Ferman Carpenter
Austin, TX

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