Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Children Teach - All About Fathers

Happy Father’s day to all fathers, fathers-to-be, and all father figures in peoples’ lives. What will the world be without fathers?
I am one of the teachers who teach the 8-9 year olds in church. Today’s lesson was about the loving father, taken from the story of the prodigal son [Luke 15:11-32]. The children brought a lot of insight into this bible story, as well as their perception of fathers, which I could not help but share.
Let’s start with what the children had to say about why they love their fathers…fathers, here is your checklist! 
1.       He treats me like an angel
2.       He is kind
3.       He supports me
4.       He disciplines me when I do wrong
5.       He never breaks his promise
6.       He is generous (he buys me toys and things I ask for) :-)
7.       He helps me with tasks and assignments
8.       He thinks about me all the time
9.       He loves me soooooo much
10.   He makes me know what God is like
What was amazing to me was realizing how much the children appreciated being corrected by their fathers, how they look to their fathers to keep promises, and how their fathers are reflections of who God is. Amazing!
After reading the story of the prodigal son, the children were asked to say what they really liked about the father in the story, and how the father was like their own father. Here goes…
1.       The father explained his actions to the elder brother (the young girl who said this mentioned that she appreciates it when her father explains to her some decisions he is taking)
2.       The father was always expecting his son (the girl that said this enlightened us to the fact that the father sighted his son afar off and ran to meet him, and she loves it when her father runs to her, embraces her and carries her like she is an angel)
3.       The father was always thinking about his son (the boy that said this explained that even when he is not around, he is sure his father always has him in mind)
4.       The father considered the lost son of great worth, not like a hired servant (the boy that said this explained that our fathers always see us as precious children, despite our mistakes)
What was profound to me was a realization when Aunty Chidinma (who was teaching the class) explained that we have an inheritance with Jesus. Immediately my eyes went to verses 28-32 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’  ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
Maybe my understanding is not correct, but I deduced that Jesus is the older son in whom we are co-heirs [Romans 8:16-17a]. He is the one who is always with God our father, and owns everything that God has, while we are the children that were lost, and when found, not only does our Father celebrate and rejoice over us, He allows us partake of the inheritance that belongs to “elder brother Jesus”! Selah.

I am thankful for the lessons from the children, and how even we the teachers get to learn more about God through what we do and the children we communicate with.
Have a very blessed week ahead.

UPDATE:- I got this explanation to the verses (Luke 15:28-32) from David C Brown and I decided to share...

The elder son became angry and refused to go in - he was someone refusing the blessing because he thought he was righteous. The younger one realised his need. But the father is still pleading - and God is still pleading for even those who are self-righteous to come in.

6 comments:

@ilola said...

Hmm, I have never seen it from this angle. I am sure this will generate some serious debate in a bible study session

Toinlicious said...

Seeing life through the eyes of little kids can be amazing

iNyamu(FQ) said...

out of the mouth of babes, wisdom flows.

David C Brown said...

Very challenging to read as a father!

But for Luke 15 - I'll not run with that one! The elder son became angry and refused to go in - he was someone refusing the blessing because he thought he was righteous. The younger one realised his need. But the father is still pleading - and God is still pleading for even those who are self-righteous to come in.

Don said...

Outstanding post.

Myne Whitman said...

It's not easy at all to be a parent and so I salute them. Children indeed are wise.