Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually. ESV Job 1:5
The book of Job begins by introducing us to Job, “a blameless and upright man, who feared God and turned away from evil.” A few verses later, we learn part of Job’s routine involved rising early in the morning to consecrate his children (seven sons and three daughters). Apparently, part of his fatherhood authority allowed him to make sacrifices on behalf of his children and intercede for them before God.
I believe this passage introduces us to a great responsibility we have as parents. Our parental authority allows us to make special intercession for our children before God. While the gospel today reminds us Christ has died for sin (and sacrifices no longer cover sin), we have the opportunity to confess the sins of our children and ask Christ to forgive them and restore them. While I am not undermining the individual responsibility our children have before God (and I do not believe we can save our children), the Bible appears to teach we have a certain level of spiritual authority when it comes to praying for our children. For this reason, part of my greatest responsibility as a father involves daily intercession for my children. I ask God to forgive their sins, to guard their hearts and to draw them after Him.
What about you? Are you taking this aspect of your spiritual responsibility seriously? Are you allowing God to shape your spiritual formation through your children? Taking time each morning to claim the gospel over our children should be a natural part of Christian parenting. Jesus provides forgiveness and life, and as priests of our household, we should join Job in advocating for the application of the gospel on our children. I can think of no greater responsibility than this priestly role we play. Be encouraged! Take a moment now to pray the gospel over your children. Simply ask God to forgive the sins of your children and draw their hearts after Him. This takes your spiritual formation and applies it to your children.