What would you pay for a bowl of soup?
A hundred dollars? A thousand?
If not money, how about your home, your marriage, maybe even your children?
Of course not, you think. Who would do something crazy like that? Who would trade everything for a bowl a soup? That’s ridiculous!
In the Book of Genesis, Esau did, and so often, we do too.
”Once when Jacob was cooking some stew (soup), Esau came in from the open country, famished. 30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” 31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.” 32 “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?” 33 But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew (soup). He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.” –Genesis 25: 29-34
He should have calculated the cost.
But, he didn’t. Many times, we don’t either.
Over and over in his mind was one thought—I want that soup!
An estate for a bowl, a moment of weakness left a desperate man wrestling with his soul.
And in that impulsive decision, Esau lost sight of his goals. Instead of thinking of his future, he lived for the moment; he never once considered the consequences of his selfishness until he was full with regret.
Life didn’t seem fair to Esau, but he made the choice;
“Soup! It was just soup!”
If he could go back, he would pass on the soup. He would walk away, fight the hunger pains one more day. It would be easy for him the second time around, but he didn’t get another chance. For him, it was a defining moment, a time in history that would forever change his life.
How could he do such a thing? A bowl of soup for a large estate….. how could he not wait?
Obviously, he didn’t recognize the soup for what it was… just that—soup!
Don’t we do the same?
Even today, Christian parents are trading their families for a “bowl of soup!”
Today’s soup isn’t the kind that you find warming on the stove, but a modern version of it. Soup is anything that we take in exchange for what matters most in our lives. It is giving away God’s incredible plan for our families for temporary happiness. According to Ecclesiastes, it usually comes in 5 varieties: materialism, selfish ambition, pleasure, beauty, and secularism.
When our day becomes a constant struggle for more stuff, titles, fun, vanity or worldly wisdom, we are craving “soup.” When we find ourselves too busy to spend time with the Lord, we are wanting “soup.” When we compromise and forget our calling as parents, we are hungering for “soup.” It is always something that never lasts, and like Esau, we can find ourselves regretting that we ever gave it a second thought.
Are you finding yourself today exhausted, famished and returning to a chef who keeps asking, “Would you like more soup?”
If so, now is the time to skip on the appetizer and claim the entrée that only Christ can give. As you set goals for the new year, you may want to start with these:
4 Parenting Goals To Savor In 2017–
- Identify your purpose as a Christian parent. For a season, you have been entrusted with your children to teach, lead, & encourage their faith. If you are a parent, then your ministry is your family. According to God’s Word, other priorities should come after that. It is imperative that you seek Biblical Wisdom for successful decision making.
- Expect temptations to come. The enemy will seek to destroy God’s plan for your family. He recognizes that your eternity is secure as a Christian, but he will still work to distract you from your most significant and meaningful ministry, raising children who know and love Jesus. It isn’t a matter of if, but how he will seek to tempt you. His strategy is in the area of your greatest weakness.
- Be Accountable to others. Prayerfully select others who will encourage you as a Christian parent. Spend time with those who are actively leading their families in Christ. Do not be tolerant of friendships where boundaries are pushed against your moral compass. Be willing to separate yourself unto God if needed to make wise decisions. Do not let other people’s opinions pressure your decisions. Know who you are in Christ and parent accordingly.
- Record your “why” for Christian Parenting. As you plan for a new year, invest time to reevaluate your reason for standing strong as a Christian parent. Ask the Lord to help you model His love in your home. Write your “why” on a paper and place where you can see it daily. This will help you to remember your goal to raise godly children when the enemy wants you to forget it. Why is it important to you to raise your children in a Christian home? What difference does it make? Imagine your children at the age of eighteen. What are goals that you want to reach with them—maybe read the Bible together; perhaps, go on a mission trip together. Plan now for the memories that you want to have.
Esau was living a fruitful life and then he settled, giving in to his cravings. He knew better, a Field & Stream type of guy who understood strategy; he lived and breathed patience. On any other day when life wasn’t so busy, he would have thought more, made better decisions. But, this day he wasn’t thinking clearly, and besides, he felt that his momentary satisfaction was worth the risk. Esau was wrong, and it cost him every good thing he had. Let’s not settle like Esau, but instead, let’s patiently pass on “the soup” and celebrate the feast of Christian parenting the next generation in 2017.