Parenting is hard work. It is impossible to know the weightiness of the decisions we make when our children are little until they are grown and we see the effects of how we raised them. Sadly, for many families, they cannot go back and undo the bad choices made. This is why Lot and his family is a great warning to parents today. Lot paid a high price for the mistakes he made. You and I can avoid some of the mistakes by paying attention to his life.
Of all the verses written about Lot, Genesis 13:11 is the most revealing. This particular verse causes me to think as a husband to my wife and a father to my three children. When Lot separated his family from his uncle, Abraham, Scripture says that he, “Chose for himself all the Jordan Valley.”
The first mistake we see Lot making is that his Decisions were selfish. He did not consider what was best for his family, but what was best for himself. Had Lot considered that the nearer to Sodom and Gomorrah he moved, the more temptation it would be to his family, Lot would have never “Pitched his tent toward Sodom” Genesis 13:12.
In this article, we will explore 2 areas Lot had wrong in his life. We will see that if we can get these areas straight in our own lives, then our parenting will have a chance to be very successful.
While Abraham longed to please the Lord, Lot’s desire was to please himself. Although his family was wealthy (Genesis 13:2), it was not enough for him. He wanted near the big city. He wanted the popularity and the prestige that came with being known in a large city The lonely fields with Abraham were not enough.
Even as Lot’s family left Sodom, the Angel of the Lord commanded them not to look back. So in love was Lot’s wife with the city, that it caused her to disobey God’s command. She looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26).
For this family, their lives were marked by worldly desires. These desires ultimately marred their family. Had Lot been more concerned with the spiritual condition of his family, he would have kept his family as far from Sodom as possible.
As parents or grandparents, we should ask ourselves if the spiritual condition of our children is our greatest priority. If the salvation of their souls matters most to us, then it will alter what we desire most for them.
Nearly all parents want to see their children do well in school, attend college, enjoy a successful career, meet the right person and live a satisfying life. As important as all of these areas are, where does the salvation of their soul and the condition of their spiritual lives rank?
Do you desire them to achieve academically more than you desire them to know the Lord? Do you desire your children to excel at sports more than excel in loving the Lord? You might be asking, should it be either or? Well, as parents, it is our responsibility to mold our kids and shape their thinking. Would your kids go to school if you did not push toward it? Most likely not. Would your kids make the team and have the equipment they need if you did not support them? Most likely not. Will your kids grow into mature, healthy Christ-followers if you do not push toward it? Sadly, most likely not.
Of all that we desire for our children…do we desire that they know God? That one desire should effect and re-prioritize all of our other desires, hopes, and ambitions.
As noted earlier, when it came to Lot’s decision to move his family toward Sodom, the Bible is quick to tell us that he, “Chose for himself.” He never considered how this decision would impact his wife or children.
But there is another critical decision Lot made that would forever affect him. Genesis records that there were some problems between Lot’s people and Abraham’s people. Some of Lot’s herds were running into Abraham’s and their servants were getting upset with each other.
Lot’s solution was to separate. This was a bad decision. Genesis 13:11 says, “…And thus they separated from each other.” Lot should have never left Abraham. Why? Because this was the single, greatest spiritual influence in his life. Throughout the Bible, we see Abraham always praying. We do not see the young, ambitious Lot praying. We see Abraham building altars. We never see Lot build an altar. He needed Abraham’s influence.
I am saddened when I see families leave Church. The House of God should be the single, greatest spiritual influence over your family. I cannot overemphasize it enough how much your family needs Church! Do not make the same mistake as Lot and separate your family from God’s house.
Even if other people are involved (as was the case with Abraham & Lot) do not make the bad decision of leaving Church. Even though there were issues, Lot should have done everything in his power to stay close to Abraham. So you should do everything in your power to keep your kids in Church. Someone may have hurt your feelings, you may be incredibly busy with life, there are 100 other reasons to miss Church, but you should not rise above it all and keep your family in God’s House.
We do not always make the right decisions as parents, but with God’s help, we can make more right ones than wrong ones! We can avoid the snares and traps Satan has for our family. I pray that God gives you strength and wisdom to lead your family in the way that is not only pleasing to the Lord but is best for your kids as they grow into life-long followers of Jesus!