Lot trained up his children. In a way. Not in the way, but in a way. And his girls lived up to their training, not departing from it. This is a tragic story. Lot was the one who wanted to go to Zoar (against God’s plan) and God permitted him to go. Downhill from there…
6 Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
30 Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. 31 One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to give us children—as is the custom all over the earth. 32 Let’s get our father to drink wine and then sleep with him and preserve our family line through our father.”
33 That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and slept with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.
34 The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I slept with my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” 35 So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went in and slept with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.
36 So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. 37 The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab; he is the father of the Moabites of today. 38 The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the Ammonites of today.
Lot was afraid for his life and he took his girls to the mountains where they end up in a cave. Rather than trust in God, they decided that they would take matters into their own hands and trick their own father into incestual relations so that they could have children. This, from the girls who were offered up for rape to an angry mob by their father back in Sodom.
There is a crisis of morality in this family which is rooted in the poor decisions Lot has made going back to the day he and Abraham split up and went their separate ways.
The pattern of decisions we make as parents are made in full view of our children. Which makes me remember a question one of my kids asked me back when they were little. I had some people over to our house from my work, and one of my kids came up to me in front of them and asked, “Daddy are you going to tell them about Jesus?” It was only a little bit awkward, because I absolutely wanted to tell them about Jesus.
My children expected me to do something because it was my pattern of behaviour to do so. They followed our lead because we had an outreach mentality. Our daughter led one of our sons to the Lord in our mini-van.
The Gospel of Jesus was central to our behaviour.
Is it still? To what degree? What am I training today?
As parents now (or future parents if you aren’t there yet), what are you training up your children to do? Are you living a life of moral crisis for them to follow, or are you setting examples of obedience and the pursuit of Christ Jesus?
I would love for there to be middle ground, yet Jesus taught the radical idea that if you are not for him, even your passivity or ambivalence is working against him. And that jives with my parenting experience.
Train up a child…