Mother Edna was crying over her family situation, involving her husband working overseas and her losing control over her son. After praying about it she felt she should get some spiritual counsel.
She thought of consulting her pastor, but decided against it as he had let his wife go work in Hong Kong, leaving behind their 3 and 1 year old girls with him and their grandmother. Then she remembered another pastor, who had been courageously discussing the OFW problem in his church. So she decided to go and consult Pastor Cortez.
“Pastor as you know, I’m not a member of your church. I have this problem, but I can’t go see my pastor because he has the same problem.” Cortez responds: “Well, you don’t have to go to this church to get some counseling. How can I help?”
“I’ll get right to the point: My family is falling apart, mainly because my husband’s working overseas, and my 12 year old son hates this, sometimes seems to hate him, even me for encouraging him to go there. He’s become so disrespectful and hard to manage!”
“I see”, says Cortez. “Tell me more about what you feel about all this. . .”
“Frustrated, lonely, guilty, even angry. My parents try to help out, but my mom gets kind of scolding, and my dad’s passive. I think he’d rather go drink with his friends than spend time with his grandkids.”
Pastor Cortez says, “I can imagine this whole overseas financial adventure is really disappointing you?”
“Yes, really. And my son, especially, really needs his father now, at puberty, when he’s trying to figure out who he’s becoming. . .”
“I agree. I think Scripture has some important things to say about these matters. I’ve made an outline of these, which I’m using in my class. Can I give you a copy?”
“Oh yes, thank you,” replied Edna.
“OK. First, the Bible offers comfort and encouragement for us who have messed up. (I even worked overseas for a while.) 2 Corinthians 1 says God is the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all afflictions, so we can comfort others. I believe this means even those afflictions which are self-inflicted! God does not imprison us in our past, as our sins and failures are on the Cross, and because of Easter we can go forward to encourage others who are struggling, with His Spirit working within us (Philippians 3: 12-14).His love conquers all! (Edna dabs her eyes with her sleeve.)
“Second, there are some Scriptures which contain important truths about God’s design for fathers and mothers. Deuteronomy 6 says Love the LORD your God with all your heart, your soul, and all your strength. (Loving one’s neighbor, Lev. 19:18, Matt. 19:19, is part of this.) These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
“As we’ll see, this was mainly the father’s duty, as the head of the household. We’ll go over more Bible passages next week, OK?”
“Thank you, pastor, good bye. . .”