Live Like Jezebel, Die Like Elijah

by Kathy Vernor White

WE WANT OUR CHILDREN TO live like Jezebel, yet die like Elijah. This phrase is not original with me. I heard it from Marilyn Hardage in one of her excellent presentations on being godly wives and mothers. I would like to discuss some thoughts concerning Jezebel and Elijah. Too often parents, even godly parents, attempt to raise up their children to have all the earthly advantages as did Jezebel; yet they desire that their children die like Elijah, in the Lord. The two are not compatible.

First, consider the lives and deaths of these two individuals. (For background information read 1 Kings 18-22.) Jezebel had every earthly comfort that was available at the time. She wore queenly garments, fared sumptuously every day, lived in a beautiful palace, and enjoyed all the prestige of being the queen of Israel. Her life was one of ease and comfort. In contrast, Elijah had few earthly comforts. He was forsaken and lonely. His conviction and stand for Jehovah God was made at a loss of worldly popularity and social position. In the deaths of these two, another striking contrast can be seen. Jezebel died in agonizing defeat. Being thrown from a high window, she was smashed on the ground below. Dogs ate her body and lapped up her blood (2 Kings 9:30-37). Elijah, on the other hand, did not suffer the torment of death. He was carried away from the earth by a whirlwind in a fiery chariot (2 Kings 2:1-12). The eternal destinies of each can be easily determined.

Now look at the application of the lives and deaths of Jezebel and Elijah to parents of today. So often parents push their children to attain to worldly goals of being the best baseball player, the sexiest cheerleader, the most beautiful homecoming queen, the most handsome football captain, the straight-A student of worldly knowledge. Even at very early ages, parents are cramming worldly values down the throats of their innocent children. Forgotten is the quest to instill within these precious children a sense of God-righteousness, to be able to stand alone against a world full of rotten values. Instead of instructing the children to act godly, talk decently, dress modestly, parents are pushing their children to be as much like the godless world as possible.

In Lamentations 3:27, the prophet Jeremiah states, "It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth." Too often parents do all they can to make the days of youth be pleasureful, carefree, and responsibility-free. But parents are doing their children no favors when they allow this to occur. Character and perseverance must be instilled in the children while they are young, before the evil days draw nigh. Read and study Ecclesiastes 12. I fear parents are neglecting the most grave responsibility of bringing up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Lest I be misunderstood, I do believe children should have time to play and be children. All burdens and responsibilities would be a hard childhood. There needs to be a balance between fun and responsibility. All work and no play would indeed be a very dull childhood.

How much time do you spend every day teaching your children about God and His word? Much more time is spent in front of the TV watching ungodly shows that magnify worldly values and pleasures. Most parents do little except to make sure their children have their Bible lessons for Sunday morning and Wednesday night. Some parents do not even do that much! Make a deep commitment now to teach your children every day. Read to them from the word of God, talk to them of the responsibility that faces all men and women on earth who decide to follow in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ, and pray with them and for them. Make it a goal to devote at least 15 minutes every day to this task. Thirty minutes would be even better. If you neglect this important responsibility today, you will not be able to make up for it later. The time is now and the time is short. Your child's soul is worth 15 minutes a day!

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