|Asking Your Kids for Forgiveness
by Jen Price
Forgive ~ to stop feeling angry or resentful towards someone for an offense, flaw, or mistake.
My husband and I have worked hard to teach our kids the difference between saying, “I’m sorry” and “Will you forgive me?”. They are usually quick to say they are sorry for a wrong action, but to ask for forgiveness, well, those words don’t just roll off the tongue. Why is that?
Because it takes humility.
It takes admitting that the action you just did was out of the boundaries that God has for you. Asking forgiveness means you are asking another person to cancel the feelings of anger or hurt that your action just created in them. Learning to ask for forgiveness is a powerful life lesson that will help our kids far into adulthood.
Several years ago, my humble-yourself-and-ask-for-forgiveness thing was tested to the max.
On a particularly not-so-good day, my peace-and-calming-speak-in-love radar was way off. In a moment of breaking up sibling fights and diffusing arguments for what must have been the gazillionth time, I lost it. I raised my voice. I spoke in anger. I stepped outside of the boundary.
I was faced with a decision to make, one that I’d asked my kids to make many times before. Would I humble myself and ask my kids to forgive me, or would I let my pride take over and hope they forgot the whole thing?
The first option felt like the single most humbling thing I’d ever done in my life, but the second option would mean I would be missing out on a very important opportunity to model this forgiveness thing.
Did you know that walking in humility and asking for forgiveness tears down walls and builds bridges?
In one moment, anger and tears can be the emotions overwhelming the room, but once forgiveness enters in, that anger and those tears are replaced with joy and love (well, maybe there’s still a few tears). I explained to my kids that responding in anger and raising my voice was wrong and as I asked, “Will you forgive me?”, it was so clearly visible how the room softened.
I want my kids to learn to ask for forgiveness and to forgive others. Merely telling them to do it won’t cut it. I have to model it for them. My imperfect self seems to get this opportunity to do this regularly. I hate it, but I love it.
I’ve never seen the words, “I’m sorry” in the Bible, but I’ve read plenty of passages talking about forgiveness.
It’s so powerful that Jesus says it’s only when we forgive others that He will forgive us. I’m pretty sure that indicates the importance of the daily practice of this powerful act.
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. – Matthew 6:14-15
Along this parenting journey, I’m always looking for resources to help teach my kids these life lessons I want them to learn. Besides the Bible, another great resource for teaching kids to walk in forgiveness is Mercer Mayer’s We All Need Forgiveness. The timeless classic tales of Little Critter draw kids in, and this particular book shows how forgiveness is a two-sided action. We must ask, and we must receive.
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How do you teach your kids forgiveness? Is there a time when you had to ask forgiveness from your children?
Father’s Day: Be the Hero
by Jim Daly from The Good Dad
We talk about our moms as the center of the family. And in certain critical ways, they always will be.
But as fathers we have just as important a role to play in the lives of our boys and girls that goes beyond carrying the family’s mantle of leadership. We must get back to the father’s traditional roles of provision and protection. A picture comes to my mind – a big, old tree in the backyard, an oak that spreads its branches across the sky like open arms, an oak that kids filled with energy run to in the morning or sit beside for comfort in the afternoon. I think of that feeling of unshakeable security, that sense of always being there for you.
Just the other day I had a conversation with Troy, our youngest son. We planned to attend a play late that afternoon, a play he’d been looking forward to, but he wasn’t feeling well.
He had a bad head cold and sounded like he could use some chicken noodle soup and good rest.
“Are you sure you want to go?” I asked him.
“Oh, I do want to see it,” he said.
“Well, you want to sit next to me so I can put my arm around you?” I asked. “Would that make you feel better?”
His whole countenance brightened. “Yeah!” he said.
That’s a pretty special feeling as a father, knowing your hug is as good, or as healing, in a way, as a bowl of chicken noodle soup. And even though that sounds very nurturing and motherly, I see it more as that old oak tree, always there to provide and protect.
When I think of what it means to be a dad, I think of a jolly father who says, “Come, come and sit on my lap. My boy, what did you do today? Did you make a mistake today? How did that go? What did you learn from that?” That may sound funny, but that’s the dad figure to me, a reflection of how I see our heavenly Father. Someone who’s always there, almost always smiling, always glad to see you, always glad to share a belly laugh. That father can be stern, but always in a loving way – never harsh, never cutting, never biting. Even when his kids know they’ve blown it, they don’t feel scared to talk with him about it. He fosters a relationship where his children can tell him anything. Consequences may come, even punishment. But in the midst of all that, he would never speak to them out of condemnation. His children would feel comfortable and safe speaking to him, no matter what they had done.
Is that an easy relationship dynamic to master? Hardly. Every one of us, even the greatest of dads, falls short. But it’s an ideal we should strive for every day.
Fatherhood is about being engaged with your kids, talking with them, wrestling with them, holding them when they need to be held.
It’s wanting to be there for the first step and all the steps thereafter, not fleeing into the safety of a man cave or escaping to the security of work. Sure, career is important, but it’s a short, flighty thing compared to your relationship with your kids. You may go through five or ten jobs during your working life. The relationship you have with your children lasts a lifetime. Or it should, and it will, if you connect with them emotionally when they’re young.
Meeting the Challenge
Of course, being a “big tree” or a jolly, welcoming father doesn’t sound all that heroic. And maybe to some, it doesn’t even sound all that manly. Picking up a Ken doll and playing with your daughter and her Barbie Dreamhouse sounds, well, just about as unmanly as you can get. It’s not much like extinguishing a fire that very well might burn down the entire Grand Canyon.
But to me, the willingness to grab that Ken doll and play with your daughter for a while lies at the heart of true manhood.
Look in the Bible and you’ll find that love, the secret to fatherhood, often gets explicitly tied to the idea of sacrifice.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things – Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:7.
In Romans 12:1-2, he writes,
I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.
The Lord wills that we be good fathers to our children and good husbands to our wives. Is manliness just brute power and strength and might? Or does it say, “I’m going to lay down my life for you”? On the surface, sacrifice can feel weak and powerless, but it’s not. It’s powerful. Christ may have looked weak and powerless on the cross during his moment of ultimate sacrifice, and yet that sacrifice remains the most powerful act the universe has ever seen.
It’s another paradox.
We are at our strongest when we lay down our lives, even in small ways, for our wives and children – maybe especially in small ways.
It’s hard to do. We get into arguments because we don’t always do it well. But I guess that’s why it’s called a “sacrifice.” If it were easy, it wouldn’t be a sacrifice.
When you look at healthy families, you see one common characteristic – sacrificial men.
Men who take time out for their kids – even when they’d rather do something else. Men who talk with their kids – even when some part of them just wants to watch the football game. Men who deal patiently with their kids – even when they’ve got to mop up the spilled milk from the floor for the third time that week. When men do the right thing for their families and offer that life-giving sacrifice, it pays big dividends. The families that result from that kind of fatherly commitment enjoy robust health.
After a recent broadcast for Focus on the Family, Karen Ehman, author of Let. It. Go.: How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith, told a powerful story to our producer that had to do with her husband, Todd. When their kids were younger, Todd worked as a youth pastor, which, as any youth pastor will tell you, is a full-time job, plus about thirty or fifty more hours. One day, just after he got home from rappelling with his junior high group and got ready to walk out the door to do another team outreach thing, Todd knelt in front of his daughter, who was about four at the time, and said, “Honey, I’m going to share Jesus with these teens, and I need your prayers.”
“Oh good, Daddy!” his daughter said, quite sincerely.
When are you going to stay home and share Jesus with me?
Todd left his ministry position, took a job at GM as a line assemblyman, and started getting home at five every day. He still does ministry, but he stayed home every night with his kids as they grew up. That’s courageous fathering. I know it convicted me.
I’m not saying everyone should follow Todd’s example. My own job sometimes requires travel and time away that I’d like to spend at home. It requires balance. But as fathers, we have to challenge ourselves to make sacrifices for our kids. We need to not only tell them that we love them but also show them that they’re among the most important people in the world to us. That might sometimes lead us to make radical choices. But being a dad is, or at least it should be, a pretty radical experience.
When my stepfather walked out of our family’s life forever, he told us he couldn’t deal with it. That, to me, is the antithesis of fatherhood. God calls us as men to deal with discomforting situations such as the ones fatherhood can put us in.
We’re called to sacrifice for our families. We’re called to be the men our wives and children need, and the heroes God wants us to be.
As a father, did you ever experience times when you felt like you couldn’t deal with a situation anymore? Times when you wanted to run away? How did you get over those times? Describe the most heroic thing you’ve ever done. How have you sacrificed for your family? Are there areas in your life where you feel you should sacrifice more?
It’s never too late to be a better father Jim Daly, president and CEO of Focus on the Family, is an expert in fatherhood—in part because his own ‘fathers’ failed him so badly. His biological dad was an alcoholic. His stepfather deserted him. His foster father accused Jim of trying to kill him. All were out of Jim’s life by the time he turned 13. Isn’t it odd—and reminiscent of the hand of God—that the director of the leading organization on family turned out to be a guy whose own background as a kid and son were pretty messed up? Or could it be that successful parenting is discovered not in the perfect, peaceful household but in the midst of battles and messy situations, where God must constantly be called to the scene? That is the mystery unraveled in this book. Using his own expertise, humor, and inexhaustible wealth of stories, Jim will show you that God can make you a good dad, a great dad, in spite of the way you’ve grown up and in spite of the mistakes you’ve made. Maybe even because of them. It’s not about becoming a perfect father. It’s about trying to become a better father, each and every day. It’s about building relationships with your children through love, grace, patience, and fun—and helping them grow into the men and women they’re meant to be.
|Reflections on Dad
by Erin Mohring
Meet Erin Mohring
I’m going to be honest: it’s not easy to get my boys to “reflect” on something. Reflecting requires quiet, stillness, uninterrupted thought… yeah, three boys under the age of eight don’t do much of those things!
With Father’s Day approaching, though, I knew it was important to help them spend some time thinking about the man they call Daddy and just why they love him so much.
We say I love you and go about our days, but the people we love are worth more reflection than just a few simple words. And this is even more significant to me as we raise boys.
They have an amazing, godly father who they love to the moon and back, but I want them to know just exactly what is so special about him, what they can admire and what can inspire them to be men of godly character, and the things that make him the the dad God had in mind for them from the beginning.
If you have boys, you probably know the answers that come first when a boy talks about what he loves about his dad…
“He is the best wrestler!” – Big J, age 8
“I love my daddy because he plays video games with me and I love him.” – Caleb, age 4
“He brings home candy from the hospital for me!” – Little J, age 5
“I love that my dad takes me to the park.” – Joshua, age 10
Sure, these things don’t necessarily require a lot of thought, but you know what they do show me? Boys that know their dads love them because they take the time to do fun things with them and think of them when they aren’t at home.
When my boys gave answers like these, I used to get frustrated because they weren’t really appreciating my husband for his best qualities. But to them, these are the important things. The things that make them feel loved and cherished by their fathers, just as the father does in the sweet book, I Love You All the Same.
As siblings can do, the little ones in this book want to be the best at the same things, but the sweet dad takes the time to share the unique things about each child that makes him love them all the same.
Good dads notice, appreciate, and help foster and connect over the special qualities and interests each child possesses, whether it be music, sports, games, or food!
Some of the deeper things I see my boys appreciate in their daddy aren’t mentioned when I ask them what they love most about him, but are noticed in the way they interact on a daily basis. After my husband had been running for about a year, our oldest asked if he could start running on the treadmill. He always wanted to know how many miles Daddy ran that day and would keep track of his own miles in a notebook. My son might not ever answer that he admires the way his father made his health a priority, but it has definitely been reflected in the way he lives!
Our five-year-old wasn’t sure what I meant when I asked what he admired about Daddy, so I gave him a few examples. After a little while, he came back to me and said, “I want to be smart and hard-working like Daddy when I grow up.” As he is just finishing up his kindergarten year and aiming for his dream to be a veterinarian some day, I love that he sees the value in education and diligence in the example my husband has set for our boys. And I’m hoping some of his diligence wears off on me, too!
And the very best? Seeing my boys pray with and for their dad.
The strongest man is one who knows his strength lies in God, and I love knowing my boys see this relationship with Jesus in my husband. Because of him, they know what a godly man looks like and they have a model of faith to build upon of their own faith.
In a culture that often belittles and ridicules the role of dad, I want my boys to think often of the characteristics that make their dad a godly man, an inspiration in their life, the one they love and are blessed to call Daddy. Let’s help them reflect on these things this Father’s Day and throughout the year!
What are some of your kids’ favorite reflections on dad? We’d love to hear what has come out of your little one’s mouth!
|by Josh Turner from Man Stuff
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it. – 1 Corinthians 10:13
The song that changed everything for my career was “Long Black Train.” It’s a song about temptation – something everybody can relate to. And my thinking is pretty black and white when it comes to the subject.
I’ve learned you cannot resist temptation on your own.
You can try. In fact, many people have, and their stories are the stuff the tabloids and news reports are made of. I believe you need the help of the Lord and His Word to resist the temptations of this life. The verse above, found in 1 Corinthians, promises a way out. God doesn’t promise that resisting temptation will be easy, but He does promise to provide a way out.
I’ve also realized that it’s okay and completely acceptable and very wise to do away with the means of accessing whatever you’re tempted by. That’s not a sign of weakness at all; it’s actually a sign of strength.
Unsubscribe, throw it out, turn it off, whatever you have to do to keep it from being close at hand.
And if there’s anything I could say about temptation, it’s this: don’t walk away; run away. Walking gives you time to reconsider, to think about it a little longer, and when you’re at that point in a situation, it’s usually not a good place to be.
Another verse in the Bible says to “flee… evil” (2 Timothy 2:22). I’m pretty sure that means “Run!”
Watch the Music Video for Long Black Train!
Do you find yourself walking away maybe a little too slowly when you know you should run flat-out as fast as you can from temptation?
|The Secret of Fatherhood
by Jim Daly, from The Good Dad
We all have insecurities boiling inside us. Our culture tells us incessantly what failures we are as fathers.
Even our own genes can throw up roadblocks. We don’t get to be the heroes we feel like we should be. And so we fail. We lose interest. We’d rather play video games.
But we can’t. We have to push aside those fears and insecurities and our own laziness – the “ways of childhood” the apostle Paul talks about (1 Corinthians 13:11). We have to transcend our own weaknesses and predilections and become the greater man. I think God calls us to do just that.
For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want writes Paul in Galatians 5:17.
Sometimes we might wonder why our flesh and our Spirit always seem to be in such opposition. After all, God created both our bodies and souls. But I think the Lord sets up paradoxes in life in order to create environments for us to learn how to become more like Him, situations that push against our natural inclinations and into a more God-honoring stance. It pushes us out of our comfort zone and forces us to lean on Him more and more.
I like to think of it like this: We all live, in a sense, in boxes, with the whole box of life tilted in God’s direction. We can fight, we can struggle, we can deny Him, we can scream. We can do whatever to try to move away from Him. But the elevation of the box on one side keeps cranking up until we reach a tipping point. Something snaps, and we fall to the other side. It’s all about leaning into God.
Marriage thrusts us into such a box. You’re selfish? You like calling your own shots? Get married. And if you’re selfish too long, you’re not going to be married long. You have to start giving.
Fatherhood is exactly the same thing. If some selfishness remains in you after marriage, then have some kids – and be responsible for them. Sure, you can have children all day long, as many men do, and have no accountability. But if you have a sense of responsibility for that child, you take up that mantle.
Yes, it will be hard. You will not know how to deal with them very well, at least at first. You’ll feel scared. You’ll feel frustrated. It’s hard because, in some ways, God knows it has to be hard for us. Only through that pain and difficulty do we grow ever more like Him. Our flawed flesh and scared souls may give us pause. But according to Paul,
… the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline - 2 Timothy 1:7
And that, in the end, is the heart of it all, the secret of fatherhood – living in power, love, and self-discipline. Sometimes that goes against our instincts or what we’d like. But that’s what God calls us to.
And at the center of it all, as Paul once again says, is love. Always hopeful, always trusting, always persevering. As a father, love is the key, the secret to everything. It’s not rocket science. It’s pretty easy, really. If you love your kids and you can show them that you love them, everything else falls into place.
And we need to love them as a father. We can’t mother our children; most of our children already have great mothers. Don’t be their mother. Be their dad. And what does it mean to be their dad? It means you do have to connect. Engage them in the way that you can. Be natural with it. Cut loose a little. It will come naturally to you. Turtles know what to do. Penguins know what to do. Other animals know what to do as dads. We human fathers know what to do, too. Sure, circumstances have changed. Most of us can’t talk about life with our boys while working in the fields anymore. But we can find opportunities, if we only look for them.
Many men don’t even know the job requirements of fatherhood. But fatherhood’s not a job, and it never has been. Being a father isn’t something we do. It’s something we are. That’s hard for us to understand sometimes, being as task oriented as we are. But I think that’s what Paul is getting at.
We need to lean on love, push beyond our instincts, and go deeper. We don’t set aside being a good dad when we’re off the clock. It’s something we become. And just as we’re always in the process of unpacking our faith, growing ever closer to Jesus long after we become Christians, so the road to becoming a father is a never-ending journey.
We’re always learning how to be a good dad. We’re always in the process of becoming one. And we never cast aside that process.
Watch the Video
What is the one thing you admire most about your father or your husband when it comes to his parenting?
|A Busy Mom’s Guide to Meditating on Scripture
by Courtney Joseph, from Women Living Well
Some days a scheduled quiet time just can’t happen. And it would be wrong for us to put pressure on ourselves to always create this perfect scenario – as we would selfishly have to push our children’s needs aside.
So what’s the solution?
Learn how to meditate on God’s Word.
Joshua 1:8 says:
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.
Meditating is essentially soaking in God’s Word. Like a sponge, sit and linger over God’s Word. Take in the living water and be refreshed. Meditating goes hand in hand with memorization. If you are memorizing, then most likely you are also meditating. But it is possible to meditate and not memorize.
A Busy Mom’s Guide to Meditating on a Passage of Scripture
Squeeze every drop of nourishment out of the passage all day long through these short readings of Scripture. Meditate on God’s Word day and night, and you will soon find your life transformed by the renewing of your mind!
If You Fail to Plan, You’re Planning to Fail
If you don’t have a plan for dinner, most likely you’ll be scrambling for something edible at the last minute. If you don’t make plans the night before for what you will wear to church, you probably will end up at church late or in wrinkled clothes. If you don’t have a plan to keep up with your friends’ birthdays, you’ll buy a lot of belated cards.
Bible study is the same way. Planning makes all the difference.
So what things could we plan that would make the discipline of a quiet time easier?
Choose when you will have a quiet time each day. We are creatures of habit, so select a time that works best in your season of life, and work toward being disciplined at that time.
One of my strongest memories from childhood is of my mother studying her Bible late at night at the kitchen table. When my children were babies, I was more alert in the afternoons, so that’s when I tried to have my quiet times. There are many great Christian heroes of the faith down through the ages who had early-morning quiet times, including David (Psalm 5:3) and Daniel (Daniel 6:10). In Mark 1:35, we see Jesus spending time with His Father in the morning:
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He departed and went out to a desolate place, and there He prayed.
One of my favorite authors, Elizabeth George, encourages women to “beat your family up”. Of course she doesn’t mean to use physical force. She means to rise earlier than they do so you can have a few moments of solitude.
There is a small window of time in the morning that slams shut the moment your children wake. So even if you can only rise five minutes early, grab that five minutes and delight in your devotions with your heavenly Father. He loves you so!
Plan your solitary place. As a newlywed, I felt a need to create a “prayer closet,” so in our apartment I turned a walk-in closet into a prayer closet. Matthew 6:6 says:
When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
In the closet, I put a chair and footstool bought at a bargain outlet store; a cheap nightstand filled with my journal, Bible, and hymnal; and a little water fountain and CD player in the corner, along with some photos of loved ones. This was the most inviting solitary place I’ve ever had.
One of the only solitary rooms in our home now is the bathroom. In our first home, I turned my vanity in the master bathroom into my sanctuary!
Some might imagine a sanctuary to have stained-glass windows and a pipe organ – but the word sanctuary simply means “holy place.” I wanted a holy place in my home where I could step away from the kids, pray, and meet with God. We took down the mirror, and I put up a dry-erase board. Then, rather than using the drawers for makeup and accessories, I filled them with devotional books, highlighters, my Bible, and planner, and set my computer on the countertop.
I have worked hard to create an escape from the distractions of life to be alone with God. I encourage you to create a place that is inviting and that is ready and waiting for you. Maybe you have a chair in the family room that you could use and place a basket beside it with all your quiet-time goodies. Or maybe, like my mom, you prefer the kitchen table!
God doesn’t want to hold us down all day long, but He does want just a little while to linger with us. He wants to tell us how much He loves us and guide us by His Word. He wants us to talk to Him about our day, our struggles, and our needs. He wants to teach us. He wants to reveal to us areas we need to mature in and fill us up with love, joy, and hope. He wants to be thanked and worshiped. He wants us to be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10).
Watch the Video for Women Living Well
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How do you find time in your busy day for meditating on Scripture and being quiet before God?
Midday. By midday, the sun is at its hottest. A Samaritan woman comes to the well to fetch water and finds a stranger sitting there—a Jew. He speaks to her. He asks her for a drink. A single Jewish man talking to an un-chaperoned woman! And a Samaritan at that! Doesn’t he know the rules?
That was probably what a lot of people in that area thought when they saw Jesus talking to the woman at the well. But Jesus didn’t often follow the rules. Throughout his ministry, he showed a special regard for women. Women were among his followers (Luke 8.1–3). They came to listen to him (Matthew 15.38). They supported him—even when his closest followers, men, had deserted him (Mark 14.50). He rewarded their faith (Matthew 9.20–22). Jesus gave women a value and attention that was radically different in the socially rigid hierarchies of first-century Israel. Why? Because the water of life was for everybody. Of that, Jesus was certain.
In some parts of the world, women are denied education and employment, status and respect; some are little more than slaves. But Jesus came to remind them of their beloved status. Those who trust him are his children, and therefore worthy of respect.
How did Jesus show his concern for the woman at the well? How did the woman respond to Jesus’ offer of living water? What does her response tell you about her thirst?
Consider the women among your family and friends. What are their goals and dreams? How can you lead them to the Lord and support them in their goals? Also, think about contributing your time and resources to aid oppressed women in other countries. Pray: Lord, you created every person in your image and you’ve given each of us special gifts. Help us to value ourselves and one another. Help us to ensure that no one is denied a chance to contribute to the great work of loving and serving you.
Jesus and the Samaritan Woman
Jesus left Judea and started for Galilee again. This time he had to go through Samaria, and on his way he came to the town of Sychar. It was near the field that Jacob had long ago given to his son Joseph. The well that Jacob had dug was still there, and Jesus sat down beside it because he was tired from traveling. It was noon, and after Jesus’ disciples had gone into town to buy some food, a Samaritan woman came to draw water from the well.
Jesus asked her, “Would you please give me a drink of water?”
“You are a Jew,” she replied, “and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink of water when Jews and Samaritans won’t have anything to do with each other?”
Jesus answered, “You don’t know what God wants to give you, and you don’t know who is asking you for a drink. If you did, you would ask me for the water that gives life.”
“Sir,” the woman said, “you don’t even have a bucket, and the well is deep. Where are you going to get this life-giving water? Our ancestor Jacob dug this well for us, and his family and animals got water from it. Are you greater than Jacob?”
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again. But no one who drinks the water I give will ever be thirsty again. The water I give will become in that person a flowing fountain that gives eternal life.”
The woman replied, “Sir, please give me a drink of that water! Then I won’t get thirsty and have to come to this well again.”
Jesus told her, “Go and bring your husband.”
The woman answered, “I don’t have a husband.”
“That’s right,” Jesus replied, “you’re telling the truth. You don’t have a husband. You have already been married five times, and the man you are now living with isn’t your husband.”
The woman said, “Sir, I can see that you are a prophet. My ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews say Jerusalem is the only place to worship.”
Jesus said to her:
Believe me, the time is coming when you won’t worship the Father either on this mountain or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans don’t really know the one you worship. But we Jews do know the God we worship, and by using us, God will save the world. But a time is coming, and it is already here! Even now the true worshipers are being led by the Spirit to worship the Father according to the truth. These are the ones the Father is seeking to worship him. God is Spirit, and those who worship God must be led by the Spirit to worship him according to the truth.
The woman said, “I know that the Messiah will come. He is the one we call Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
“I am that one,” Jesus told her, “and I am speaking to you now.”
The disciples returned about this time and were surprised to find Jesus talking with a woman. But none of them asked him what he wanted or why he was talking with her.
The woman left her water jar and ran back into town, where she said to the people, “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! Could he be the Messiah?” Everyone in town went out to see Jesus.
While this was happening, Jesus’ disciples were saying to him, “Teacher, please eat something.”
But Jesus told them, “I have food you don’t know anything about.”
His disciples started asking each other, “Has someone brought him something to eat?”
My food is to do what God wants! He is the one who sent me, and I must finish the work that he gave me to do. You may say there are still four months until harvest time. But I tell you to look, and you will see that the fields are ripe and ready to harvest.
Even now the harvest workers are receiving their reward by gathering a harvest that brings eternal life. Then everyone who planted the seed and everyone who harvests the crop will celebrate together. So the saying proves true, “Some plant the seed, and others harvest the crop.” I am sending you to harvest crops in fields where others have done all the hard work.
~ John 4:3-38 ~