When Our Garden Turns Into Gethsemane


I learned a valuable lesson from a man who told me that a number of years ago a married brother of his had been on the verge of making a major mistake that would have a lasting negative impact on his family, as well as the extended family. With much consternation he told me that he called his father to voice his grave concerns. His father listened to his concerns and explained that he was well aware of the situation. With elevated voice he told his father over the phone, “Well, do something!” His father’s response of, “What would you like me to do, kick him out of the family?” taught him a great lesson. Of course he didn’t want his father to “kick” anybody out of the family.

This man’s impetuous statement was said out of anger with little thought as to the long-term welfare of his brother. His father, much wiser, was looking at the larger picture and was talking with and counseling his brother in a loving and kind manner. His father was following the wise words of Paul, who in writing the Colossians, wrote:

“Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” (3:21)

Discouraged from what? I think Paul was trying to say that when fathers close the door on communication with their children, the child becomes discouraged in having an open dialogue thereby eliminating the father’s influence in being able to turn the child from their erroneous ways.

The man finished his story by saying that his brother, with the loving support of his family, turned at the last-minute from his foolish ways adverting disaster for he and his family.

All of us need firm counsel from time to time. When this advise is given in love, the chance of it being accepted certainly improves. Kicking people out of families is not the Lord’s way. He gave families as support so that each member will be blessed at the time when their garden turns into Gethsemane.

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