Father’s Day is winding down. If you, like me, have been lucky enough to hear children of your own wish you a happy Father’s Day, then I want to leave you with a few parting words for the night.
While Father’s Day is a day to celebrate our dads, the sacrifices they make, the care they have given, it should also be a reminder to each of us exactly how blessed we are. We have been entrusted by our Heavenly Father to guide and lead, to raise and love, to protect and cherish.
This applies to every walk of life, but most especially to the spiritual development of our children. Study after study has shown how vital it is for our children to see us dedicated and leading our children in a Christian walk. For many of us this seems foreign. Perhaps we grew up with mothers who were the spiritual leaders in the home. Perhaps we’ve bought into the societal stereotype that good Christian men are weak sissies. Maybe we just don’t know how to be spiritual leaders, and if we’re honest we can be too lazy in this area to develop into the men our children desperately need us to be.
The honest truth is that if we disregard being the spiritual leader our children need, we set them up for spiritual failure; and when we stop and think about what that really means, is that a path you want to lead your children down?
When kids grow up seeing dads prioritize other activities over church and time with God, the message they learn (inadvertent or not) is that God is no more than a genie in a bottle- there when we want Him and put out of sight the rest of the time. No matter what our words say, if our lives live out a different message our children will believe what they see and not what they hear. And the age we live in makes it very easy for us to send the wrong message.
Gone are the days where sporting events like kids baseball, softball, soccer, etc. are scheduled away from Sunday mornings. We want our kids to fit in, to participate, to be a part of a team… and after all it’s only 5, 8, 10 Sundays out of the year?!?
What message would our kids learn if they saw us stand up and say, "I want my kid to be part of the team, but Sunday mornings are off limits? If that means we can’t be on this team, we’ll just have to find another place, another league, do without…"
What message would it send if we tell our kids we can’t wait to take them fishing. It means so much that we’re going to tow the boat to the church. That way we can change and leave straight for the lake after service. Why? That way we can worship with our family rather than skipping service to worship at the altar of the live well.
We have to be intentional to show our kids that the relationship we have with Jesus is the most important thing in our life. There are only two things in this area they can learn, Jesus is the most important thing or He’s not. You will teach your kids one or the other!
I’m not saying that we never miss a single Sunday, never take a vacation, never catch a ball game, but we have one opportunity to teach our children how important our relationship with Christ is, to set an example that they will look back on all their life.
This Father’s Day, as you call it a night and prepare to sail into a new week, ask God to help you show your children how important your relationship with Him is. Make up your mind, be intentional, take the spiritual reigns of your family and set the example you want your child to have.
Happy Father’s Day and may God Bless you and your family!