Imagine a family driving down the road when Dad sees a sign that says “Detour – bridge out.” Because the children pressure Dad to hurry home so they won’t miss their favorite TV show, Dad decides not to take the detour.
Insane? Of course it is. I can’t imagine a dad who would risk the lives of his family because he couldn’t handle pressure from the children.
Now picture a Christian dad who willy-nilly makes decisions. He does not seek the Lord’s direction through prayer and Scripture. When his children pressure him for a decision they favor, he quickly agrees. He doesn’t take into consideration the eternal value of each soul he has been entrusted with to disciple in the Lord Jesus. Is it any wonder that children are choosing the world over the Lord in droves these days?
What part do you think Dad’s “leadership” (or lack thereof) has on the children’s eternal choice? Are you like Abraham? “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him” (Genesis 18:19).
A sure plan for a high consumption, debt-financed lifestyle is to fill your spare time with as much fun and pleasurable activities as possible. “He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich” (Proverbs 21:17).
Hmm, on second thought, Scripture has a better plan. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
Noah had a problem. God told him to build the ark, but he couldn’t build it by himself. He needed his sons’ help. His family’s survival depended on them working together. Through his years as a dad, if he had been trustworthy, his family would cooperate. If not, he would end up disobedient to his God. No amount of commanding would have been sufficient for his sons to work faithfully alongside their dad for over twenty years. They followed because he had earned their trust.
Abraham had a problem. God commanded that all the men of his house be circumcised. If he had shown himself to be trustworthy as their leader, they would submit. If not, he would be in disobedience to his God. All meant all. I believe they voluntarily complied. No ninety-nine-year-old man was going to physically force all the men to be circumcised. They trusted him.
There are clear commands and principles in God’s Word. When we live them out, we earn our family’s trust. As children get older, authority is insufficient. Familial trust might be considered the reflection of dad’s integrity and will be the bond of hearts that enable them to follow Dad’s lead. Is your family following?
“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).
I’m confident that since you read Seriously Dads you desire that your children would know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. To that end, our Lord leaves us good insight.
“For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Psalms 78:5-7).
God said there are two vital aspects in passing on the faith, a testimony and a law, that the fathers make known to their children.
Our testimony is our witness of how God is real, loving, and doing a mighty work in our world and most importantly in our lives. If the Father isn’t actively doing a wonderful work in my life, why should my children be interested? We must proclaim out loud to our children what He is doing on a daily basis.
The Law is God’s Word. Isn’t it an absurd thought that some might base their life and eternity on a book that isn’t important enough to read on a daily basis?
Bible reading isn’t a “have to” sort of thing but a “love to.” If it is “have to,” I suppose that man probably doesn’t have a testimony either, and his family is in serious trouble. Our passion for being in the Word and sharing it with our family is a fundamental part of our testimony.
Hope to see you in Ft Smith this weekend.
Here’s a test: Do you do the same thing over and over and expect or hope for different results? That was Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity.
Scripture admonishes us to change —forsake old ways and embrace new ones. We are new creatures in Christ. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Sure old ways die hard. They are comfortable because we are used to them, but where God calls, He enables. “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Ephesians 4:1).
“And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan. And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it” (Numbers 13:27-30).
Ten well-intentioned, important, valiant (?) men led thousands to needlessly die and brought great suffering to their families. Yet, ultimate responsibility was on each who listened to them. Had they chosen to follow Caleb and Joshua, they would have lived and not died in the wilderness. The simple will be easily swayed to follow the wrong people to their own hurt.
My Brothers, may I encourage you not to be among them. Be in the Word daily, and be obedient. Don’t be swayed, but stay the course in Christ.
Most of us have worked with a coworker or for a boss who was ungrateful or hot-tempered. Working together was pretty miserable, wasn’t it?
Can you imagine being married to a person like that? Why is it some husbands think it is okay to be ungrateful, angry, or impatient toward the one they vowed to love until death? Where’s the fear of God?
“And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?” (Luke 9:54).
“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered” (1 Peter 3:7).
I’m confident that every parent knows what it feels like when a child is ungrateful or has an entitlement attitude in spite of our best efforts to teach them to have a thankful heart. Don’t you agree that whatever we have given our children is minimal compared to the blessings our God has showered on us? What an awesome and loving God we serve, and oh how blessed we are.
Maybe it doesn’t matter if our children are ungrateful. Then again, maybe it is serious – far beyond our wildest imagination.
“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen” (Romans 1:21-25).
Have you appreciated the fact that:
- days are 24 hours long – everyday,
- weeks are 7 days – always,
- the sun rises and sets – always predictively?
Can you imagine how difficult life would be if:
- days varied from 16 to 32 hours in no predictable fashion
- weeks might have any number of days without rhythm or reason
- and the sun’s behavior was totally random, came up some days and maybe never set other days?
It is easy to take for granted consistency. Sure some might consider consistency boring. However, consistency makes life much easier and is a huge blessing.
Dad, how dependable are you in the good things that matter? You will consistently:
- go to sleep at the same time
- wake up at the same time
- keep your word
- come home when you committed
- have personal and family Bible time
- help with the children when you are home.
It must be all of the time, consistently! (BTW, It is not a blessing to be consistently late or lazy, nor to be counted on some of the time – the problem is not knowing when.)
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
As a young airman in 1970 stationed in Thailand, I could tell the baht bus I was riding was entering the small town because the smell from the open sewers announced our arrival. Thankfully, it wouldn’t take long to become accustomed to it.
Driving west on I-70, there is a large cattle feed lot from which smells overtake you if there is a southerly breeze. I assume those living near it become used to it.
It is amazing how quickly we adapt to negative things. Sadly, our soul can all-to-quickly adapt to things after our initial repulsion. I’m confident that is why the Lord told the Israelites to destroy things that would be a snare to them as they conquered an idolatrous land.
“The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the Lord thy God. Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing” (Deuteronomy 7:25-26).
Are we being on guard for things that will ensnare us and our family? At first it may seem harmless, even a bit funny. However, Satan will package it any way he can to get it into our homes and hearts, but evil is still evil. There will be consequences.