This month we conclude the Dad’s Corner series about a godly legacy. If you aren’t up-to-date with these articles, here are the links to the previous ones (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6). Last month, I opened with an analogy comparing fathers to slow, left-lane drivers. The left-lane driver who isn’t passing another vehicle is hindering those behind him who would like to move on. Fathers are called to be the spiritual leaders in their families not a slow, left-lane driver who holds them back.
If a dad is a spiritual left-lane driver, it might be because he is concerned about others talking about him if he appeared to be too spiritual. I can understand that because who enjoys someone else speaking negatively about him? He can see Christians around him who will criticize behind the backs of those who are on fire for Jesus, and this dad doesn’t want people talking about him that way. “And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him” (Matthew 27:29-31). We can be sure that Jesus did not like the treatment He received as a result of His obedience to the Father. Yet He said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). Jesus led the way, and we can be confident that if we are following Him, there will be times of mocking and the discomfort that goes with it. But just like Jesus, we push on in following God while leading our families.
When we are saved, Jesus has purpose for our lives. It isn’t so that we have fire insurance in our pocket, and then we can live like the world, having a great time with no fear of hell. “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house” (Matthew 5:14-15). When He saves us, He will use us to be salt and light to those who are dying around us. He will use us to glorify the Father. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). It starts in our families. We need to be both salt and light if we want to have a godly legacy who will continue bearing testimony of the only true God and Savior.
I remember one time I accidentally got some salt into a small cut on my hand. Oh, did that hurt! It was painful enough not ever to want to do that again. “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men” (Matthew 5:13). As we obediently follow the Lord, we will be like salt to others’ lives. For some if their contact with us is more superficial, they may react like one does when salt enters a wound. For others, who may be in a closer relationship with us such as our children, our lives should represent the effect of eating something salty. It makes one thirsty for water. The Lord desires that our children would then be thirsty for the water of the Word. “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word” (Ephesians 5:26). Another aspect of salt is that it preserves. If we want to preserve a godly legacy, we must be spiritually salty.
I wonder if often, after all things are considered, Dad isn’t the one himself who is the biggest hindrance to a godly legacy. He has one eye on the world and one eye on heaven. “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8). That dad may advance in one direction today and another direction tomorrow. He is like a bottle on the waves and will discourage his family. We need to be singly-focued on the Lord Jesus and His direction for our lives. “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light” (Matthew 6:22).
May we have our hearts set on the Lord Jesus. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2). We will draw closer to what we are focused on.
I believe it is non-optional that Dad would have his personal time in the Word and lead family Bible time every day if he wants to draw closer to the Lord and leave a godly legacy. If we are going to have the spiritual energy we need, we have to have the breakfast (and dinner) of champions every day. “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded” (James 4:8). “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). If we desire to be obedient to the Lord and leave a godly legacy, we must be committed to the task at hand.
Are we spiritual left-lane drivers? Are we hindering our families from growing in the Lord Jesus? Are we setting a good example by our time in the Word and our obedience to the Lord? Time is passing quickly, and every day we have one day less to impact whether we are leaving a godly legacy or not. May I encourage you to be committed to the task.