Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dad, are you the real deal?

I was asked to expand on my previous post "Dads, lead by example" so that it could be used as an article for another publication. Here is the result. HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!

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Father's Day is this coming Sunday - June 15th. I know this is contrary to what popular culture is spewing at us, but the role of the father is critical. The father is the head of his household and has the God-given responsibility of spiritually leading his family. Dads, if we simply go through the motions in life without surrendering to God and loving Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, it can destroy our families and possibly lead our precious children straight into the arms of this cruel world or worse - hell. We can’t take our responsibility lightly. How we treat others, how we love God, and how we lead our family matters greatly. We must lead by example. We can’t just tell our families, but instead we must show them what it means to be a Christ-follower. We must be the “real deals”. A child will see right through a dad who “talks the talk”, but doesn’t “walk the walk.”

So, how do we do this? How do we disciple our families? Jesus said, “Feed my sheep”- John 21:15-17. However, we can’t feed our sheep unless we are fed. We can’t give something we don’t have. Therefore, one of the critical components is time in God’s Word – the Bible. “God’s Word is a lamp to our feet and a light for our path” – Psalm 119:105. A second critical component is action. Reading God’s Word without taking action can be pointless and potentially can do more harm than good – Dad reads his Bible, but he doesn’t live like it. The Christian life isn’t supposed to be lived passively, but rather passionately. We are called to “put these things into practice.” When we do this, our faith actually becomes evident to others – our children included. Rather than our lives being a barrier between our children and Christ, our sincere, obedient, and surrendered life becomes a magnet that attracts our children to the Creator of the universe - God.

The apostle Peter gives us an incredible word of encouragement when he says, “We have all we need for life and godliness.” In Christ we have the grace, power, and victory to be the dads God has called us to be. That also means that we don’t have any excuses.

Lord, pour your grace out on all of us who are privileged to be fathers. We need your strength, guidance, and help. Thank you for giving us all we need to fulfill the calling you have placed on our lives. May we never shirk our duties or back down from our responsibilities. May we live so passionately for you that it becomes infectious and spreads throughout our families. Protect our children’s hearts and draw them unto you. Amen.

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