“A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.”—Billy Graham
Great quote! I believe that we could formulate yet another relevant sentiment with just a quick exchange of words:
“Our heavenly Father is the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet the most valuable Presence needed in our society.”
One cannot ignore that the family fruits of our nation reveal how our heavenly Father’s presence is ignored in people’s parenting roles. Disregarded, in some cases.
God had family in mind ever since Adam and Eve. He created man in His image (Genesis 1:26). He further commanded the first couple to be fruitful and multiply—to literally populate the earth with offspring that would carry the same living expression and nature (image) of God that was breathed into Adam.
You know the story.
Instead of Adam owning up to his role in that first marriage, he blamed God for the woman. Adam was given the instructions about the trees in the garden, yet his influence (or lack thereof) didn’t carry the weight needed to help Eve silence the tempter.
And the ensuing burden of the transgression was aimed at Adam, the leader of his family.
The bible shares story after story of how man has gone his own way, and thus, the original intent of parental influence has sorely gone to the wayside. Read of one account in Judges 2:10 and see how a generation without parental influence opened the door to evil.
The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance and advantage, but everyone who acts in haste comes surely to poverty (Proverbs 21:5 AMP).
When sin entered the garden, man had to perform from the sweat of his brow. The cycle continues, though the pattern leans more towards working around busy schedules that have resulted from displaced priorities.
A displaced priority leads to haste and, unfortunately, compromise seems to follow. Compromise may seem harmless in the beginning, but if left unattended…
I thank God that He is so about our business! He loves us so much and desires that we take a stand (with fathers in the leading role) so that we don’t allow declining trends to permeate our families.
And just like with Eve, the tempter is always looking for a way to sway.
Therefore, let the one who thinks he stands firm [immune to temptation, being over confident and self-righteous], take care that he does not fall [into sin and condemnation] (1 Corinthians 10:12 AMP).
So, to my dear brothers who are fathers, if you are going to sweat, S.W.E.A.T!
Dads, settle within yourselves that as a father, you have a heavy responsibility as the leader of your home. Guard that responsibility! God knew that YOU would be the father of your children. He specifically chose YOU. He didn’t just randomly give you your kids. He knew from the start that you were quite capable and YOUniquely needed for your children.
Though He chose and equipped you to lead and influence, there may be areas that could possibly use a little tweaking. Pray, dive into His word, and surround yourself with godly men and fathers who can impart encouragement and nuggets of wisdom. Don’t shy away from these relationships!
There is no shame in asking for help. God honors men who will seek Him out through His word, through other mature mentors and counselors in the faith. Where two or more are present seeking, asking, and are willing to hear, there He is also (Matthew 18:20 NLT).
Watch over your family. Whip into action whenever you see behavioral trends in your children that go against your established boundaries.
Father immediately banned Adam and Eve from the garden. He did it from the position of love and not from punishment. Had the couple remained, they may have eaten from the Tree of Life and would have forever lived in and perpetuated that fallen state to the generations that followed—for all eternity.
Love (God) wasn’t going to allow that. A daddy’s love sees beyond the here and now and understands that not addressing issues quickly can turn into catastrophes later.
Educate yourselves and your children. Fathers, you are the priest of the home and it is your responsibility to teach what the Lord teaches you.
You shall teach [His words] diligently to your children, and shall talk to them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind [His words]as a sign on your hand, and [His words] shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write [His words] on the doorposts of your house and on your gates (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 NKJV, brackets mine).
In the modern-day vernacular: nuff said!
When earthly dads acknowledge their heavenly Father in all areas of parenting, they are actually humbling themselves and recognizing that they do not have all the answers.
Acknowledging begins with prayer. Get serious about praying and seeking His direction. Turning to Him cultivates relationship, and it’s in relationship where wisdom and enlightenment are transferred. Praying and waiting tells Father that you want His input. Acknowledging is thanking and praising Him because you are assured that He has your back.
Life gets a little loud at times. Be in His presence without distractions. Let unimportant things go—you know what those things are.
Maybe you think your wife is the prayer warrior of the family or that she has more time. That may appear to be the case; however, once you have settled yourself in your role as leader, Holy Spirit will nudge you to step up your game. And you and your family will reap unparalleled benefits!
Finally, trust the Lord wholeheartedly. There are many scriptures that speak of trusting Father God for everything. Trust Him as you lead and teach. Trust and wait expectantly. Trust Him to help you stand even when what you are praying for hasn’t manifested yet. He is your Faithful Father and will never lead you astray.
But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit (Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV).
Brother, may you always sing His praises and keep His fatherly example in front of you. May you recognize the importance and the need of His Presence in your role as father. You’ll find that as you glean from Him, demonstrating His love, His character and His leadership will trickle down to your loved ones.
Regardless of the ages of your children, they are your garden. Plant seeds of affirmation. Leave a legacy—a legacy that tells of a dad who acknowledged God in every circumstance. May your story be one that succeeding generations will endeavor to follow.
I am praying for you today, brother. Happy Father’s Day!