Let me talk to the Dads today. As 2013 begins and you begin to think about what the new year will hold and what changes you should make, let me ask you to consider a few things.
You are the chief warrior of your home. You are the Commander In Chief of the little army God has placed under you. I want to encourage you to step up and lead your family successfully through this evil world, so that when your soldiers advance on their own they will still be serving the Lord.
I can only speak to Dads today from my own life experience, not as an expert. I grew up on a farm in Iowa with little money. We were not an influential family and no one took much notice of us. But today as I look at the life my siblings and I live now there must have been something done right that was important beyond finances and influence. There are four of us siblings and all of us serve the Lord and we all married spouses that serve the Lord. None of us had a baby out of wedlock, have been divorced, did drugs, were homeless or been to jail. We are not perfect, of course, but there must have been something that caused us to choose to serve the Lord. I guarantee it wasn’t because our parents were perfect or even lived out their Christians lives without being hypocrites. They themselves had sins they openly struggled with. There must have been something deeper.
Let me give you a few reasons why I believe we serve the Lord.
1. We went to church. We went to church Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night and any time there was a special event. We learned that church was important. My parents never made us go but it wasn’t an option either. It is just what we did every Sunday. No one ever questioned whether we were going that week, we just went faithfully. (No, we weren’t the pastors either and we drove 40 miles ONE WAY to church.)
2. Nothing was more important than God. We were actively involved in sports, drama, Girl Scouts, and music at school but those events never overshadowed our church life. We were all A students, but we never missed church to stay home and do our homework. (We are all college graduates I might add.)
3. We were involved in church. We learned the Word of God through the Assemblies of God Bible quiz program. We participated in every program the AG had to offer from Royal Rangers for our brother to Missionettes for us girls. We played in the church orchestra and sang in the adult and youth choirs. We went to church camp in the summer and youth convention in the Fall. God was able to get ahold of us because we were in a place to hear him. We didn’t have much money and I’m not sure who paid of us to go to camp but I know we always went.
4. We prayed together. Our parents prayed for us even when we did not want them to. I know my mom prayed and extended family members were praying for us, too.
These are very simple things but yet it seems faithfulness to church and God are the hardest things to accomplish. We commit to sports, clubs, school, etc. to the point where our kids know those are important. They would never miss a sport team event and they know it. Without even saying it our children learn what is important to us. You don’t even have to say it out loud, they just know if there is a sports event on the calendar you will be there. But if they see a church event on the calendar they ask if they are going. Are sports bad? No. Clubs? No. School? No. It all comes down to priority.
So Dads let me address you as the Commander of the great army God has placed under you. Where are you leading your army? To sports games? To club meetings? To movies? That’s OK, no condemnation. Will you lead them to prayer meeting so they can see you cry out to God on their behalf? Will you teach them faithfulness to church by leading them there? Will you lead them into the things of God? Will you lead them to read the Bible? Will you lead your army into the uncharted waters of a Daniel Fast and show them that fasting and prayer work? Will you stand up and be the man of God that God has ordained for you to be? Where you lead your family they will go. You are the leader. They are watching.
You do not have to be perfect. You don’t have to have it all together. You just need to acknowledge your leader the Commander In Chief of all the Commander In Chiefs!!! Or King of Kings as the Bible calls Him!