I have the unique opportunity to spend a significant amount of time with men, students and families. There are so many things that I come across because of this. It could be porn addiction, other sexual sin issues, alcohol or drug abuse, suicide, etc. It could also be issues of performance based acceptance or looking for identity in money or materialism. Underneath all of that, there seems to be one wound.
It is the father wound. Fathers have such a great opportunity to influence their children. The bottom line is that influence can be negative or positive. Unfortunately, too often today that influence is negative.
Scripture talks about the role of fathers in the lives of their children. Exodus 20 tells us that God will discipline children up to 3 or 4 generations because of the sin of the father. In that same chapter it tells us that God will bless up to 1,000 generations for those who love Him and obey His commands.
How can I be the father who helps pass this blessing down to my children? I think there are several things I can look at:
- Deal with unresolved pain or anger from my past
- Confess to God and to my children where I have fallen short
- Experience my identity as being only in Christ (not my job, not a sports team, not porn, etc.)
- Have a plan to relationally connect and spiritually invest in my children and carry that out
How do I do this? I admit that I am powerless and I bring my weary and burdened self to Jesus.
Why would I want to do this? I do it because I love my kids, and I have the capacity to love them because I let God love me first. I cannot impart what I do not possess. 1 John 4 tells us that we love because He first loved us. The love that God has for me is incredible. Zephaniah 3 tells me that He delights in me!
This is a call to myself, to fathers, to let God’s love penetrate our hearts so we pursue our kids the way God pursues us! May we model for them a heart that loves Him and obeys His commands. May we reach out to those who are not our children as well. We cannot replace their dad, but we can point them to our Daddy in Heaven.
God, help me know and experience your love so I can love those around me, and as a father, deeply love my kids.