Dear Legacy Dads, We read in Thessalonians that, we as spiritual fathers, are to comfort, encourage and urge you to live a life worthy of Jesus Christ our Lord. That being said, I have noticed some things as I watch in season and out of season our men leading their families. I see men of all creeds leading their kids recklessly in sports (Football, Baseball, Soccer and you name it) in coaching, training, lessons and all sorts of travel leagues. I see dads who work so hard for the American Dream that they never forget to file all of their expenses entertaining and traveling to nurture their clients and grow their businesses, but the one expense that should be their greatest focus gets lost in the filing: Their wife and kids. I see some dads who are so active in the community and social clubs and everything outside of the home, but their number one priority (that is, their actual top investment: Their family) is completely ignored. I see some dads so completely engulfed in everything that matters to them and ignoring their wife and children, why? Because they simply do not prioritize God's decree on a legacy dad's number one mission: Their family!!!
Do not take this first paragraph as an indictment or insult, rather, take it as a major generational gap of proper training from one generation to the next generation. To put it in layman's terms: Our fathers have forgotten to pass down the very fabric of letting their faith and trust in God not only be taught, but more importantly caught from generation to generation. Call it laziness, or call it ineptness, but somewhere along the line the church decided to retreat and believe in the "american dream" can be achieved by Government and the church (Ekklesia) has been usurped in its God-given role.
That being said, in all that Lance and I ever say, please test these things against Scripture to see if what we say is consistent through God's word:
- Proverbs 22:6 (ESV) 6 "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."
- Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (ESV) 6 "And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise."
- 2 Timothy 3:15-16 (ESV) 15 "and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,"
- Philippians 4:6 (ESV) 6 "do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."
- Ephesians 6:4 (ESV) 4 "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."
In these Scriptures, there is no absolute that your child(ren) won't be lured into worldliness or to turn from the ways of the Lord, BUT we, as godly parents, can decided this day who you and I will serve. Either we choose to live for ourselves (the world and its desires) or the Lord. We can give our children and their children a "leg up" in future generations by making our faith real to them.
What does this look like:
- Be in the word daily (how can you be a relevant disciple if you are disconnected to God's word daily?)
- Pray continually (as needed)
- Be real with your kids (when you sin, own it, confess it and repent). This doesn't mean to be remorseful of sin in that you acknowledge it and feel bad about it AND then keep on repeating the insanity of just remorse and not true repentance. True Repentance is confessing this sin to God, acknowledging it to God and going the opposite way of removing this sin from your life. Having accountability in your life to help you through it and to be real with your wife and kids about the struggle. It means that if you wronged someone else in this process that you make it right in where you will not harm others or those around them in seeking forgiveness.
- Let the Word of God have the ultimate authority in your life - that is in your stewardship (time, talent and treasure). In the decisions you make in and outside of church, that the word of God is present at all times and the final authority of all of your decisions.
- Have real conversations with your wife and kids (don't just tell them how to live and what to do as a Christian, as a disciple) live it, breathe it and die by it.
Finally, in all that you do:
Colossians 3:15-17 (ESV) 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.