There is no greater and more difficult task than being a parent. The fact that our boys learn more by what they see than what they hear is a challenge. Simply put, it is our calling as dads to reflect the love of Christ to our kids. If you are like me, you know right off the bat that your mirror has a number of smudges and cracks in it. That is not reason to lose hope, though. We often get bogged down in our sin and we forget that we are redeemed people meant to live redemptively in the world.
So how do we do that? What does it look like for a dad to live redemptively and reflect Christ to his children? We don’t have to go far for an answer.
The principle of reflecting our experience of God’s redeeming grace in how we live, and especially in our treatment of others, is found throughout the New Testament. A few examples make the point clear:
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful (Luke 6: 36).
Love each other as I have loved you (John 15: 12).
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you (Eph. 4: 32).
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you (Rom. 15: 7).
See that you also excel in this grace of giving… For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich (2 Cor. 8: 7 – 9).
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for one another. If any one of you has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in you? (1 John 3: 16 – 17).
Scripture paints a pretty clear picture of how we are to image Christ in our homes. But don’t get discouraged. Know that you cannot do this in your own strength. Be comforted in the fact that God has given us the power of the Holy Spirit to move and work in us, so that through our cracks and smudges, we can still reflect his image to our children. Go and reflect Him today in your homes, your places of work, and your communities.