The Dance

Our family traveled from Virginia to Michigan at the beginning of the month to celebrate our niece’s wedding. It was a “white-knuckled” drive through a blizzard but the prospect of everyone being together provided plenty of motivation. For the first time in a year, Cindi and I would enjoy time and stories from our 6 children, their spouses and “plus ones” as we spent a few days together. I have to admit that it was nice having two other men in the room; most of the time I am considerably outnumbered by the women in my life.

I did manage to make my way to my “coach’s” home to join 20 other men who get together every Saturday morning for a time of reflection and encouragement around God’s Word. It was refreshing, to say the least. The discussion starting point that morning was a reminder that we are called “human beings,” not “human doings.” It seems many of us get so involved in the day-to-day “shoulds” and “to dos” that we lose sight of who God has called us to be. Let me caution you here: if you find yourself overwhelmed by the “do this and do that” or the do-do-do impulse, you may look back on your life someday and find that all it amounted to was a big pile of dodo!

As the conversation progressed, it soon veered into the area of obedience. It seems that many Christians, especially parents, spend a lot their time on this topic. This is probably due to the fact that we spend so much time trying to get our children to be obedient. The things we do in life should be done out of our obedience to God’s direction. After all, the more obedient we are, the more things we will do for Him, and the more we do, the more He will appreciate us. God’s blessings, therefore, are a result of our obedience to God and the things we do for him. It all sounds pretty logical, doesn’t it?

Yet this flies in the face of the reality that we are to be still and know that He is God, that He gives us rest, and that He is our rest. We were created to be in an intimate relationship with our Creator. We were designed to have fellowship with our God and walk with Him in the cool of the afternoon.

As parents, we desire our children to be obedient to our instruction. Even if it is something that they don’t want to do, we desire for them to choose to be obedient out of love and respect, don’t we?

Cindi and I have been taking basic ballroom dance lessons recently. In those lessons we are learning that arm position and gentle pressure from our hands communicate direction. We are learning that in order for the dance to work, I am to lead and she is to follow. The lead, though, is communicated through the intimacy we have as we dance together. When I lead well and she follows well, we dance. If I don’t lead well or she doesn’t follow well our feet get tangled.

I have learned that obedience from God’s perspective is less about doing what He says regardless of the situation and more about following His lead well as we embrace one another in intimacy. It’s a dance and not a duty.

Intimacy with God is not a morning devotional, prayer 3 times a day, church on Wednesdays and Sundays and the memorization of the entire New Testament. Intimacy with God is an embrace that goes on all day and all night. It is 24/7/365 attention to the gentle and guiding pressures of His hand. It is a closeness that can hear the whisper of His voice. It is intimate enough to feel the beat of His heart.

Try it and watch what happens.

A Steward of God’s Blessings

In the church I’ve grown up in, we have a tradition. Before a wedding, the men will gather for a “men’s advice night” and share lessons, stories, and marriage wisdom with the new husband-to-be. I just participated in one such advice night for my new brother-in-law and another friend who was also about to be married.

Godly men who’ve been married ranging from 1 month to 30 years shared stories of their mistakes and discoveries. They gave advice like “Read the Bible together daily,” “Start your own family traditions right away,” “Take adventures together,” and “Let her know you are thinking of her throughout the day.” We all wanted these young men to learn from our experiences and start marriage out on the right foot.

A-steward-of-God's-blessings

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That night, also I heard several men say “I wish I’d had this kind of advice when I got married.” Not all of the men gathered had a Christian upbringing, godly parents, or even godly friends when they got married. And yet, God graciously worked in their lives, even through the rough times, and today God’s grace is clearly demonstrated in their lives and marriages.

This made me stop and think about all the blessings God has given me. I’ve experienced God’s grace, mercy, and blessings in more ways than I can count.

We need to be wise stewards of the blessings God gives us. We aren’t blessed just so we can be comfortable and happy; we’re blessed so we can praise and thank God for His grace. We’re blessed so we can share that grace with others around us.

How has God blessed you?

Were you blessed with faithful, godly parents?

Were you taught the Word of God and raised in the Christian faith?

Do you have a heritage of godly grandparents and ancestors you can look up to?

Are you a survivor of a rougher, less godly upbringing? God’s grace is still at work. No matter how you were raised, I’m going to assume, if you’re reading this, that God has brought you into a saving relationship with Him. You have a unique story to be thankful for and to share with others.

Are you blessed with a godly wife? Are you growing and learning in your marriage?

Are you part of the body of Christ, the Church? How has this been a blessing to you?

Do you have godly friends who care about you?

Have others invested in your life? Parents, teachers, friends, pastors, mentors… we’ve all learned from other people God has put in our life.

What about God’s provision? Have you seen God’s hand at work times of financial difficulty?

Has God given you success in your calling?

When has God answered your prayers, or given you wisdom and guidance?

You may not have experienced all of these blessings, but look around you. God is at work in your life. What blessings can you see?

What you do with these blessings matters.

Thank God for them. Tell the stories to your children. Mentor someone else who needs help. Share these blessings and be a conduit for God’s grace, reaching others around you who desperately need it.

If we gratefully steward God’s blessings in this way, we’ll be a strong influence for good in the lives of those around us, especially our sons.

 

Daniel Forster is married to Katelyn, father to three little ones, and the manager of Doorposts Publishing. He also writes for the blog Doorposts of Your House. You may enjoy his blog post How Grandpa Influenced Me.

Teaching Your Son What You Don’t Know

How do you teach your kids something you don’t know?

Or, more generally, how to you help your kids excel in areas where you don’t? Where, perhaps, you’re an abysmal failure?

teaching-your-sons-what-you-dont-know

It’s hard enough to pass on those values, skills, and ideals we possess in abundance. I can teach my sons how to be kind, patient, forgiving, faithful, and so on, because these happen to be some of my strengths; and even these will be transmitted to my boys only by concerted effort, diligence, endurance.

Harder by far is it for me to teach them decisiveness, strength in leadership, financial intelligence, even healthy aggression, because these are areas of weakness for me–areas where all my best efforts and concentrations are hardly enough to propel me toward any noticeable growth. But they are qualities I admire, aspire to, and desire for my sons. I want them to be well rounded, strong in the areas where I am weak, protected from my own shortcomings.

But how, exactly, am I supposed to pass that on to them? If I don’t possess certain abilities or character traits in abundance, how can I teach those things to my sons?

Being keenly aware of my various and colorful shortcomings (as you probably are of yours), I’ve thought a lot about this question. And, as a young dad, I’ve thought of several ways to help address the issue—ideas that are helping me as I implement them, and which I believe are applicable to fathers from any life stage. So, here goes: My list of How To Teach Your Sons What You Don’t Know…

1. Become a student

Come up against an issue that baffles you? Something outside your comfort zone, and beyond your strengths? Read up on it; study the issue in Scripture; begin trying to work it out in your own life. Experience, it’s said, is the best teacher. So, for example, if you struggle with making wise financial decisions, start by reading sound financial advice from a biblical perspective—then put it into practice. Always be willing to learn—for your benefit, and for your sons’.

2. Surround your sons with mentors

Proverbs 15:22 says, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisors they succeed.” From an early age, our sons need to understand that we, their dads, don’t have everything they need: we are not perfect, not able to completely prepare them for all that life brings. We are their primary teachers, yes: God has designed it that way, and we should never shrink from that responsibility. But, let’s help our sons one more step along the way: let’s help them learn to be mentored. By accepting mentoring in our own lives, and by surrounding ourselves—and our sons—with godly friends, they will see a more complete representation of God-honoring masculinity.

3. Seek wisdom from God

James 1:5 tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, Who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him.” The greatest tool we have for fathering, and especially for teaching our sons the things that are beyond our capabilities, is the wisdom of God. I believe it’s possible, through our inexperience and failure, that God can help us find the teachable moments our mess ups create. We can teach our sons through the dumb things we do, if we’re willing to admit our mistakes and seek the better path for next time. Even better, God can grant us the supernatural wisdom to understand that which is beyond us, and to make the wise choices. We can allow the Spirit of God to lead us, even in situations where we have no experience or aptitude, into victory.

These are general ideas, yes, but they are ones I’ve found extremely helpful as I consider my many shortcomings and how to raise my sons to avoid them. Become a student of the areas where you fall short, surround yourself (and your sons) with godly mentors who have different strengths than you do, and, most of all, seek God’s wisdom through HIs word.

Dads, what are some ways you’ve found to teach your sons what you don’t know? How do you pass on what you don’t have?

Replacing Fear with Love

replacing fear with love

The day will come when you simply cannot impose your will on your son.  It may be when he reaches his middle teen years, or when he towers over you in height.  It could be because of your age.  Whatever the case, when that day arrives, what will you do then?

For years, we father our children based on our physical size or the volume of our voice.  I can remember getting my children’s attention simply by using a deeper or sterner voice.  I’m not really talking about raising my voice or yelling, but rather just changing the tenor.  They knew what I was saying was important for them to hear.

Or it can be a look that catches their attention.  Sitting across the table when they are goofing off or being impolite, “the look” can bring things back to order.  Perhaps you’ve seen their reaction.  They straighten up, lower their voice, lower their eyes and continue their meal; task accomplished, order restored, and another peaceful meal in the books.

It can seem as if much of our time centers on getting our children to do what we instruct them or desire them to do.  We love them.  We want what is best for them.  We want to protect them from danger.  So our motivation is generally good.  But as they grow and begin to develop their own personalities (and will), our motivations can change.  There are times when we are more concerned about our own reputations or whether they are an embarrassment to us.  Those can be times that really test us.  Imposing our will on our sons in those situations can cause a lot of stress and conflict in our relationship.

Think about what I have briefly described.  What is the tool we are using to get our sons to behave or submit or obey?

It’s fear, isn’t it?

After all, a small dose of fear can go a long way toward getting the behavior that we expect, right?

Scripture even tells us that, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”

…but it’s only the beginning place.  Scripture also tells us that “perfect love casts out all fear.”  Even the fear that was at the beginning of our relationship with our Father is cast out by His perfect love.  Once we are a son of God, He never uses fear to get us to behave or submit or obey.  His love has cast the fear away and only love motivates His actions toward us.

Could it be the reason our Father doesn’t impose his will on us is because he wants us to know how much he loves us, so that we desire his will instead?

When the day comes that you can no longer impose your will on your son, wouldn’t it be great if he desired your will because he knew how much you loved him?

This may be a totally new concept for you.  If so, please give it some time for prayer and thought.  Maybe you have been wrestling with this concept for some time now.  Let me know if I can help you as you walk through recognizing just how much your Father really loves you.

 

Photo Credit

Fathering Well

The man who has coached me for the last 23 years is known for making simple, yet profound, statements. Let’s explore one of them. I can still hear Loren’s voice as he gently told me, “You’ll never father well until you have been fathered well.”

F

I became a Christian 29 years ago, at age 30.  I had already destroyed one marriage with my selfishness and  had no intentions of repeating that. I was raised in a home where my father wasn’t involved with my life.  I played varsity sports throughout high school and hoped to play tennis in college.  With all of the tournaments, travel, and practice involved, I can’t remember my dad ever watching me play.  My parents divorced in my senior year of high school, leaving my mom to raise five kids, the youngest less than a year old. At 18 years old, I regularly said I would never be like my dad.  To my dismay, by the time I was 25, I was just like him.  I had caught his version of manhood; not because I wanted to, but because his was the type I was exposed to.

Soon after accepting the salvation that Jesus offered, I began struggling with who I was as a father, husband, and man.  For years, I read the latest books on “Christian manhood”, attended seminars and conferences, and tried every step-by-step process I found.  I used to drink my morning coffee from a Promise Keeper’s mug with the “7 promises of a Promise Keeper” etched on the side.  Day after day, week after week, month after month, I worked through those promises and focused on incorporating them into my life.  I’d get one of them down and move on to the next, only to find myself slipping in one of the earlier promises all over again.  It was a constant process of two steps forward, one step back; or, in many cases, one step forward and two steps back.  After seven years of trying, I got so mad at God that I told Him I simply couldn’t make myself be the man he wanted me to be.   Interestingly, that confession was exactly what God wanted me to realize.  I was totally incapable of making myself into a godly man.

My earthly father had fallen short and provided me with a model of fatherhood that was anything but ideal.  Yet for the first time in my life, I was positioned to change, and was empowered by the Holy Spirit to do so.  But that road has been long. The changes have not come overnight.  It has been a process of learning who my heavenly Father is and how He really fathers me.  Only in the last five years have I realized how lovingly the Father cares for me as his son.

For years, my image of Father was of a stern taskmaster who stood ready to send lightning to my life whenever I slipped out of line.  I was convinced that he expected me to perform well, and when I did he blessed me; but when I fell short, he withheld his blessing.  I have also learned that we father our children the same way we believe God fathers us.  My children ended up with a father that expected them to perform well and was willing to apply a little lightning when they didn’t. I blessed them when they performed well and withheld my blessing when they fell short.

Over the last five years, I have learned that Father really is Abba (Daddy).  His love is unconditional and isn’t motivated by my performance.  As we have walked more closely, I have received a glimpse of his heart of compassion and grace for me and those he sends my way.  For years, I preached that there wasn’t anything you could do to make God love you more, or anything you could do to make him love you less.  Today, I know that is true not only for me, but for you, too. Learn who Abba really is and how he fathers his children with love and compassion. Stop trying to gain his favor by your performance and recognize how much he loves you regardless. As you learn how Abba fathers you, your own fathering will be transformed. Your children will respond dramatically and be drawn to the real God we serve.

Try it and watch what happens.

For the Father Who Fails

For the Father Who Fails ~www.boydads.com

I am a failure.  Everyone around me knows it, but it’s still a little embarrassing to admit it.  Though none of us should be content at failing, we shouldn’t be condemned by failure either.

For most guys, failure is about as well received as a dentist appointment.  We hate it.  The tendency and temptation when faced with the fear of failure, is to become angry, grow distant, work hard at faking it, or just flat out deny it.  But at some point, we need to let the grace of God free us from trying so hard to be a faultless father.

I sin.
I don’t always do devotions every night.
I am not always kind.
Patience and joy are sometimes elusive at the end of a day.
I don’t always listen intently.
I have to fight to be fully present at times.
I am a failure.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I am not a deadbeat dad who doesn’t love or lead his family.  I certainly do plenty that’s right – more than my wrong (I think).  But the good news is that we have a Savior who parents with perfection.

He always does what is good, right, and wise.
His character never changes.
He is slow to anger, compassionate, and abounding in love.
He turns His ear to us when we call to Him.
He came to be with us and for us
By grace, and through faith, His record becomes ours.

“It is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul.” -Charles Spurgeon

I will never be a perfect father to my sons.  But the good news is that I can point them to a Father who is.  He is a Father who loved me in the middle of my sin by giving me His son (Romans 5:8).  In Christ, I boast about Jesus’ record, not my own.  I boast about a Father who did not withhold His own Son so that I could become one of His very own.

May God’s faithful and faultless love for you lead you to walk more closely, depend more deeply, and trust more completely.  As you remain and rest in His affection for you, may His heart and character become your own.  And may you be a dad who continually leads your sons to the “throne of God’s grace,” so that they too, may find mercy and grace in their time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

Blessings,

Pat, The Dig for Kids

When An Iron Fist Turns Soft

 

When an Iron Fist Turns Soft

My six-year-old son follows me into the cool room; last bits of sunlight cascade onto the brown couch where we sit down. Looking down at my son I search for the right words to speak to him.

I quietly pray, “God, help me not lose my temper. Help me talk to him gracefully and not become angry.”

There is a fine line with my son when speaking to him.

Through many failures of my own, I have sharpened the tipping point. If I am too harsh and yell when he screws up, his heart shuts down towards me, rendering me useless in getting through to him.

I had just found out that he had done something quite harmful; sinful.

My wife called me at work to let me know what had happened, asking me to talk to him when I arrived home.

Anger, frustration and uncertainty clouded my mind through the remaining hours of the day. I was uncertain about how I should handle the situation.

Should there be discipline?

If I go soft on him, will he not take me seriously?

Doubts of my own ability to handle the situation creep in.

Sitting on the couch with my son, looking at him, his body language telling me he doesn’t want to be there. Fearfully he sits, quietly, intently waiting for me to explode.

Processing through my mind I realize (insert God telling me because I am utterly helpless in this area) that if I come down hard on him, yell or be insanely firm, he will throw walls up and I will lose his heart.

His heart.

Often I have bought into the lie that if I am soft on him, he will grow up to be wild and out of control. I have allowed my fears of my son not being an honorable, upright, truthful follower of Christ, to guide my fathering of him.

Fear.

I have been parenting most times out of fear.

Because of my fear, the very thing I am fearful that my son will become, I have parented out of. I end up fathering him dishonorably and untruthfully. Through being quick to anger, ruling his heart with an iron fist at times, and not extending much grace to him when needed, I am the one who is then repelling him to the very things that I fear most he’ll be.

I turn to my son sitting on the couch and by the grace of God, softs words come out towards him. I see him ease into me. Because I am being soft to him, he softens his own heart to me.

And we talk.

I listen.

And he hears me.

As time passes he inches close to me and embraces me.

Through the softness I had once feared would turn him from the Way, it has now steered him towards the Way.

I squeeze him tight.

I quietly thank God for His own graces with me and for this moment with my son. I thank Him for being soft with me, working with me patiently to see the errors of my ways so I can have restoration with my son.

 

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You can find Jesse writing about his attempts (failures) at being a good father, husband and follower of Jesus. The good news is, Jesus is the redeemer.  And that is what he clings to.  There is no amount of failing or screwing up that He can’t redeem.  He writes on his own blog here.

Twitter: @jessemhoover

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jessehooverwrites

About

Our Children Need Forgiveness

Our Children Need Forgiveness

The other night our now 4-year-old was frustrated by his little brother’s unwillingness to give him the Lightning McQueen Car that he was riding. And so, being the bigger and stronger of the two, he simply pushed his little brother off and took it for himself.  The younger one sat crying on the floor, frustrated and physically injured from the fall. That’s when I sprang into action as the defender of the downtrodden. I took hold of the 4-year-old and demanded an explanation, knowing full well why he did what he did, but wanting him to admit his wrongdoing.

Now, one thing I will say for our 4-year-old, he has learned to own up to his inappropriate behavior. He confessed that he pushed his little brother off the car because he wanted to ride it and wasn’t willing to wait for his turn. While I was still enraged, his honest response softened me and instead of inflicting a severe punishment I exiled him to the family room, away from Lightning McQueen, his brother and the rest of the family. Little did I know that this punishment would be more impactful than a typical time out or the loss of some privilege.

So after consoling our youngest son, telling him to ‘suck it up’ (but in more age appropriate terms), and placing him back on Lightning, I headed upstairs to change into some sweat pants and gather up some laundry (yes, even I do laundry when I am desperate for clean underwear). I then heard my wife Carolyn calling, “Daddy.” This wasn’t some affectionate use of the term, but a call on behalf of a needy child. I emerged from the bedroom at the top of the staircase to see her standing with our 4-year-old. He was sobbing and distraught. I looked at him with eyes of compassion and asked, “What’s the matter?” Carolyn responded, “He needs your forgiveness.” I invited him to come up the stairs where I was waiting with open arms. Forgiveness was already his without even asking, but I realized that he still needed to ask for it; and so, between sobs he whimpered, “I’m sorry, Daddy.” I wrapped my arms around him, began to kiss him on the cheek and told him, “I forgive you and I love you soooo much!” His sobbing ceased and relief came over his face. He then went back downstairs, restored and at peace because he knew the love and forgiveness of his father.

This was a great reminder and lesson for me. Our children need to know that they are loved unconditionally and forgiven when they mess up. They need to learn the humility that is required to ask for forgiveness. This will serve them well throughout their lives in whatever arena they find themselves. It also reveals an innate need for reconciliation with God and man.   So let this be a reminder to us as parents and people that while ‘Lightning’ is powerful, it lasts only for a moment; but forgiveness is more powerful and lasts for eternity!

God’s Grace in Dad’s Failure

I am a screw-up.

This is one of the many valuable lessons I took from my high school youth group. That, and the indispensable knowledge of just how many marshmallows I can fit in my mouth and still say, “Chubby Bunny.”

Anyhow, like most people, I am painfully aware of my mistakes — often even as I am making them. This awareness of my failures and flaws often leads me to a place where I believe I’ve disqualified myself in God’s eyes. Not that I’ve lost salvation or taken myself out of His family, but that I have acted in such a way that He can’t, or won’t, use me.

The sense sometimes becomes overwhelming that I, because of mistakes, because of willfully following my own desires instead of God’s, can no longer live and serve effectively. As if I could nullify the grace of God. As if I became exempt from serving God because I could not maintain perfection, or committed a “big” sin. As if I have the authority to sideline myself because of my own self-disdain.

And I’ve found that this kind of mindset bears a direct correlation to my parenting. For, after all, if I am not suited to serve God, how could I be suited to fatherhood? The thinking goes something like this: I am flawed. I have failed countless times, even today. How can I have anything to offer to my sons, to ensure that they will grow up to be godly men?

I guess what I’m talking about here is guilt; guilt that paralyzes us, instead of catalyzing us. Regret that holds us back from action, or causes us to think we have to make up for our past mistakes. Sorrow that causes us to withdraw, and hide away that broken part of ourselves.

God's Grace in Dad's Failure

And all the while, we ignore the grace of God and the intercession of Jesus Christ. 1 John tells us, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness… If anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1 John 1:9, 2:1)

I don’t know about you, but I struggle accepting grace and forgiveness. I have a hard time believing that God truly remembers my mistakes and failures no more. I hold onto them, internalize them; and they become ingrained into who I am. And my inability to receive grace sets an example for my sons: that though they have confessed, though they know Christ, though they turn away from sin, it’s still not okay.

Our children need to see grace in our lives. Not just our grace toward them, but also God’s grace toward us. In other words, it is fine for us to tell our children that God is gracious, that He forgives sins and doesn’t count them against us because of Christ; it’s an entirely different thing to live the grace of God for our children. If they see us constantly downtrodden and defeated because of our past mistakes and failures, how can we expect them to learn how to get back up and move on? How do we expect them to learn that Christ, rather than failure, defines them? And how do we expect them to learn not only moving on, but growing up, through their mistakes?

It is in our failures, our willingness to accept grace, and our striving to become more like Christ, that our children first see the grace of God being worked out. It is when we allow them to see, at least in part, some of our struggles, and the power of God in transforming those struggles into victory, that they gain a sense of God’s greater redemptive work, and His desire to effect it in their lives, too.

Our failures as dads and men don’t disqualify us, as servants of God or as parents. No, they are not to be sought, or desired, but they can be redeemed, and that redemption will change the shame of failure into the beauty of grace.

Parenting Your Children For Eternity

Parenting Your Children For Eternity ~www.boydads.com

I have no idea whether my sons will grow up to be pastors, doctors, teachers, athletes, musicians, politicians or laborers.  But the one thing I do know with certainty as a Christian parent is that my children will stand before God some day.  With appropriate reverence, I understand that they will either stand before their Father in Heaven having believed in Jesus or not.  Eternity awaits every single one of our children – that I know.

In 1888, J.C. Ryle, the English writer, pastor, and father of five, wrote a sermon called “The Duties of Parents.”  It was a 17 point sermon on Proverbs 22:6.  These were his closing words to his church that day:

“Train well for this life, and train well for the life to come; train well for earth, and train well for heaven; train them for God, train them for Christ, and train them for eternity.  Amen.”

Though this sermon (and now book) has many great biblical insights, encouragements, and reminders, there is one phrase that has both stuck out to, and stuck with me.  It is the phrase, “train them for eternity.” To put it simply, Ryle is reminding Christians to parent their children for what really matters.  In a culture where the opportunities (some of which are good) are endless, it is easy, if not tempting, to lose sight of eternity.

As parents, our most prized priority must be to diligently and graciously train our children to grow up to love God and love the world.   One of the greatest joys we have as parents is to teach, guide, warn, model, and encourage our children from the Bible. The Apostle Paul makes an interesting comment regarding Timothy’s training as a child.  Notice what he says in 2 Timothy 3:14-15:

“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”

Paul suggests that Timothy, from a very young age, was being taught the Bible.  The fertile soil of Timothy’s heart was being plowed and prepared by a parent who was pursuing eternity.

The following are simple and practical ways to help show your son(s) that you are living with eternity in mind:

  1. Spend meaningful time with your son(s) talking about spiritual things
  2. Share with your family what God is teaching you
  3. Pray for and with your son(s)
  4. Lead family devotions
  5. Let your son(s) see you reading God’s Word, praying, or sharing your faith
  6. Let your son(s) see you serve by using your gifts in your local church
  7. Give generously and sacrificially to God’s kingdom – For example, give to missions, your church, a family or individual in need, etc.

Today I want to remind you that you also can be that kind of father: a father who is living with one eye on this life, and the other eye on the life that is to come.  It is by God’s grace that any of our children come to faith in Jesus, but we must not forget that God has also uniquely chosen parents to help pass along faith to the next generation.

In Jesus,

Patrick Schwenk, The Dig for Kids