I wish I could be a perfect father for my children.
How I wish that I had always been intentional, patient, endearing, Christ-honoring in everything that they have heard me say and have seen me do. It is so easy for me to compare myself to other dads in our culture and think I am doing better than most.
Better by comparison is not the goal – obedience to the Word is the goal.
With that, I have to realize that my children will see every part of me: the good, the bad, and the ugly. In reality, I pray that they can learn from all three.
- Repeat the Good. I pray I can be a godly example for them in some ways. If I live in a way to glorify Jesus, I hope they can glean insight from my teaching (Prov. 1:8) and imitate my example (Heb. 13:7; 1 Cor. 11:1). I want them to walk in the truth (3 John 4) and so I need to be sanctified in that truth (John 17:17).
- Reject the Bad. Unfortunately, they will see the bad in my life and I pray they will reject it. There will be times I need to point out that they should not imitate my stubborn and rebellious ways (Ps. 78:8).
- Redeem the Ugly. Our family will experience things that may not be due to my obedience or sin (or their’s), but just because life gets ugly sometimes. I desire to lead them in such a way that we live by faith knowing that God can bring beauty out of that which comes to us as ugly (Gen. 50:20; Rom. 8:28).
I pray that my children will never waste a learning opportunity from my example.
Through my successes and failures, I pray that my children will be able to bypass many unnecessary stops along the way and follow Jesus at a closer proximity than I ever experienced. God can use even the good, the bad, and the ugly for their own growth.
Parents – live in such a way that your children can go further and faster serving the Kingdom of God.
For more on this topic, check out the sermon, “Walk in His Ways.”