The Role Model Your Child Desperately Needs

As we registered our sons to play Upward Basketball at our church, there was one question lingering at the end of the form.  The question read: “Would you be willing to coach your child’s team?”  It should have included a checkbox for, “Do you want to be a glutton for punishment?”

I realized that I had yet to coach my boys on a sports team and the opportunities for such an assignment were dwindling through the years.  I said I would be willing if they needed help, and not-so-surprisingly, I was assigned to the job.  As I informed the boys who their coach would be that season, I couldn’t tell what their surprised expressions were communicating to me.

At the end of the season, I had some onlookers express how much our team had improved through the year.  I had many people comment about the specific development of my sons during the time.  As I evaluated my personal skills as a player and a coach, I realized it wasn’t due to my athletic prowess or genius strategies.  When I realized they had made such a change, I acknowledge that it was in part due to an intentional father who could spend time with them beyond practice.  For all the role models I want my children to have, they taught me concerning the nature of my pivotal place as a role model. Beyond anyone else, they needed their dad.

Are you wanting to make an impact on your children?  It’s time to go the second mile in your parenting.

The Problem

  • Prioritize placing your children in the most spiritually-nurturing environments as are available.
  • The most critical spiritual environment is the one in which you live.
  • Parents are called to be the primary evangelists and disciple-makers of their children.
  • “Do as I say and not as I do” will not work in discipleship.
  • It’s difficult for an hour-long service to combat a week-long environment.

The Progression (Deut. 6:4-9)

  • The unrivaled God deserves an unrivaled devotion (6:4-5).
  • God’s Word must be the essential guide for every aspect of our lives (6:6).
  • Parents must take diligent responsibility for the spiritual formation of their children (6:7).
  • We must view discipleship as a process rather than a program (6:7).
  • Allow God’s Word to permeate our lives, to fill our homes, and to invade our communities (6:8-9).

The Plan

  • What if I don’t present the information correctly?
    • Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know.”
    • Be committed enough to say “I’ll find out.”
    • Allow this to encourage your own growth (2 Tim. 2:15).
  • Wouldn’t a trained professional be more trustworthy?
    • A pastor might know the material better, but he will not know your child better.
    • You should be the most constant figure in your child’s life.
    • Your involvement will endure even when other role models change.
  • What if I turn them off to Christianity?
    • Children aren’t turned off to Christianity if their parents are devoted disciples but if they are fake followers. 
    • Let your love for Jesus be contagious.
    • Your job is to point to a relationship of grace rather than a religion of works.