Today’s blog is written by my friend Dan.
My family met Dan and his family when both our sons were in first grade together. They have been “brothers” ever since. Dan and his amazing wife are in the process of raising some really awesome kids. Kids who know and love the Lord; kids who DO NOT check their brains at the door. Their faith is intelligent, alive and solid. Yes, Dan and his wife V have had an influence in that, because they both walk real…but he is right – that like all of us, our children are just on loan from God – they ultimately belong to HIM. As we approach Father’s Day, I want to thank all the fathers, like Dan, who understand the importance of being a “promise keeper” to their children, their wives and especially their Lord. Well Done Dan. This is an honour for me to include on this blog.
I want to relate a story from many years ago. A friend and I went to a “Promise Keepers” rally. (many, many years ago) The discussion of kids and promoting our beliefs on our kids came up. He was of the mind that he raises his kids to be as good as possible and let them figure it out and not unduly influence them. He felt that they should have the freedom to choose for their selves. I at the time, not having any kids, was not in a position to say anything one way or another and frankly it was how my parents raised me.
To make a long story short, one of the speakers spoke on this subject. I cannot remember who the speaker was so am unable to give him credit. His main message is, if you don’t influence your children there are a lot of people out there that really would love the opportunity to do it for you and will. This hit me like a ton of bricks and my friend as well. Such a simple truth that should have been obvious to all was a real revelation. My friend said to me that he was wrong for holding to the notion of not influencing his kids for Christ and should have known better being a cop and seeing so many influenced by the wrong sorts.
So when I had my own kids I started day one being the influence in their lives for Christ. It started with prayer on a daily and often hourly basis. I would stay connected to their various interests and church activities. I also brought them with me on my various activities. I also recognized that the world they were going to be living in was going to be at odds with Christian ethics and beliefs. I needed to be prepared to lend aid and support when the two world views came into conflict.
I started to hit the books and learn as much as I could about apologetics. I wanted to be prepared for questions and situations I would get from my children over the next 15-20yrs and maybe more. I must admit that I get less discussions from them now that they are in their teen years but I do get them and am able to help most of their inquires. I always tell them what I think and believe and most importantly the reasons why. I never sugar coat anything and never lied to them, not even for Santa Clause. I have taken the scripture of Deuteronomy 6:7 seriously.
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
If God had not put that speaker in my life back then I may have continued the family tradition of letting the next generation fend for themselves.
Proverbs 22: 6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
I can say from experience that kids will not be perfect even if we do everything perfect. (like that will happen)! The proverb is not a promise from God but more of a guideline. Our kids are their own persons and will sin and work out their salvation with God as we have. God gave our children us to be His tools in helping them get to where God wants them to be.
I would like to introduce myself, my name is Dan and I am a father. My job and hobbies are just not that important to me. I am a father first and last. Being a parent is hard and the most rewarding thing in my life here on this Earth. Being a parent breaks your heart and lifts your spirit. I can’t imagine how my Heavenly Father feels when he looks upon me when I screw up but He is always faithful in His Love as I should be for my children. Just as God has built a lifelong relationship with me it is my job to build a lifelong relationship with my children and encourage them to move their dependence on me to their Heavenly Father.
I have just read what I wrote and thought it would be nice if I could be as good a father as this guy I described. You see I left out all my screw ups but I believe my Heavenly Father will honor my attempt to be faithful as a father and He can make up for my many short comings. Regardless of my faithfulness it is peace of mind to know that our Heavenly Father is always faithful.
After all my children really belong to Him.