The absent father portrays an absent God.
The disconnected father portrays a disconnected God.
The permissive father portrays a permissive God.
The angry father portrays an angry God.
I write this post in order to encourage my Father-friends, my would-be father-friends and my friends who, I implore, must raise up spiritual sons and daughters. (I think that should cover pretty much every male friend I know.)
Similar to how God has you at the head of your household, He desires to work through you to portray His image to your (and His) children.
Get it? Good. I’m going to go quickly.
Deuteronomy 6:7 says, You shall teach them [God’s words] diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
One Biblical parenting article I recently read said that this verse is the “teach-talk” principle–teaching, referring to formal instruction and talking, referring to the informal. Either way, communication of biblical truth takes place in a relational setting.
Many parents desire for their children to listen to them. They want to teach their kids, but when it comes to talking they struggle. I’ll let you in on my secret. Talk to them like they’re adults.
When you do this, it will take time. Children don’t have your vocabulary, so you’ll have to teach it to them… through talking. Then, after they’ve learned, take up your role as father and release them into the world. Watch how our Heavenly Father does this in Matthew 17:5.
He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”
“This is my Son” – God gives Jesus his identity.
“beloved” – God gives his son emotional security.
“with whom I am well pleased” – God affirms his son.
“listen to him.” – God gives Jesus moral authority.
Look at the list above, and then look God’s example in Matthew. How great a job are you doing, Dad? It’s okay… I know well that I’ve screwed up too. Don’t let that stop you. Let these words remind you of your God given calling to raise up sons and champion warriors. Talk and teach. Create a genuine relational setting with your children and trust God to lead you from there.
A note to the would-be’s. Maybe you have yet to be introduced to your mini-me. Take these words and apply them to your outlook on how you speak into those whom you are helping grow spiritually. Who are you nurturing and how are you affirming identity, authority, and security in their life? Don’t toss away the blessings God longs to pour over those whom invite Holy Spirit to work through them.
And by all means, let me know how you are doing! Let’s encourage each other as we learn how to better champion our sons and daughters.
A couple of weeks ago Brittany and I were able to attend a conference here in Taipei by the name of The World Needs A Father. It was put on by a local church and some of the spiritual parents of Aroma’s leadership led the talks in which around twenty Aroma members were in attendance. Most of the thoughts noted down in this post come from what I experienced at this conference.