What’s In There?
I, like many others in south Louisiana, grew up in a Catholic household. That’s where God’s influence began and ended. It wasn’t about a particular religion, as it was about having never stepped foot in church. As I got a bit older I noticed there was a Catholic church not far from our home. I often wondered what went on inside of it other than weddings and funerals.
I always knew, trusted, assumed, okay, hoped there was a God. I wasn’t sure though. I’d heard of Jesus Christ but didn’t know how He fit into the picture. Not to mention the Holy Spirit. I had zero idea about the trinity. It was foreign and spooky.
Fear and uncertainty are terrible things to grow up with. But I had no one to share the gospel with me. Why? We were being Catholic, and I assume people thought we were going to that building where they held weddings and funerals.
Show Them; Know Him
Children learn God through the earthly examples set by their dad. To me, God was something detached, silent, and was there to make sure some rules were followed.
“You, fathers … bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”
I recently shared with my wife that it was seldom that boundaries were set in my childhood and teen years. Never once had anyone said my behavior was unacceptable. We were trusted, but rarely checked on to ensure our paths were correct. While it might sound like a “cool” childhood, in all fairness, I was a child. What did I know about self-restraint and control?
“He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.”
“Chasten your son while there is hope, and do not set your heart on his destruction.”
Children crave discipline. I think people in general do too. The bible says it, and it’s the truth. I’m not talking about drill sergeant giving me twenty type, but the discipline God describes in His word. Boundaries channel the moral, spiritual and physical development of children in a positive direction.
Running wild without fences and direction leaves you – lost.
Never Too Late
Men, we have a heavenly obligation to our children. It doesn’t matter if you’re married to their mother, struggling with limited custody visitation, or have come into a child’s life through a blended family. We will be held accountable for the Christ we showed in our kid’s life.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it”
If you grew up in a similar household where God was mentioned only in times of great crisis, then you may not know where to begin. God has not called a generation of “Fun Dads,” to raise His children. God will show you what to do and where to begin. The simple answer is it always begins and ends with Him.
“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
You’ve gotta stop hem hawing and take a stand by dropping to your knees. God is the only game in town that gives more once you do less. Surrender to Him. Dudes, submission isn’t a sign of weakness. He’s the king and creator – you cannot ever out do Him. You can only destroy your child’s life by raising them Godless.
I was blessed to have met people along the path who cared enough to be bold in sharing God’s word with me. Had they not, my life would’ve been destined to damnation without the mercies of Jesus Christ.
Do you love your kids? I mean truly love your kids?
Then why allow the world to raise them? Are you willing to chance whether or not some stranger in the future may or may not share the gospel with your very own child? Why don’t you remove the risk and do it yourself? You don’t have to be a great preacher or memorize bible verses to share Christ with your kids.
I guarantee if you place God first in your life, even before your wife and kids, that God will provide for your family. You know, actually it’s not my place to make that guarantee. That is God’s solemn, gold-seal assurance.
Please don’t allow your innocent kids to grow up in a home without God. It’s a place of uncertainty, and not only do they deserve better, but you will be blessed by them.
Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.
Think You Don’t Matter?
This is serious dad data:
- 40% of the children in the United States have not seen their father for a year!
- In the last 15 years “fatherless” children jumped from 10.2 million to 15.6 million.
- 70% of juveniles in detention centers and reformatories are children of fatherless homes.
- Statistics indicate that “violent criminals” are overwhelmingly males who grew up without a father’s leadership.
- This includes 60% of America’s rapists, 72% of adolescent murders, and 70% of long-term prison inmates.
- One out of every four high school seniors graduate functionally illiterate.
These are all correctable tragedies. It gets back on track when men commit to uphold their covenant with Christ.
I’m one of you, and I’ve been there. I’ll tell you the truth in that while I was living an unaccountable life it was a constant “party.” But it’s not until light hits the bricks that you realize the consequences of your actions. I’m still working to restore relationships, but I’m allowing God to take the lead. I encourage you to do the same.
Lead from the front,