By: William Henry
The world is a troubled place…
As a father of three, I become more concerned with the challenges my young ones will face as they become more aware of the world around them. As a father, I have the usual concerns and fears as most of you have. Of course, I worry about bullies. I worry about their grades at school and who their teachers are. I worry about the influence of a poor choice in friends. Undoubtedly, we are all concerned with the dangers of peer pressure. We think about all the “what ifs” our kids will face, and what lies ahead as they hit puberty. We have the daunting task of explaining sexuality and desires to our kids. But, these are the fears parents have naturally. The worry-free life is a gift from God.
What I am concerned with most, aren’t these basics of growing up. I am concerned with the influence of potential role models in their lives. I am concerned with who my kids look up to and want to be like. I am concerned with professional sports icons, musicians and “artists,” actors, politicians, and people of fame and fortune. We are all human, our kids are just smaller versions of us. We are all sinners and at some point, most of us were infatuated and caught up in the desires of the flesh. Some more than others, but I am reminded of the people who influenced me as a child.
I am responsible for my kids. God gave me the gift of stewardship over His children. While they are living in my house and are my biological offspring, they are truly His children as we all are. As a steward, I am charged with engaging them in church. I am to be the example they look to. The father they respect, admire, and long to imitate. As Dr. Cole puts it, “Children may not always listen, but they will always imitate you.” I am to be the example. To show my son how to be a Man of God. To show my daughters how a man should treat them. I am to love my wife and teach my son how to love his future wife. My daughters should know how to find a husband and how their future husbands should treat them.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33
As a father, I am faced with so many challenges there is no way I could do it without God. I must seek Him first, daily. This MUST be a way of life. Not just as a good role model for my children, but also to be close to Him. To have the wisdom to face life’s challenges in a godly manner. I need to be near him to have the clarity to see His work. God challenges us to meet Him where He is. He gave us the Bible to help us to understand His glory and wisdom. I must be the example that over shadows the people of fame and fortune my kids will see in the world. The Bible tells us in Romans not to be conformed to this world.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
We have been reading of so many tragedies found in the suicides of celebrities, it is a clear picture of the battle these people have with the lies of the enemy. We must teach our children to have faith in God from an early age. Pray with them. Show them how to put on the armor of God as found in Ephesians 6:11!
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:11
We read about the suicide of Robin Williams. A man held in high regard for his sense of humor and the joy he brought to the world through his comedy. We read of Chris Cornell, the musician and voice of several popular bands and Chester Bennington the singer from Linkin Park, both of which committed suicide.
We read of the Kardashians and all their escapades of adultery, fornication, lust, and greed. We read of the scientology that runs rampant through Hollywood. We read of sports figures beating women and using drugs. We read of the deviant behavior of so many of the formal child stars who grow up with the lies of the enemy and then spread these lies. These are the examples many children follow today. These people are cowards. Rather than stand up to what God stands for, they choose the world.
We need to follow what God wants in our lives and be the example for our kids. Teach our children what true success means. Success is not measured by the money you make, the house you live in, or the car you drive. Many of us would start by saying success isn’t about who you know. But, this is the biggest lie of the devil. The enemy perverts this into lies. The enemy would have us believe that we need to know people of influence or power. People who are successful as measured by the flesh. The enemy would have us believe that we should follow these people and their rise to power and fame.
However, the truth is what our kids need most of all. Your kids are never too young to know Jesus. It is your responsibility to show them who they know is the key to success. The key to everything. It is your responsibility to show your kids that knowing Jesus is the greatest success they will ever obtain. He is the key to all joy and happiness. Without Him, we will never reach our potential. We will never know what true happiness is. We will lose sight of peace and comfort. Jesus is our conduit to God. He died for us to wash our sins with His blood. Then he rose from death to show us we too can conquer death through Him. Be a Man of God. Be the Father He wants you to be.
God is the example of fatherhood and Jesus is the example of Manhood we should all strive for. In order for our sons to grow into the men they need to be, to be Maximized Men, we must give them the role model to imitate. We must be Maximized Fathers. We want our daughters to marry Real Men, so we must show them what to look for.
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.
My desire is to be a light to the world and to serve our Most High God in all that I do. I long to please Him with the life and gifts He has given me. I also long to be the steward He desires me to be with all the He has blessed me with. This starts with my wife and children. When my kids look back at the life I have lived, I want them to know God is my rock. Most importantly, that God has been their rock. That through the example of my choice of obedience, the seed is planted in good soil. That I have been the branch Jesus commands for my children. That the world around them does not influence them into a life of lies, but instead presents the opportunities for them to be a light to the world.
I want to challenge you. The charge is to examine your life. To look at the choices you make with your time. What kind of example are you setting for those around you. How do you love and treat your wife? If you don’t have one yet, do you know how to treat the one God has for you? How do you lead your children? If you do not have any, what are your priorities and are you a light to the world around you? Get with God. And then, examine Joshua 24:15.
And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Go forth and be a light unto the world and let your light shine before your children as in Matthew 5:16! Teach your children what true success is. Show them that God is love. Show them that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life as in John 14:6