[pair-uhnt] noun a father or a mother
As fathers, we need to make sure we are doing all that is in our power to nurture, equip and train our children for success. I’m a father of three children who are now nearly all adults. One of the biggest lessons my wife and I learned early in parenthood is that kids will test your faith, strength and patience like no one else. It’s funny how children seem to have this innate ability to be persistent until they get what they want. All three of my children had to learn the hard lesson that my wife and I are on the same team and when you try one of us, you are trying both of us.
I was in the delivery room with all of my children when they were born. To witness childbirth in itself is a miracle, but to see my children evolve over the years from infants into young adults is still mind blowing to me. Being a parent has been one of life’s greatest joys for me. To see God’s hand at work throughout my children’s lifetime has been nothing short of amazing. Although it has many ups and downs, heartaches and headaches, being a parent is the most rewarding job on the face of the planet. It wasn’t until I became a parent that I gained a different perspective of God’s love for me as His child.
As parents, we want our children to be prepared for the future, so we make sacrifices, send them to the best schools and give them access to things we never dreamed of having as kids. We work hard to create a nest egg, make investments, open bank accounts, establish trust funds, purchase stocks, bonds and life insurance policies to help them out financially once we leave this world. But one of the best pieces of parenting advice I ever heard was from Les Brown who said, “It’s not what you leave for your children, it’s what you leave in them that will make the biggest difference.” Too many times we focus on accumulating wealth, gaining assets and obtaining property, etc. to leave “for” our children, but rarely do we focus on what we are leaving “in” them. When we take the time to train up our children in the way they should go, it creates an anchor for their soul, so when they get older and make decisions contrary to God’s word or His will, they will have something in their spirit that guards them from going too far out into the troubled waters of evil and destruction. When we teach them godly principles and lead by example (not just with our words), it gives them a blueprint and a guide to model. Now I’m not naive to think as children grow up and go out into the real world they won’t make mistakes, explore things and dabble in sin, but I do believe as parents we should remain postured for extending grace, mercy and forgiveness to them, just like God showed us grace mercy and forgiveness when we were out in the world acting a fool. Parenting is not for the fainthearted, and I don’t take it for granted. I may not always get it right as a father, but I have made up my mind to never give up on my children, because God never gave up on me.
Call To Action: Have a talk with your kids. Express how much you love them and that you are proud to be their father. You may even have a broken relationship with them or their mother, but I challenge you to be the initiator and start the road to reconciliation with your children today. It’s never too late.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I need grace to navigate these sometimes troubled waters of parenthood. I confess, I often get in my own way sometimes and mess up at being the father You have called me to be to my children. Today I’m asking for forgiveness, patience and guidance. You never gave up on me while I was out in the world living recklessly. Help me to extend the same grace to my children when they make bad choices and fall short. Help me to be a reflection of Your unfailing love in their lives. In Jesus’ name. Amen.