Jump Start # 2623
Proverbs 7:1 “My son, keep my words and treasure my commandments and live”
This past Sunday was Father’s Day—a time we acknowledge and say “thanks” to our dads. I have learned that one of the true blessings in life is to have a dad that you truly treasure and has made a real difference in your life. Then, if the blessings continue, one day you become a dad.
Not everyone has these blessings. Some never knew their dad. Some had dads that were a real mess, yet you have overcome and chosen a different path in your life. But there are many that have a dad that was not only kind, but he was a Christian. Sitting in a pew as a child, you looked over and there was your mom and dad. Sometimes having a dad that was a Christian was tough. He wanted to know where you were going and who you were going to be with. He expected you to show respect to all people older than you were. He taught you how to walk with the Lord.
The first several chapters of Proverbs are directed from a father to his son. Dad was teaching the son about life. Some of the lessons, as we find in this seventh chapter, are blunt, painful and serious. But dad knew. Listening to what dad said would keep one out of a lot of trouble.
Ancient Israel was not only family oriented, but it was dad oriented. That’s often missing today. Society has shown that dads are not necessary and worse, often not wanted. But God always knows better. The Ephesian instruction about bringing children up in the nurture of the Lord is directed to dads, not moms, not grandparents, nor the church. Dads.
So often when lessons are given about dads, it leads to a big guilt trip. Spending too much time at the office and not with the little ones. Taking too much time to golf or fish and not being with the little ones. But when we hear lessons like that, honest and good hearts will make adjustments. You don’t need more guilt. There is enough of that to go around.
The honor of being a dad today:
First, is showing kindness and love to those who think you are greater than Superman. There is a trust and a joy in being a dad. Years from now, it won’t be the meals, the toys, but the time that they remember. They will remember those quirky sayings of yours. They’ll remember how you went out of your way for them. They will remember seeing you sitting in the stands as they were on the field or stage. You are shaping hearts, attitudes, morals and thinking. Who knows what those little ones will grow up and become one day. Your stamp upon their hearts can make a huge difference as they face trials, challenges and difficulties. Rather than taking the short-cut, or the dishonest path, honesty and integrity will lead them to doing what is right. Those virtues you have taught and shown to them.
Second, you have a wonderful blessing in shaping the church in the future. Teaching the little ones about the authority of the Lord and doing things the Lord’s way, sets forth a life long pattern that will help brethren in the future. Respect, devotion and dedication are first taught in the home. When taught well, those principles will guide one the rest of his life. If the Lord allows, decades from now, those little ones won’t be little anymore. They will be moms and dads who are teaching Bible classes, serving as deacons and even shepherding the people of God. Strong, faithful, kind, committed—that’s what is needed today and it will be needed tomorrow. Those principles will be the answer to those who are always wanting to change things or introduce things not found in the Bible. Those principles will keep a congregation close to the Lord. So those lessons about Moses and the burning bush, Aaron and the golden calf, Peter denying, Paul singing in prison, Noah building the ark—all of those teach fundamental truths about authority and honoring the Lord as He prescribes.
Third, God has showered all kinds of gifts upon us, from grace, to rain, to our children. Seeing your children as gifts from Heaven, helps you see how blessed you are. It’s not the size of the house. It’s not having the latest and greatest, but it’s counting your blessings that are right among you. Sure there are days when the kids annoy you. There are days you feel like putting them out with the trash. But, deep inside you see how much God trusts you to put these tender hearts into your care. He didn’t give these little ones to the government, but you. He knows you can do it. He knows you will do it well. He knows you’ll pray for them. He knows you’ll take time for them. He knows that you will be there for them.
There are three amazing things that God has placed into our hands. First, is His word. His precious and perfect word about His perfect Son. God puts that into our hands. He trusts us to care for His word, to know His word, and to teach His word. Second, God places the kingdom into our hands today. Angels aren’t running the church, we are. We shape the church the way it is by our attitudes, convictions and heart. What an honor that is to be given that charge. Finally, God puts into our hands these little hearts to raise, influence, teach and show Him. All three of these are enormous responsibilities but God believes that we can do it. God trusts us.
God told Abraham that he would be a blessing. There were promises, prophesy and hope wrapped in those words. Dads today ought to be a blessing to the home. It’s great to be a dad! God bless all of you who are truly trying your best to make a difference. It shows! Don’t give up.