I have a quick Father’s Day Quiz for you. Ready?
What do the following people from the Bible have in common?
Lamech, Terah, Amram, Nun, Joash, Manoah, Elkanah, Jesse
They all have at least 2 things in common: 1) They’re all dads. 2) We mainly know them because of their son(s).*
Allow me to encourage some dads for a minute. Being a dad can be very hard. I’m only 8 1/2 years into it right now (although I should probably include the first 9 months as well, so that puts me over the 9-year mark), and it’s certainly had its ups and downs. It can be discouraging, challenging, expensive and exhausting, often all at the same time! In addition, it can often feel as though what we do isn’t making a difference and doesn’t matter. Those are lies. Dads play a MASSIVE role in the lives and development of their children – negatively or positively.
Pastor Andy Stanley put it so well when he said, “Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise.”
I wish I could go back in time and tell that to some of those Bible dads. I would tell Lamech that having patience with his son Abram would pay off. I would tell Nun that his son Joshua needed to hear from a young age that he was strong and could do anything if the Lord was with him. I would tell Jesse that all of his sons matter, including the scrawny one he sent out into the field with the sheep. I would tell Manoah that although his son Samson would make many mistakes and cause them lots of heartache, God would redeem his failures.
Dads, don’t lose heart. The Bible promises that we will reap if we do not lose heart (Galatians 6:9). But the opposite is true as well: we will not reap if we lose heart.
Fathering our children has eternal weight, and the only way we can do it is if we follow the lead of the ultimate Father!
So, dads… KEEP GOING!
Keep showing up to ballet recitals and baseball games, changing diapers, going prom dress shopping, hugging and kissing your kids, telling your daughter that she’s beautiful, caring about the things your kids care about, praying for them, leading by example, owning and apologizing for your failures, getting down on your kids’ level to play with them, rough-housing, disciplining consistently and lovingly, and voicing your love every single day. What you do matters.
Your kids don’t need presents. They need our presence.
Some Helpful Resources
My friend, Pastor Levi Lusko, recently taught a parenting series called Arrows that will be SO helpful to any parent. He also has a book coming out in August called Through The Eyes of a Lion, which he wrote after the loss of their 5-year old daughter. GET. THIS. BOOK.
Today at Awaken, we also gave out copies of a book written by my friend, Nate Holdridge, called Dear New Dad. It will help any dad – new or not – to father children in a Biblical way. He has another helpful book on Biblical manhood as well: The No-Nonsense Biblical Man.
*(Lamech: Noah, Terah: Abraham, Amram: Moses, Nun: Joshua, Manoah: Samson, Joash: Gideon, Elkanah: Samuel, Jesse: David)