Sometimes I look intently at myself in the mirror while brushing my teeth just studying my face but as soon as I turn and leave from that place I forget what I look like. Let’s say that I had some of those sleep crusties in the corner of my eye but neglected to remove them. Now just because I do not see them doesn’t mean that they are no longer there. It just means that they are out of sight and I have put them out of my mind.
I do this with certain other things in my life, meaning that if they are not right in front of me I may not give them the attention they really deserve. James brings this to our attention when he says,”For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets he looks like.” (1:23-24)
The first time I read this piece of scripture it meant nothing to me, but as time has gone by it means more and more to me. And I am convicted by it more and more. I know what scripture says about being a follower, a husband, a dad and a brother, however sometimes I do not follow through by putting what God is telling me to do to work in my life and in the lives of those around me. Thus far we have looked at my laziness as a follower and a husband. This week my laziness is in the area of being a dad.
There is a piece scripture that just haunts we when it comes to being a dad. Deuteronomy 6: 6-7 states,”And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
I love my children, however when they were young and formable I was a milk drinker and lived still very much for the world. By the time that my love for the LORD really kicked in my children were in their teens or almost there. What I am trying to point out here is that younger children truly fall in love with the majesty of his Majesty. They live more on blind faith then teens do.
As a dad I did not diligently teach the things of God to my children, I did not talk about them when we sat around or when we were on the way. I did not share him with them while laying down or rising up. And the next thing that happened was they became teens and although I believe they could see my love for Jesus, I had lost so much time.
How am I going to teach them the importance of loving Jesus, with all their hearts, all their souls and all of their might, Especially now when it just seem like I am harping on them every time I bring him up.
I would like to point out that God has truly blessed me with two great children, they are not prodigal children and although they are both now adults they still go to church with their mother and I. We are so amazingly blessed.
The problem that I am pointing to is, I missed an opportunity to not be mediocre at teaching them to love the LORD. I fear I left to much space for the world to show them what forgiveness or love or patience looks like.
I know that I dream of this legacy that I am leaving, not a legacy of worldly riches but one of heavenly riches. One where I have discipled my children in such a way that they will compare everything they encounter with how God thinks of those things. One where they will be more in love with our FATHER then I am. One they will pass on to their own children and their children on to theirs’ and so on.
Sometimes however that dream is a nightmare because my walk is not always as strong as it should be. Because I have allowed distractions in, that would make it seem that maybe I am not in love with my FATHER as much as I should have been or should be.
There have been too many times where I should be teaching patience but my actions show that I am impatient, or times where I should be loving like Christ did but rather my love may look like indifference.
The concept of reaping what we sow is printed throughout the pages of the Bible. Paul says that “if we sow sparingly so shall we reap ( 2 Cor. 9:6)”, he also says, “that if we sow into the flesh from the flesh we will reap destruction, but if into the Spirit we will reap from the Spirit eternal life ( Galatians 6:7).”
Look I know that in these passages that I used, Paul is talking about giving and sowing into sin but why can’t they apply here and in every other part of our lives! I believe that they do and not just as parents but as followers, spouses, and friends.
I so look forward to being a granddad some day. And maybe you are reading this and saying to yourself, ” I have been that kind of dad,” well let me tell you that it is not to late. You can be a better dad. Even if being that better dad is doing it with your grandchildren because the love you sow into their lives you are sowing into the lives of your children. It is not to late for me and for you. God can do this!
Oh Abba, Father. I have not been the greatest of dads. I have not mimicked you in this area of my life, but I wish to. So please help me, guide me and give we the wisdom I need to do this. In Jesus’s name, Amen.