Thursday, June 25, 2009

What A Dad Desperately Needs To Go The Distance: Another Father (Part Two of Three)

Last week I kicked off a three part series, “What A Dad Desperately Needs…” I forgot to mention where these three ideas came from. They come from a very familiar passage, one that you and I have probably memorized without even realizing it. This is from the very first part of The Lord’s Prayer, probably more accurately called “The Disciple’s Prayer.”

“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done.” When I said that we need “another family” I based that upon the word “Our.” We desperately need each other on this fathering journey. The next idea is closely related and is even MORE important…we need Another Father, this Heavenly Father, whom we are able to know intimately as “Abba” (Daddy!) because of the cross of His dear Son.

We have just come off of Father’s Day, the rightful honoring of our fathers and being honored by our children. The longer I live, the more convinced I become that I and my children both desperately need to know the Heavenly Father, really know Him, if we are going to “go the distance.”

I was talking with a colleague who is a consultant with children’s ministries in churches, to help them become more faith-at-home based, and we were talking about the startling lack of multigenerational ministry, that is, the passing on of faith from parents to their children, that is occurring today.

She said something I will never forget: “I think that we have taught children to become ‘good for God’ rather than ‘to know God.’” She continued, “We seem to be raising up good little Pharisees.” We discussed how this could be a big part of why we are not seeing, generally, the next generation of Christians take the faith as their very own. We talked about how children learn that a relationship with God becomes a type of bargain that involves them doing good and then God coming through and doing good back for them. When life gets hard, and when God doesn’t “come through” in this self-centered, shortsighted, narcissistic “agreement,” the deal is off!

I know I need to know with increasing intimacy my Heavenly Father, through dependence upon His Spirit He has placed within me (Romans 8:12-17, Galatians 4:4-6). As our children leave home this is increasingly clear to me – my greatest work as a dad is to entrust my kids into His hands. (John 6:29) I know that the most important thing I can do for my children is to point them, with everything that I am, to THAT Father.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I totally agree. What does it profit a child if he learns to gain the whole world but in the end loses his own soul. It is our job to point to the Father and pray they will grasp their need for HIM through Jesus! (Deut. 6:6-7)