He had his share of training physically by participating in the various sports played through high school. Competing at the college level required a willingness and tenacity to endure the training that would facilitate further growth. As an adult in the workplace, training was required as part of getting in line with company expectations. Physical and job-related training are part of normal life in this world.
Training in relationships and discipleship are not as normal. They are more caught than taught and the home is the primary training ground. Marriage between a man and a woman is God’s design for raising a godly generation. As the home reflects His design and priorities for relationship in this world, training glorifies the Lord. If the home succumbs to the world’s priorities for performance, training glorifies the world. The responsibility to be in training under God individually and as a family rests squarely on the shoulders of dad and mom. Kids will catch what is prioritized in the home.
Did He not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So, guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. – Malachi 2:15. Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. – Ephesians 6:4. Malachi charges men with the responsibility to “guard yourselves” and be faithful in marriage. Why? Because a generation is in the balance. Paul in turn charges men to raise children “in the training and instruction of the Lord.” He warns fathers to “not exasperate your children” because the go-to for dads facing kids’ questions tend to be one-word answers with the authority that goes with being a dad. This can exasperate children, especially teenagers. The training and instruction of the Lord are caught more than taught so establishing a routine to practice spiritual disciplines of time in prayer, scripture, worship and study of God’s word is paramount. It reflects a dad in training and provides a powerful example in family. Leading spiritual discussion in the home between Sundays around the pastor’s sermon or through a family devotion time conveys the priority of relationship in family that will strengthen the church and impact society.
The young man realized how the discipline needed for effective physical and emotional training to compete in this world could be applied to spiritual training. He put a plan together to read scripture, pray, worship and study the Bible daily and worked the plan. By the grace of God and indwelling of the Holy Spirit, over the following years his relationship with Jesus the Christ reinvigorated his marriage and home under God’s design. The kids embraced the example set by dad and mom and have stayed in the faith as adults. A dad in training leads spiritually and raises a godly generation.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for Your patience with me. Physical training is something I pride myself in because I know physical discipline is important for health and well-being. But too often it has been at the expense of time with family. Forgive me. Thank You for the wakeup call that kids will catch what I have. That means I, as a dad, need to reflect the triune nature of You in the home, emphasizing physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions. Strengthen me to be the dad You call me to be, a faithful father in training under You. Amen.
A faithful father is in training to lead spiritually and raise a godly generation.