Father of a son or daughter. Step-father of a blended family. Adoptive father of a child. Biological father of child given up for adoption. Father of foster children. Grandfather in the role of father of grandchildren. Spiritual father of kids in the church or neighborhood. What are you a father of? If you are a man, you are a father of the next generation, in some capacity.
As fathers of the next generation, there is tremendous responsibility on the shoulders of men. When the Heavenly Father shared the moniker “father” with us, He granted dads the power of influence. Whether that power is used to have a positive influence over the life of a child or a negative one, has everything to do with the physical presence, emotional engagement and spiritual leadership practiced by the father. The choices are to be intentional as a positive influence or be passive and let the influence drift negative.
“I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing on his own initiative, but only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows Him everything He does, and will show Him greater deeds than these, so that you will be amazed.” – John 5:19-20. I love the gospel of John. Jesus is either talking with His Father, obeying His Father or glorifying Him. It provides the perfect example – the perfect Father with the perfect Son. Abba, Jesus’ Daddy is available daily, engaged in His life and spiritually empowers His Son with blessings at the start of His ministry (Matt. 3:17) and in the last days of His ministry at the transfiguration (Matt.17:5). The investment a father makes physically, emotionally and spiritually, will determine if the next generation will be Kingdom influencers in this world or kingdom revelers of this world. Invest well and you will be amazed.
As an example of investing well in the next generation, I want to tip my cap to the intentionality of a group of dads that wanted to make better use of time at a deer lease. Their daughters were growing up fast, maturing beyond being their “little girls” so they committed time to invest in the father-daughter relationship. The weekend included hunting related activities along with a specific curriculum designed to help discern the right amount of physical involvement, degree of emotional engagement and the level of spiritual leadership needed with their daughters. All were blessed by the time together. Hearts were turned and the father-daughter relationships moved to a new level. And two hogs met their demise.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for Your Word and for sharing the moniker "father" with me. I confess that my focus was on providing for my family – investing more in time at work and in funding the college and retirement accounts than in time with my kids, almost all the way through their formative years. Forgive me. By Your grace, I now realize the responsibility I have in Your plan to raise a godly generation – to invest time to be physically present, emotionally engaged and lead spiritually in the young lives You have put in my life. Help me be a faithful father where You have me. That is the dad You call me to be and that is the dad the next generation needs. Amen.
A faithful father invests well physically, emotionally and spiritually in the next generation.