Who did you want to be like when you were growing up? Who was your role model - your dad, an uncle or another father-figure? Was there a national hero or maybe a sports figure that you wanted to emulate? As a tennis player in the ‘60’s, the sports figure I most wanted to be like was Rod Laver. Arguably the greatest player of all time, he would hustle, dive for balls and compete with class.
As an adult, the mantra in the business world was to develop The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People that author Stephen Covey documented so well. That book, as well as Good to Great by Tim Collins, helped many folks emulate top business leaders. Then a motivational speaker, Jim Rohn said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. That required a whole new level of discernment for who you wanted to be like.
“I am the bread of life. … I am the light of the world. … I am the gate...” – John 6:35, 8:12 & 10:7. Jesus identifies Himself as eternal sustenance, clarity in darkness and a gate for entrance into the Kingdom – the Savior. “I am the good shepherd. … I am the resurrection. … I am the vine...” – John 10:11, 11:25 & 15:1. Jesus exemplified selfless sacrificial living, expected all to believe in Him and called all to abide in Him – the Son. “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life...” – John 14:6. Jesus opened the door, led with the sword and reconnected relationship with the Father – the Way. In these “I am” statements, Jesus provides a clear picture of Who He is and Who He expects us to be like. The word is to “not conform to the pattern of this world” (Rom.12:2), rather, “be conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom.8:29). The journey is one of intentionality to be more Christ-like today than yesterday, more tomorrow than today.
The tendency for men is to put one foot into the Christian world by attending church weekly and maybe Sunday school while the other foot is firmly planted in the secular world of achievement and success. This is the proverbial ‘one foot on the dock and one foot in the boat’ – You can stand like that for a while but eventually it is going to get very uncomfortable. Our Lord expects dads to step into the boat of Christ-likeness – to be disciples in family and beyond, to live into the Spirit of sonship and point the Way to the Father. The call is to live life growing in the likeness of Jesus the Christ.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for Your Word and for Your “I am” statements. I confess that through my formative years, in school and even in professional life, my focus was solely on being like those that had been successful in my field. Forgive me. Your word is convicting and the charge is only possible through a personal relationship with You and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Lord, grant me strength to live more in the likeness of You this day for the sake of the family You have blessed me with. That is the dad You call me to be and that is the dad the next generation needs. Amen.
A faithful father lives life growing in the likeness of Jesus the Christ.