Starting a new job, the hours were long, demands were high and there was a lot of responsibility on his shoulders. But he loved the work and the challenges it offered. So much so that he was oblivious to the corresponding challenges that were created in his marriage and young family.
He loved his bride and family very much. In fact, he justified the long hours as an expression of his love for them in that he was providing for their needs. But when phone calls routinely interrupted the family’s evening meal, and work obligations made missing the kids’ activities more the norm than the exception, a review of priorities was in order.
Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear. He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. So, he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” And Saul offered up the burn offering. Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him. “What have you done?” asked Samuel. … “You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said. … “now your kingdom will not endure;” – 1Samuel 13:7-9, 13-14. The hours were long, demands were high and there was a lot of responsibility on Saul’s shoulders. He loved being king and the challenges that went with the role. But then he assumed responsibilities that were not his to assume. Why? Because his priorities did not survive the stress test the battle before him presented. He waited what was thought to be the allotted time for Samuel to arrive, but his eyes drifted from God’s plan to his status with the troops. He moved from trusting God to being his own god. There is a lot of that going on today. Priorities must stay under God’s plan for man: Nurture a personal, passionate and growing relationship with Jesus the Christ; Learn to live that relationship in marriage and reflect it in family; and, raise a godly generation. Jesus’ charge is, “Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.”- Matthew 5:48. That is the goal before dads today. Everything else is secondary.
At Faithful Fathering’s recent High Country Adventure, the theme for the week was, “First Ascent to Wholeness”. Developed by Andrew Johnson, Associate Pastor of Neartown Church in Houston, men were presented with five steps to revisit priorities in their lives in order to be more Christ-like. I challenge you to revisit priorities in your life today by praying through these steps, and the respective scripture references:
- Slow down: 1Samuel 13:7-9; 1Kings 19:9; Ecclesiastes 11:4; Luke 5:15-16;
- Offload: Psalm 55:22; Matthew 11:28-30; Hebrews 12:1-2;
- Listen: Isaiah 50:4-5; 1Kings 19:11-13; John 16:12-15;
- Gear Up: Colossians 3:12-17;
- Let’s Go: Luke 24:13-35; Matthew 5:48; Romans 8:29.
Prayer guide: Thank You Lord for Your word and the relationship You call me to. I confess that as an overcomer dad, my focus was on what I could do in my strength. I was too busy going the opposite direction of the dad that raised me to slow down and listen for You. Forgive me. Help me slow down, identify what activities or busy-ness I need to offload, and listen for Your voice. I want to gear up with kindness, humility, patience and love, and keep eyes open to see You, the resurrected Christ, in my life. That is the dad You call me to be and that is the dad the next generation needs. Amen.
A faithful father revisits priorities in relationship with Jesus the Christ.