How has your year been? I think it healthy to spend time reflecting on the high points of the past year, what I call “glimpses of God’s glory.” A late-summer getaway with my bride was certainly a high point for us. Time with our grown kids as they helped me on Faithful Fathering’s summer adventures, and time with granddaughters were also wonderful high points.
At Faithful Fathering, the high points are always tied to the weekend retreats or extended trips that create unique father-child one-on-one time. Another high point this year is our new book release, Seasons of Fathering – A handbook for life. It is a man-sized book, about 110 pages of practical and concise encouragement for dads. Of course, one-on-one father-child time receives emphasis through each season.
“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” … Jesus said (to Mary Magdalene), “Do not hold on to Me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.’” – John 15:15 & 20:17. In these passages, Jesus conveys a maturing in relationship with His disciples. They progressed from servants to friends, then from friends to brothers. As servants, they absorbed all the teaching Jesus offered. He taught them all His Father had taught Him. As they began to understand the business behind the teaching, the relationship matured into friendship. As friends, Jesus “sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” (Luke 9:2). He then coached them through their successes and failures (Luke 10:18-20). Finally, He said He would send the Counselor “to help you and be with you forever” (John 14:16), once He returned to the Father. There was a lot of Father-Son time documented in the gospel of John. And there was a lot of Jesus-disciple time invested as their relationships matured. Similarly, the intentionality of dads to invest time with each child across the Teacher, Coach and Counselor seasons of fathering is paramount in enabling a healthy, mature relationship with kids as they mature. Dads are encouraged to look ahead in the new year and schedule unique one-on-one time with each child.
Opportunities for one-on-one time with Faithful Fathering in the new year include:
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for being my Father and for sending Your Son into this world, the greatest gift of all time. I confess that I have fallen short of emulating the father-child relationship You exemplify so completely in Your word. As I reflect on this past year, I realize I have allowed worldly priorities to claim time that I should have invested in my marriage and the children You have blessed me with. Forgive me. I commit to do better in the new year by scheduling regular one-on-one time with my bride and each child. Grant me clarity and discernment as I seek to represent You well in my home. That is the dad You call me to be and that’s the dad my kids need to see. Amen.
A faithful father reflects and grows on the journey as a husband and father.