I was blessed these past couple of weeks to spend time in the mountains of Southern Colorado running Faithful Fathering’s early summer trips with our partner in ministry, Voice of Wilderness. The first week was with a group of fathers and daughters participating primarily in day-hikes on area trails. The second week we had fathers and sons spending five days on the trail backpacking in the wilderness.
With no phones or Internet access, these dads, with their daughters and sons, were able to connect to a new level of relationship with each other by engaging in conversations that do not happen in the normal day-to-day routine. Each evening included topic-specific discussion time that opened the door for father-child dialogue around the impact and generational influence of family.
“On that day you will realize that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you. Whoever has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love them and show Myself to them.” – John 14:20-21. There is a beautiful unity in the family of God - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, along with us as His children (Rom.8:15-17). In this world, unity in family introduces an understanding of absolute truth (My commands), provides the example of living under the authority of that truth (keeps them), and enjoys intimacy with the Father (will be loved by My Father). As the Heavenly Father’s representative in the home, a dad is responsible for knowing God’s Word and leading his family under the authority of His Word. On the journey, kids connect with Christ and enjoy the intimate relationships intended for marriage and family. “I am the true vine, and My Father is the gardener. … Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.” – John 15:1&4. Jesus’ analogy to the vine is again, one of unity (Remain in Me, as I also remain in you). While the decision to embrace Jesus as Savior and Lord is personal, unity in family points to Him and provides the primary conduit for a connection that bears fruit.
Family, with all the flaws that may exist, still serves as the launching pad for the next generation. Dad has the unique opportunity for a short window of time, 936 weeks from birth to age 18, to do his best to provide a Rock-solid connection with each child that is foundational for a successful launch. Dads and moms cannot take credit nor blame for an adult child’s decisions in life. But the intentional process of connecting with children through their day-to-day example of gaining understanding God’s Word, living under the authority of His Word and learning to love as Christ loves, they will provide for the best trajectory possible.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for Your Word and the foundational unity of Your triune nature. I confess I have allowed disunity in family during my formative years to cloud my understanding of my role as a father. Forgive me. You are the perfect Father and have opened the door for connection with You through Your Son. Grant me strength and clarity as I step into the role You call me to. I want to represent You well in family and lead my kids in a Rock-solid connection with Jesus the Christ. That is the dad You call me to be, and that is the dad my kids need to see. Amen.
A faithful father leads family in a Rock-solid connection with Christ.