All dads disciple their family through the day-to-day example of living under a secular worldview or under a biblical worldview. The charge is to embrace the inherent power of a father and the responsibility granted by the Father to raise His children well.
The secular worldview is about performance and status. While they are not in and of themselves bad, they do need to be managed. Daniel and his friends exiled to Babylon come to mind. They performed well on the world stage and achieved lofty status in society. Yet, their performance and status did not define who they were. They were defined by their relationship with, trust in, and obedience to the Most High God.
“If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods nor worship the golden statue that you have set up.” – Daniel 3:17-18. The king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar had issued a decree for all to worship a golden image of himself. Anyone who failed to do so would be thrown into a blazing furnace. Daniel’s friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not succumb to the societal pressure to worship other gods. Today this would be called countercultural. Having his orders refused to his face was not the response Nebuchadnezzar expected. He ordered the furnace heated up seven times hotter than usual and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. … “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” … Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon. – Daniel 3:19-20, 25-26, 30. Trust God, obey God, point to God and leave the results up to Him. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego knew there were no guarantees but also understood what was right in God’s sight and what was not. Not everyone walks out of their “blazing furnace”. That is God’s call. God’s call to man is to be faithful. Through three faithful men's example, a nation was introduced to the Most High God. Wow! Imagine how the Lord could glorify Himself through a core group of faithful fathers in your church!
At a recent Houston Church Planting Network gathering, Dhati Lewis, founding pastor of Blueprint Church, Atlanta, Georgia, spoke on Helping Disciples Thrive. He provided four points that I am passing on for encouragement to all of us discipling dads:
- Extend grace – learn to love as Christ loved;
- Have a single-minded focus on Christ - live under a biblical worldview;
- Be disciplined, like an athlete – develop and exercise spiritual disciplines;
- Persevere with the tenacity of a farmer – work, obey and trust God for the results.
Prayer guide: Thank You Lord for Your word and the opportunity to be a dad. I confess that while I lead the way to church on Sundays, I lead by example under a secular worldview Monday through Saturday. My weeks are more about performance and status than relationship with You. Forgive me. Help me ground myself as Daniel’s friends did, in a faithful relationship with You. I want to lead my family under a biblical worldview. Grant me the strength and clarity needed to lead spiritually by example. That is the dad You call me to be and that’s the dad my kids need to see. Amen.
A faithful father leads by example under a biblical worldview.