What will be the legacy of the present generation of dads? How will the kids of today speak of the leadership in their homes and the influence of their parents? Are you engaged as a dad and providing the spiritual leadership young people need to navigate through the cultural influences being faced?
Today’s culture is stirring up confusion around the most basic of truths. King Josiah was caught up in the cultural norms of his day as well. Then he made a turn. May a generation of faithful fathers turn their heart, soul and strength to the Lord, and take the initiative to lead spiritually as modern-day Josiahs.
The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the priests next in rank and the doorkeepers to remove from the temple of the Lord all the articles made for Baal and Asherah and all the starry hosts. … He took the Asherah pole from the temple of the Lord to the Kidron Valley and burned it there. … He also tore down the quarters of the male shrine prostitutes that were in the temple of the Lord, … He desecrated Topheth, so no one could use it to sacrifice their son or daughter in the fire to Molek. … He pulled down the altars the kings of Judah had erected on the roof near the upper room of Ahaz, and the altars Manasseh had built in the two courts of the temple of the Lord. … The king also desecrated the high places that were east of Jerusalem on the south of the Hill of Corruption – the ones Solomon had bult for Ashtoreth the vile goddess of the Sidonians, for Chemosh the vile god of Moab, and for Molek the detestable god of the people of Ammon. Josiah smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. – 2Kings 23:4-14. Josiah took the initiative to upend the cultural norms of his day, to put it mildly. The “Frog in the Pot” analogy comes to mind but Josiah was alerted to the water starting to boil and took action. What cultural norms are being tolerated that you now realize should be ‘desecrated’? Are you aware that the water is starting to boil in your home?
Initiative to change the status quo must include the introduction of a healthy option. Josiah reintroduced the Passover to replace the worshiping of other gods. For dads today, it might start with leading the way to church weekly.
Tips to be a Josiah dad:
- Take inventory of what is coming into your home via various media platforms;
- Purge and/or eliminate access to inappropriate material;
- Encourage age-appropriate dialogue around cultural norms that proliferate at school and with friends;
- Introduce family fun activities, devotion time and church involvement to replace media time;
- Participate in a Dad's Armor study with a group of battle buddies.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for Your word and for the example of Josiah. I confess that I was unaware or just ambivalent to what was coming into my home via the mail, television and Internet. I allowed inappropriate influence to breach what I thought were boundaries. Forgive me. I now know that screen time should be limited, Internet must be controlled and some movies I see as entertaining need to be purged from my watch list. Grant me strength to take action as Josiah did and initiate leadership that honors You. That is the dad You call me to be and that’s the dad the next generation needs to see. Amen.
A faithful father initiates leadership that points to the Father.