I talked with a dad the other day that has grown kids. He was proudest when he told me that they know the Lord and they know him. In addition, they have completed their formal education, are gainfully employed and have no debt. Now there is a dad that invested well and has been blessed with what I call a glimpse of God’s glory. We all do not experience such a visible return on investment. If it were so, we would call this ministry “Successful Fathering”. As it is, we focus on Faithful Fathering - investing well and leaving the results to Him.
I got to enjoy glimpses of God’s glory as dads invested well in their daughters this past weekend at Faithful Fathering’s Being There adventure. There were fun activities orchestrated beautifully at Frontier Camp – high ropes, zip-line, laser tag and even wake-boarding that pushed all physically; there was one-on-one dad-daughter discussion time that encouraged all emotionally; and there were classroom sessions with small group discussion time that engaged all spiritually. When dads commit time with their daughters and daughters with their dads, God shows up in a mighty way. And He did as each dad bestowed the power of a father’s blessing over his daughter.
Fix these words of Mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the Lord swore to give your forefathers. – Deuteronomy 11:18-21. We as dads are responsible for investing well, early and often in the next generation. But fathering is a lot like farming – If the farmer works the ground, plants the seed, irrigates the crop and sprays for pests, is he guaranteed a crop? No. But if he doesn’t work the ground, plant the seeds, irrigate and spray, he is guaranteed failure. Our role is to keep investing well and leave the results to Him.
Tips for Investing Well:
- Grow in your personal & passionate relationship with Jesus the Christ through time in prayer, scripture, worship & study and live that relationship in marriage;
- Prioritize physical, emotional & spiritual presence in your kids’ lives; schedule regular one-on-one time with each child - dad-daughter dates, walks, ice cream shop, etc.;
- Schedule extended one-on-one time by way of a weekend retreat, hiking trip or other outing on an annual or bi-annual basis.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for the opportunity to be Your representative in my family. It is an awesome and sometimes overwhelming responsibility. I know You have me where You want me and that I can do all things through You Who gives me strength. Grant me discernment on this journey as You mold and make me into the man, husband and father my family needs. Amen.
A faithful father invests well in the next generation and leaves the results to the Father.