This is a charge to take your fathering to a new level across 2018 with three resolutions. For the sake of your family and the next generation, enlist at least one ‘battle buddy’, a brother in Christ that will pick you up when you stumble and challenge you to press on, and resolve to:
Prioritize physical presence: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning … The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.’ John 1:1-2, 14. Just as God provided a connection with Him through the physical presence of His Son, a father provides a connection to the Father by being present and accounted for in family.
- I resolve to prioritize my physical presence in the home and at my children’s activities by (Putting kids’ activities on my calendar; getting home from work at a consistent time; communicating potential conflicts ahead of time)
Be engaged emotionally with your wife and kids. ‘If you love Me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of Truth.’ – John 14:15-17. Jesus anticipated emotional distractions long before 150 cable channels, cell phones, texting, radio and newspapers, not to mention other worries, frustrations and discouragement. Work to eliminate distractions, at least at the dinner table, and focus on the Counselor.
- I resolve to be more engaged emotionally by (Committing to eat dinner together as a family 5X per week; spending regular one-on-one time with my wife and each child)
Lead spiritually by example. ‘For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers.’ – Romans 8:29. Christ-likeness is what men are to be conformed to. Commit to be more Christ-like tomorrow than today – spend time in prayer and scripture together as a family, lead the way to church, teach Sunday school, volunteer with the Youth Leadership - and the journey will bless your family for generations to come.
- I resolve to lead spiritually by example by (Spending personal time in prayer & scripture daily; Leading the way to church; leading regular family devotion time)
Prayer guide: Lord, I confess I have abdicated much of my role as a father to the schools, the church and to the mother of our children. Help me step up as Your representative in my family. Strengthen my relationship with You and grant me strength to reflect that relationship where You have me every day. Be with me as I resolve to be a faithful father – to prioritize my physical presence, be engaged emotionally and lead spiritually by example by Your grace and for Your glory. Amen.
A faithful father resolves to prioritize physical presence, be engaged emotionally and lead spiritually by example.
Please let us know how you will fill in the blanks this New Year with a 'comment' below.