Twelve years of basic education. Then it may be trade school or some on-the-job training. Other options include further education to secure an Associate of Arts, Bachelor of Science or other advanced degrees that may help prepare you for the workforce. The lofty goal for this system is a productive citizenry that will meet the needs of society.
The breakdown of the system is in the basic training piece – the home. The daily example of how a dad and mom nurture their relationship with the Lord, each other, in family and beyond; how they practice self-discipline in all facets of life and implement effective discipline in the home; and how they live under right priorities of God, marriage and family. A young man growing up in such a home has a good shot at being the man, husband and father his family will need. The rest of us need to study.
Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Joshua 1:6-7. To step into Moses’ sandals and respond to God’s call to be strong and courageous, Joshua had to be confident in who he was and Whose he was. He was the son of Nun, Moses’ right-hand man and now he is God’s servant leader. He had studied the Law under Moses and now it was time to step into the responsibility of leading under the Law. Similarly, it is a dad’s role to study the Word of God and step into the responsibility of leading his family under the Word of God in order to PASS the BATON well to the next generation.
PASS the BATON is Faithful Fathering’s strategy for the local church. PASS is an acronym with the ‘P’ being for Purpose-filled fathering; ‘A’ is Activities for dads & kids; ‘S’ is Studies for dads; and the second ‘S’ is Staying connected as kids mature. Studies for dads can provide the basic training many of us lacked in our home growing up. Getting to know the Heavenly Father through Jesus the Christ clarifies who we are and Whose we are. Studies for dads encourage and equip men to step into the responsibility that goes with the title of ‘father’. Run the third leg of the race well as a father by participating in Studies for dads and keep a firm grip on the baton. The final leg of the race and last letter of the PASS acronym will be the topic for next week.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for the blessing of You in my life and Your Word. Thank You for the earthly father You blessed me with and how You worked through him to get me exactly where You wanted me. I was way too casual in thinking I could hold the baton as I worked to balance my priorities with Your priorities. Forgive me. Life is not about balance but about the priority of my relationship with You and the intentionality to lead my family under Your Word. Keep my eyes focused on You and provide the clarity needed for me and Faithful Fathering to run the race You have marked out for us, to PASS the BATON well to the next generation. Amen.
A faithful father participates regularly in Studies for dads.