The apple does not fall far from the tree. Dad and Mom often jokingly tell the kids to just catch their good qualities, not their bad ones. Alcoholism was historically a bad one they wanted to make sure not to pass on. Both had experiences with an alcoholic parent so there was to be no alcohol in their house. They agreed early on to be cycle-breakers when it came to alcohol. Other areas – language, finances, faith and church attendance did not receive the same disciplined approach.
The bottom line is that kids will catch what you’ve got. The power of the family is, by design a critical force to stand against worldly/secular influences. Just as the Christian, in the power of the resurrected Christ and indwelling of the Holy Spirit can rebuke evil, the family grounded in relationship with Jesus the Christ and full of the Holy Spirit can stand firm as a Kingdom influence in a confused world. There are worldly influences attacking our minds, homes and churches 24/7 and all are vulnerable to catching some bad habits. But a family tuned-in to Christ, to each other and to the Church will recognize the devil’s schemes and stand firm against them. Family is good.
That all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. I have given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be one as We are One – I in them and You in Me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. – John 17:21-23. In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers writes, “Jesus prayed that we might be one with Him, just as He is One with the Father. The resounding evidence of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life is the unmistakable family likeness to Jesus, and the freedom from everything which is not like Him.” Unity with Jesus the Christ is to be absolutely reflected through unity in marriage and unity in family. As family likeness reflects oneness with Christ, oneness in marriage and oneness in family, family will endure and be a quieting Kingdom influence in a noisy world.
Jesus would often slip away to the wilderness to pray with His Father (Luke 5:16). Similarly, dads must commit time to pray with our Father, for our marriage and for each child. We must teach our kids to pray, to have their own conversation with the Father. Dads must commit time to be with Mom, to nurture the most important relationship we have in the flesh. And it is important to have one-on-one time with each child to help nurture relationships as the kids mature. This is the connection the Father desired in the Garden of Eden. Jesus reconnected us to the Father through the garden of Gethsemane, His walk to Calvary and His walk out of the tomb. A dad’s walk is relatively easy - to accept responsibility and prioritize family because family is good.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for Your Son’s obedience all the way to the point of death, even death on a cross, to reconnect what got disconnected in the Garden of Eden – relationship with You. I confess I embraced busy-ness at the expense of some of the most important relationships in my life. Forgive me. Help me repair the damage I have done, starting with my own marriage and family, that through a personal and passionate relationship with You, I will turn from the world’s influence on me and be a Kingdom influence in this world. I accept responsibility to PASS the BATON of faith and family well to the next generation. Amen.
A faithful father prioritizes family to have Kingdom influence in this world.