I have been working on a little devotional for fathers and thought I might share some of it with you from time to time. I know I need it!
“After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: ‘Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great. But Abram said, ‘O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” Genesis 15:1,2
Being a father is hard work.
I guess I should say that a little more carefully. Being a godly father is hard work. Painful work, even. It is impossible to be a godly father while living primarily for your own comfort, and that means of course, if you are going to be a godly father, there are going to be a lot of times where you will be uncomfortable.
The problem is, most of us don’t like being uncomfortable. In fact, we usually do all we can to avoid it, which is why, in the middle of changing diapers and dealing with disobedience and listening to little ones go on and on and trying to counsel teenagers, it can be tempting to want to give up.
Not on being a father altogether, of course. But on working so hard at being a godly one.
This is one reason it is important to remember being a father is not just hard work. It is also a privilege.
Children are a gift from God.
We see how important children are to God in the very first command in the Bible. “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” (Genesis 1:28) We get an idea of the value God places on them in Psalm 127:3. “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord.” And, we begin to appreciate how great a blessing they are when read of stories in the Bible like Abraham’s.
Abraham was a very wealthy man who was granted some tremendous spiritual privileges. And yet when God declared He would be Abraham’s great reward, you know how Abraham responded?
“What will you give me, since I go childless?”
In spite of all his riches, Abraham felt poor because he lacked children, and looking at what the rest of Bible says about them, I think we can understand why.
Your child has a soul that is more valuable than all the material possessions in the world, combined. They will live forever. They are made in the image of God. They will be used by God to help you become more like Christ. The choices and decisions they make will play a part in His great plan for the universe.
Are not a burden.
They are a blessing.
And, in the middle of all the work you have to do to be a godly father, it’s important you don’t forget that or start acting like they weren’t.
Which honestly is more the issue, isn’t it?
I haven’t met many Christian fathers who didn’t know their children were a gift from God. But I have met many who were behaving more like they were a burden instead.
How about you?
How have you been feeling about your children?
What does the way you speak to your children say about your attitude towards them? How about the way you serve them?
Do you treat them like they are a blessing? Or more like a curse?
Take a moment to reflect:
1. When you think of something as a burden, how does that effect your behavior? When you think of something as a blessing, how does that change the way you act? How might thinking of your children as a blessing impact the way you relate to them on a daily basis?
2. Write down three reasons it is a privilege to be a father and then thank God for each of your children.
There should be no question in your children’s’ minds that you consider it a privilege to be able serve Jesus by being their father. That means, you need to let them know it. Look for a specific opportunity today to express to your children how thankful you are to God for them.