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!
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12,13
Americans aren’t known for enjoying being told what they cannot do.
In fact, I’ve always liked the little saying, ‘We are AmeriCANS, not AmeriCANT’S.’ And yet while, it is good to be encouraged to push yourself to do more than you think is possible, it is also wise to recognize your limitations.
That is especially true for you as a Christian father.
In the days ahead I want to talk with you about what you can do as a father, but first, I want to remind you what you can’t. You can’t give your children spiritual life. The Bible is very clear about our condition from birth. We are all born spiritually dead. That means even your sweet little daughter or your fun little boy has a problem you can’t fix.
You can share the gospel. You can give them a godly example. You can pray for them. But you simply do not have the power to resurrect them from the spiritual dead.
At first that may bother you.
But whenever you have a job to do, it’s important to sort out who is responsible for what. Ultimately you are not the one responsible for saving your children. That is in God’s hands. He is the only one who has the ability to make someone His child.
Knowing that certainly should humble you. The one thing your child needs most, you can’t do. Your child needs something even bigger than good parenting if they are going to live a life that glorifies God. They need a miracle. And if that miracle hasn’t occurred, even if you were the world’s best parent, they are going to end up doing what unbelievers do, which is rebel against God.
I am not trying to be pessimistic. Instead, I am trying to help you focus. Knowing what you are not responsible for allows you to focus on what you actually are responsible for
What does God want from you as a father?
He’s not asking you to be the one who saves your child.
He’s asking you to be faithful.
Of course, we want our children to be born again. We pray for that. We do everything we can to enable that. But, our success as a father isn’t based ultimately on whether or not our children become Christians.
Success as a father is you being obedient to your Father.
Take Time to Reflect:
1. How does the Bible describe a spiritually dead person? How does knowing that is true of your child if they haven’t become Christians, impact the way you think about them and about parenting?
2. Being a Christian is more than being a nice person or going to church, it requires a miracle. What are some evidences that miracle has taken place in someone’s life?
If your child desperately needs to be born again, and God’s the only who can produce the new birth, what should you be constantly doing as a father? Praying for God to do what you can’t. Take some time and pray for your children. Ask God to show mercy and give them the gift of new life. If your children already are believers, it’s not genetics, and it’s not because you were such an amazing parent, it’s because God worked in their life, so how should you respond? Take some time and thank Him for the great mercy He’s shown you and your family.