Everything we have talked about in this series has led to one critical trap/snare/tragedy that single dads can fall into: not leading their children. The Bible is clear: fathers, in any regard, are supposed to be the spiritual leaders of their children. “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” –Eph 6:4 (NASB, emphasis added). Now moms, please do not mistake this with your ability to lead and invest in your children as well. Scripture gives us a clear picture that one of the earliest Church leaders, Timothy, had an unbelieving father and it was the women in his life that brought him to spiritual maturity (cf. 2Tim 1:5, 3:15, Acts 16:1). For now, however, I want to focus on the dads.
Guys, whether it is worldly distractions, misuse of resources, or allowing negative emotions to dictate our parenting, we need to be ever so careful that these things do not knock us so far off course that it has generational implications. I once heard a pastor say, “Our decisions today have the ability to affect at least three generations: ours, our children’s, and our grandchildren’s.” What steps must you take today to be the physical, spiritual, and life leader your kids need, despite current circumstances? Perhaps it means breaking unhealthy and ugly habits. Maybe it means forgiving or asking for forgiveness in a tough way. What does your quiet time with God look like? Our ability to lead our sons and daughters will be in direct correlation to the time we spend in His presence. Get a mentor and accountability partner and allow other strong Christian men speak into your life. Let them spiritually “father” you as Paul did Timothy so you can pass it on. Most importantly, know where your identity truly comes from: not your job, status, or even your children. We are who God says we are and everything else flows from that (Isaiah 54:17).
When we are able to put all these things in place; to keep the cross in front of us and the world to our back- then we will thrive as fathers and experience the “life abundantly” that only Christ can give us. May God bless you, dads!
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. –John 10:10 (NKJV)