Thoughts on Fatherhood…Part II

My dad and my daughter hiking a trail in the Virginia mountains.

So, dads (and all of us, but keeping with the Father’s Day feel)  if we’re loving God with our whole heart, soul and strength, what are some outward signs of that?  Shouldn’t our lives reflect that?  If God is the Main Thing in our life (as I wrote about in my last post), what are some of the ways our lives should show it?

The next few lines in Deuteronomy give us a clue:

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”  Deuteronomy 6:6-9

If God is All, if He has primacy in my life, then evidence of that is my hiding His Word in my heart and letting it form and shape my life.  If God is the Main Thing to me, then it logically follows that I’ll cherish His Word, and that I’ll tell others, especially the most important people in my life, about Him.  Let’s look closer at these characteristics.

1. If my heart is set on God, then I’ll set God’s Word in my heart (v. 6).  Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, is an opus to the Word of God and how it guides and shapes our lives.  It tells us that hiding God’s Word in our heart will: keep us pure (v. 9), keep us from sin (v. 10) cause us to delight (v. 16), be our counselor (v 24), breath life into us (v. 25), give us strength (v. 28), give us understanding and wisdom (v. 34), keep us from coveting (v. 36), keep us from looking at worthless things (v. 37), give us answers when we are reproached by others (v. 42), and on and on.  Take a look.  It’s an awesome chapter to mediate on.

2. If I love God and love His Word, then I’ll teach my kids diligently about Him (v. 7). My pastor has recently taught Hebrews 11:6 that “God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”  He explained that diligent means to put forth painstaking, consistent and constant effort.  In other words, you have to be committed to seeking God, and we have to be committed to teaching our kids about God and His Word, too.  News Flash:  it’s not going to happen on it’s own!  So what are you doing to diligently teach your kids about God?  I’m preaching to the choir here, as we can ALL improve in this.  I think the next few verses help us out.

3. Talk about God’s goodness and His Word in every aspect of your life.  Moses said “when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise.”  Don’t just talk about God when you’re at church dads!  Show your family how His Word applies to all your life:  your job, your decisions, your friends, your recreation.  When you see a beautiful sunset, thank God for it!  When you get up in the morning, give God thanks that you could get up!  As you go through life, don’t put God in a “church” box.  If He’s the Main Thing, the He should be in every area of your life.  Are you allowing Him in?  Are you sharing your life with the One Who gave it to you?  And are you sharing Him with the ones He gave to you? If not, why not?

4. God’s Word should factor in everything I do, everything I think, and everywhere I go (v. 9).  I’m not a smart man, as Forrest Gump liked to say, but I tell you this: if you and I will keep God’s Word in our hands, meaning that everything we do with our hands is controlled by God’s Word…well, I think we might not do some things, and we might just do a whole lot of better things, don’t you?  If God’s Word is in my mind, and controls my thoughts…well, maybe our thought life could use a little re-working, eh?  And if God’s Word fills me going in and coming out of my house, and my family as they go and come, don’t you think our lives would be different?

The point is this dads: let’s lead our homes to the feet of Jesus.  Let’s put our lives where we claim our hearts are.  Let’s lead our families where God calls us to lead them: to Him.

That pic above was taken last fall, my dad and I were able to take a little hike with my girls in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  It’s a trail he and I have hiked since I was Caroline’s age; it’s like a part of the family.  When I saw him walking with her, it made me think of how he once led me down the same trail like he led her.  The same footsteps I walked, she’s walking in. I want to take the same care to diligently show her how to walk after God, too.

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One thought on “Thoughts on Fatherhood…Part II

  1. Hey, Matt! I’m enjoying your series on Fatherhood. Love this sweet picture! Scott spoke this morning at church in a small tribute to his Father and used this same scripture. (And remember when it was read at the wedding?)

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