Jesus spoke often in parables that would point to Himself, to His Father and to His mission. In turn, His disciples would ask Him to explain the parable. It seems it was in these intimate discussions around parables that the disciples began to “get” Jesus and His mission in this world.
During the Lenten season, many churches encourage fasting, all are to give something up. I like to encourage dads to take something on. I challenge you to take on talking to your kids about Jesus’ parables. Read a parable each week and talk through what it means with them. In the process, your kids will begin to “get” you better and “get” Jesus.
"A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” – Matthew 13:3-8. Parable explained - “Hear then the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the Kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” – Matthew 13:18-23. Where are you on the spectra of a ‘path’ dad to a ‘good soil’ dad? A ‘path’ dad is busy! Church may not have been something his family did growing up. His primary focus is on providing for the family. A dad’s physical or emotional absence inhibits spiritual growth. A ‘rocky’ dad attends church to get an encouraging word but there is no spiritual development. His primary focus is on performance in the workplace and the kids grow under a secular worldview. A ‘thorns’ dad may attend church regularly and volunteer to help with youth or men’s ministry. He works hard to live better and be more religious, but work and family challenges distract him. The kids get caught in the confusion of what their dad is trying to portray. A ‘good soil’ dad attends church regularly and is on a journey to know his Father through Bible study. He has accepted Jesus the Christ as Savior and is learning to serve Him as Lord. He is growing in relationship with Christ, is learning to love his wife as Christ loves the Church and is initiating spiritual discussion in the home between Sundays. His kids grow under a Biblical worldview.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for Your word and for Your Son. I have tripped on the path, stumbled over the rocks and fallen in the thorns as a dad. Forgive me. I know You are not through with me yet. You are shaping me, helping me mature spiritually into a ‘good soil’ dad that bears generational fruit. Help me step up to lead spiritual discussion around Jesus’ parables in the home through Lent. I want my kids to “get” me and “get” You. That is the dad You call me to be and that’s the dad my kids need to see. Amen.
A faithful father talks to his kids about Jesus’ parables.