He worked hard to provide for his family. The earning potential with his full-time work was not high so he took on additional work some evenings and weekends. He was determined that his family would live in a better situation than he had grown up under. The focus was on the financial perspective at the expense of his presence at home.
Men are ‘doers’, and the devil thrives on keeping dads busy doing (busy stands for being under satan’s yoke). He may convict dads to provide better financially but he also works through outside interests, hobbies, or even volunteer activity with a good organization. Oswald Chambers has said that it is not always sin that keeps a man from being his best, but all the good stuff, busy-ness, that distracts him from the right priorities.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.” – Matthew 16:24. Right from the get-go, Jesus’ “If” gives man the choice. Discernment in the midst of busy-ness is not easy. The charge to “deny” is a charge to say no to some stuff you enjoy or have come to accept. Then the call to “take up his cross” requires a tuning-in to where the Lord has you and why He has you there. The tendency often is to think the Lord’s calling is always to something big in the church, in ministry or other mission work. One of the devil’s best schemes is to get men to look right past their marriage and family to jump on a new dimension of the busy-ness rollercoaster. In his Truth for Life devotion, Alistair Begg says, “Jesus gave His life for us in order that He might take our lives from us and live His life through us.” Jesus set the standard through the relationship with His bride, the Church, and His family, the disciples. The “follow Me” requires conformance to Him, to be more Christ-like every day. The right priorities for a dad include his spiritual leadership visible in marriage and in raising a godly generation (Malachi 2:15, 1Tim.3:12).
The icon for Faithful Fathering is the double cross. It was designed and drawn beautifully by a dear friend of the ministry, Mr. Chris Garcia. The brown cross is the cross the Lord gave me for fathering years ago - personally for my family and corporately for fathers in the Church. The gold cross is the cross of Christ providing all the strength and encouragement needed for the journey. The charge for all dads is to rebuke busy-ness that distracts and take up your cross. If it is for fathering, click on the ‘For Dads’ and ‘For Churches’ links to start the journey.
Prayer guide: Thank You Lord for Your word and for providing the perfect example. I confess I have allowed busy-ness to move to a new level the past couple of years. My priorities have been on work and self. Forgive me. Thank You for giving Your life for me so that You might take my life from me and live Your life through me. Grant me discernment to let go of distractions in my life and take up the cross You call me to. That is the dad You call me to be and that’s the dad my kids need to see. Amen.
A faithful father rebukes busy-ness and takes up his cross.