The three tenants of being a faithful father are prioritizing physical presence, being engaged emotionally and leading spiritually by example. As a dad, I can work on being physically present as much as possible and try to be engaged emotionally to a respectable degree. But spiritual leadership is more elusive for me.
Spiritual leadership for most of us can be summed up by, “I am a good dad, I take my family to church, I work hard and try to lead by example.” The question is whether your day-to-day example is secular, religious or spiritual? The example is what kids catch. I pray these next several Dad Talks will encourage and equip you on your journey to become a dad that leads spiritually by example.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; the one who believes in Me will live, even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said, “Yes, Lord; I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” – John 11:25-27. Martha got it! She had a personal, passionate and growing relationship with Jesus. She believed He was the Christ, and clearly stated her belief. Paul put it this way, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” – Romans 10:9-10. The first step in leadership is to identify the example worthy of following. The One that will never disappoint is Jesus the Christ. Jesus was before what is was, and He will be after what is, is gone (John 1); He was born of the Virgin Mary (Luke 1); He was blessed by His Father (Matt.3:17); He lived a sinless life (Matt.4:1-11); He obeyed His Father to the point of death, even death on a cross (Luke 22:42); As the perfect sacrifice, He put death to sin on the cross (John 19:30); He rose from the dead (John 20:17); He appeared to the disciples and to many (John 20:19-29, Acts 1:3); He ascended to His Father (Acts 1:9); and, He will come again (Acts 1:10-11). For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16. Jesus is the Christ and the One worth following.
Spiritual leadership starts with accepting the saving grace of Jesus the Christ in your life. All must confess that we fall short of the glory of God and accept forgiveness through Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection. Baptism is the washing clean of the old and raising up of the new, a new creature in Christ by His grace and for His glory. The charge is to live into a personal, passionate and growing relationship with Jesus, and learn to serve Him as Lord.
Prayer guide: Thank You Lord for Your word and for the sacrifice of Your Son. I confess that I have sinned and fall short of Your glory. I know You are the Christ and that it is through Your life, Your death on the cross, and Your resurrection that I am saved from the penalty of sin. In the power of the Holy Spirit, help me embrace Your saving grace to the full and learn to serve You as my Lord. Only then can I begin lead my family spiritually by example as You expect 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 accepts Jesus as Savior and serves Him as Lord.