This week, I saw a dad and daughter walking across a parking lot. When they got to his pickup truck, the dad hit the remote unlock, opened the driver’s side door and pulled himself up behind the steering wheel. His daughter walked around the front of the truck, opened the passenger door and climbed up into her seat. No problem.
I tip my cap to this dad. He was spending time with his young daughter who looked to be about 10years old. I assume they were off to a softball practice because there was a bag of bats sticking up in the back of the truck. By all appearances, he is an involved dad. He is doing dad. The convicting question us dads need to ask ourselves is – Am I intentional about being the dad I am called to be? Am I leading with intentionality?
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. – Deuteronomy 6:6-7. Intentionality is what Moses expected from dads in order to pass the knowledge of God on to the next generation. The call is to capitalize on every opportunity to convey the connection to the Heavenly Father through us earthly fathers. Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. – Ephesians 6:4. The intentional focus on the training and instruction of the Lord brings children up under a biblical worldview, the absolute truth. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. – John 13:14-15. The intentional effort to live into the Lord’s example, to serve as He served, reflects submission to Jesus’ teaching and will provide a foundational reference to a relationship with Jesus the Christ in the home.
Back to the father and daughter - Was there an opportunity missed where the dad could lead with intentionality? It may seem like a small thing, and today it may even come across as chauvinistic, but opening the door for a lady is a reflection of a servant’s heart. For a daughter, it conveys how special she is, how a man is to treat a young lady and what she is to expect from any future young men calling. Leading with intentionality has far-reaching impact. Dads cannot afford to miss such opportunities.
Tips to Lead with Intentionality:
- Hug or say, “I love you” to family members when leaving the home and upon return;
- Initiate spiritual discussion in family around the Sunday sermon or Scripture passage referenced;
- Introduce a biblical perspective into a family discussion around secular issues;
- Lead prayer time at meals and pray for your bride and kids by name every day;
- Open doors for your bride and family members, including the door to Christ.
Prayer guide: Thank You Lord for Your word and for Your servant leadership. I confess I have run my home with an authoritarian tone. I fall well short of being the husband and father You call me to be. Forgive me. Doing dad comes naturally for me. It takes intentionality to mature into being the servant leader that reflects You in my family. Help me lead with intentionality to serve as You served, and lead as You led. That is the dad You call me to be and that’s the dad my kids need to see. Amen.
A faithful father leads with intentionality to reflect Christ in the home.