How do we measure the lasting effect of a father’s influence?
I’m 45 years old. I still make daily decisions under the thought process of,
“how would my dad handle this situation?”
Why? Not because he ever micro-managed any aspect of my life at any point.
Not because he talked so much that I quit listening.
My father has modeled for me through the years the simple practice of doing the right thing, making good decisions.
How long will my influence last in the lives of my four children?
When does the talking and the hands-on teaching start to fade away and give way to the
practice of consistent modeling for a Christian dad (or mom)?
Teaching moments come in obvious forms when our children are small.
Their blunders are obvious. The inquisitive questions are many.
But what may not seem obvious is that our time with them and their dependence on us diminishes with each passing day.
Before you realize it, your kids aren’t kids anymore. They become teenagers, young men, young ladies.
They don’t particlarly want to spend too much time in the presence of their dad anymore (shocking, right?).
You may reach some strange realization that your role as a father is diminished. You just aren’t “needed” for much anymore.
What happened to the days when you sat in the floor coloring, playing board games, wrestling?
The days of being bombarded with goofy questions? “Why daddy?” “When daddy?”
Those days are gone.
What is my value in their life now?
Same role that it has always been for anyone who takes seriously the privilege of being called daddy.
Teacher, protector, mentor, provider……..model.
Your children are no longer standing over your shoulder watching your every move and bombarding you with questions.
But they’re still watching. In many ways, their need for you may be greater than ever during their teenage years.
The opportinities to be a positive impact in their lives haven’t gone away, they’ve just rearranged a bit.
Do your kids hear people only talking about the importance of prayer and bible study?
Or do they witness their parents consistently doing these things? Do they see that it’s a priority in your life?
To understand the importance of Christian modeling by parents is to come to realize that each day is filled with endless opportunities to do great things that will make a lasting impact in the lives of our children.
How will they understand the concepts of love, grace, and obedience to God if we don’t bring these things to life consistently in their presence each day?
So many chances each day……to do the right thing…..to simply obey God, even when it’s not the easiest path to take.
They may not be asking questions, but they’re watching. And they’re grading you. Do your actions match up with what they’re learning that it means to be a Christian?
Every word, every encounter, every day, they all count.
Honesty, integrity, and purity in every situation. No exceptions.
Treating others with kindness, respect, and love. Choosing our words and tone of voice wisely. They’re listening.
Grace. Do we forgive? Do we quickly admit our own mistakes and ask forgiveness?
I’m not sure when kids pass that tipping point of whether or not they still want to be just like dad when they grow up.
But I’m positive that if I give my best effort each day to obey God and to match my own character with that of my savior Jesus Christ……
that desire will never leave them.
Seek the type of lasting impact that has positive eternal consequences.
OK, I guess I really am still needed around here!