By David McNeely
Get ready for the greatest sermon ever preached on being a Dad. It will be your one stop shop where you and your sons will be fully equipped with everything necessary for being a godly father. If you put into practice everything we talk about then you will not sin anymore, your children will be fully equipped for everything, and your family line will win the world for Christ by 2041…
Why are you laughing?
Of course this is a ridiculous statement and is given, by design, to make a point. My guess is, you would do just about anything you could to be a better spouse to your wife/husband. I’d be willing to bet the farm the same is true of being a better parent.
There are two equally dangerous extremes to keep in mind as we head into this “Ideal” series. One extreme is believing that all of it is attainable. We do this when we try to put everything into practice from all of the resources we have at our disposal. Books about family, blogs, videos, conferences, retreats, curriculums, and the like are in abundance these days.
On Thursday, April 07, 2016 (my twins’ 13th birthday) the Christian Book Distributors website listed 59,916 resources on the subject of “Family.” Let that sink in. Granted, some of them are key chains, sweatshirts, travel mugs, and picture frames, but there are over 24,000 books alone targeting family related subject matter!
The danger with access to such an abundance of resources is to try and put it all into practice. I love the fact that we live in a time where so much help is available to us in our parenting and in our spousing (did I just make up a word? Spell check tried to change it to espousing but that doesn’t work). A down side to having all of these resources is that we tend to let the professionals tell us what is supposed to work for us.
The other equally dangerous extreme is believing that none of it is possible. We do this when we become so overwhelmed that we quit. Why begin what could never be finished or perfected?
If you hear nothing else please hear me and bank on this: The Holy Spirit is alive and well. He is not short on resources. The Holy Spirit has not run out of ideas. The Holy Spirit knows how you and your kids are wired. The Father is far more interested in conforming you, your spouse, and your children into the image of the Son; and the Holy Spirit will guide you and teach you in all things. The Holy Spirit will empower you. He will convict you. He will comfort you. You cannot do all these things. But Paul reminds us, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
So listen this Sunday at Journey. But don’t listen to a man. Listen to the Spirit. Hopefully the Spirit has spoken to the man about what to say. Ideally, the Spirit will empower the man to say it. But listen for the voice of the Shepherd.
He has a perfect track record as a dad.
Oh, and go buy a Dad, Be Strong and Courageous Travel Mug for the old man. Then he’ll know you really care.