As a husband, parent and a dad what are you asking the Lord for? Well if you are like me when I got married… nothing. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I got married because I was tired of being single and we had children because that was the domino that fell next. Next thing you know I’m sitting in my house which I bought out of college wondering who these two strangers are that are sharing my living quarters. (Well… maybe it wasn’t that bad, but it was close.)
How did I get there?
Simply put… I did not get there. Life took me there because I was not at the helm of my own ship charting the sovereign course as prescribed by the Lord. How many of you today find yourself in this predicament? I know you’re out there. You are probably too BUSY and DISTRACTED to spend a moment of reflection on your current course. I certainly was. Where is your bearing taking you? Who has joined you on this voyage you are the captain of and are you taking them in the right direction? Are you training them to Captain their own ship someday?
Wow! I never thought saying “I Do” would lead to so much responsibility. I thought I was just required to bring home the bacon or win the bread and everything else fell into place. Why the complexity? Why the struggle?
Well, relationships are complex due to our fallen nature. Relationships are also what life is all about. The two greatest commandments tell us that (Matthew 22:37-40). The struggle is not with your family, friends or co-workers but rather with spiritual forces and worldviews (Ephesians 6:12). These worldviews are accepted without wisdom and incorporated into daily behaviors which slowly take your ship off course into tumultuous waters which are fraught with storms, rocks and the unexpected reef. Navigating these waters without proper preparation and fortification based in the Truth of Jesus Christ will devastate travelers in this journey called life. There are countless sirens calling you from the jagged rocks urging you into the shallow water.
So what do we do??!!!
In 1 Kings 3 the Lord appears to Solomon who is on the verge of taking over the throne of his father King David. The Lord says to Solomon, “Ask! What shall I give you?” This, by the way, is the Lord revealing His nature because this is not the only place in the Bible we see His generous nature. He encourages us numerous times to offer our petitions to Him (see also Matthew 7:7, 1 John 5:15, James 1:5 and others). The surprise here is not that the Lord wants us to ask. The surprise is how Solomon responded.
He started by being thankful and that is where we should start as well. Are you thankful that the Lord chose you to be His son? His daughter? Are you thankful for your husband? Your wife? Your children? Are you thankful for your health? Your wealth? There are so many things we can take for granted and regularly do.
Secondly, Solomon asked for wisdom instead of riches. We as dads have been conditioned to the contrary. We are brought up to believe that we are to ask for good paying jobs with benefits, so we can spend our time toiling at that factory
while leaving the schools and churches to disciple our children. Our primary role has been reduced to building up a small fortune to send our children to the best universities, live in the biggest houses and drive the nicest cars all on credit and our children grow up and do likewise with their children. This is not consistent with our calling as parents. Please do not extract from my words that I am against parents working outside the home, the pursuit of wealth or children getting a college education. I assure you that I do not oppose these pursuits in life and believe there is wisdom to be obtained from all experiences. I am merely pointing out the priorities of life should be to lead our family with wisdom and disciple our children to know and love the Lord. This simply cannot be achieved without the ability to discern good from evil (Hebrews 5:11-14). Ask the Lord to enlarge your territory as a leader of your family. Ask Him to help you understand the pulse of your family by engaging and investing in those relationships. Your reward for this faithfulness will be what you did not ask for and that is peace of mind and the riches of a family that knows LOVE. A family that knows service. A family that knows the Lord.