Principle number three: BE INTENTIONAL “My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:1-6
There are intentional things we can do as a father that teach children about loving God and each other. We can spend time with God read the word, memorize it and have it in your heart. We can have family memory verses and family verses. Place a scripture at the center of the home that means something to you. We can lead the way to church. Go to Sunday School ourselves so there is no question about whether or not we all go. At lunch after church, we can begin a conversation with our spouse about the message, what touched us or challenged us. Often children will desire to enter into the conversation that we initiate. Host a home Wesley Group for families, help others by serving, take our children on a service project or a mission trip to help others. Connect with broken and wounded people so our children can connect.
I memorized verses in my life because I never really knew when I would need their wisdom. Many, many times I would be out and about with the kids and having a conversation about school or friends or the woods and a verse would pop into my head. Those were by far the best teaching moments for us. We had our very best spiritual conversations on the hoof. Had I not been intentional about memorizing verses, I would have had no resource for the conversations. And these were truly conversations, not lectures.
When we look back on our successes as a father, we will not be thinking about how long we worked to get them a Christmas filled with expensive gifts. We’ll not think about the huge house we provided or how beautiful we kept the yard. We will remember those precious times when they ran into our arms for no reason other than they were happy to see us. Those moments do not just happen. They require a man to be intentional about being a Godly father. So, to all the dads who are reading this: who will teach our sons and daughters about God? We will! Who will be with them at their first triumph? We will! Who will lift them the first time they fail? We will! Who will help them have hope when all else fails? We will! Who will teach them how to love a wife? We will! Who will help them love their neighbor? We will! Who will teach them that family is the most important thing in the world? We will! Who will show them how to repent when we have made a mistake? We will! Who will offer heartfelt forgiveness when we’ve been wronged? We will! Who will show t=our children what it means to love God with all our heart and all our soul and all our mind and all our strength? WE WLL BE WE ARE THEIR FATHER!