My Father Taught Me…

open-bible 2This morning I was reading in the Scriptures and came across this “nugget” that became a point of meditation:

“When I was a son to my father…he taught me and said to me, ‘Let your heart hold fast to my words; keep my commandments and live.”

Proverbs 4:3-4

Solomon is writing here to his son about the lessons of King David to Solomon. There are several things about this that resonate with me:

  • Fathers are, by design- teachers of their children. It is the father’s responsibility to teach his children, particularly in the area of relating to God. Honestly, by nature of the relationship, a father is always teaching…but it may not be the lesson he hoped to teach.
  • Fathers can only confidently teach what they have learned themselves. The reason many dads don’t take a more active role is that they have not devoted themselves to the deep things of God. They know the range and trajectory of their favorite hunting gear. They know the best lure to use for a particular fish. They know the most effective manner to accomplishing their tasks at work. Our relationship and understanding of God deserves no less attention and mastery.
  • A Father’s teaching extends to multiple generations. WHat you teach your sons and daughters will be taught to theirs.
  • Teaching your children is important. It is important for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that God directed it.
  • Many fathers feel inadequate to teach their children. As such, they desire to farm it out to experts like pastors and coaches and other leaders. We can farm out the task, but not the responsibility. Further, if we deal with our own inadequacy properly (but turning to our heavenly Father in utter dependence) then we will learn while teaching.
  • Finally, dads need to lighten up sometimes. You can’t teach your kids to be perfect. You have no experience there. Teach them to relate to God perfectly…which means to learn to depend on Him. Model dependence, repentance, and personal devotion. Show them how to apologize for failure/sin by quickly apologizing. Teach them to be dependent by being dependent.

My dad taught me a lot. Probably more than he intended to. I am thankful for that. I am also aware that not every son has a dad like mine. If that’s you, then hear me: “This is no excuse for your continuation of that legacy.” Choose today to change the course and step up to the responsibility God has laid on you. You are accountable to it anyway…you might as well take it seriously and do it right.

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