Today the Rock pastors shared what the Lord has revealed to them through their own experiences with fatherhood.
Are you about to become a father?
Becoming a father can be as frightening as it is exciting. Reality soon sets in that you actually don’t have control over your child, how she grows, or her safety or health. We must learn to trust the Lord with our fears and anxieties, knowing that these little ones belong to Him.
Do you have older children?
Having a family does take tremendous amount of time and effort, but it is worth it. If your children are pulling away, remember to love them as Christ loves us. Spend time with them. Read the Word with them and pray with them, even when they don’t want to. Get up early and make them breakfast. Over time, these gestures of sacrifice and service will begin to build trust. Be willing to be vulnerable with your children, especially your daughters. In this way, you are teaching them how to handle their own emotions and struggles, while increasing the intimacy in your own parent-child relationships.
Are you single, waiting for the day that you will be a spouse and a parent?
There are so many single people who long to have a spouse and start a family. But we need to realize that the shape and character of our future families doesn’t begin at the altar or when the first child comes home from the hospital. Rather, it begins right now as you focus on becoming the person God wants you to be. Understand who you are in light of His love and sacrifice and focus your attention on becoming the right spouse for somebody else and a good parent for your future child.
Are you afraid that the ugly patterns of your childhood will be carried out in your parenthood?
Many people grow up in violent, angry homes and sometimes this cycle goes on for generations, but if you belong to Christ, you don’t have to accept that legacy for your own family. You may experience battles with anger and self-control, but you are a work in progress as you cling to the Lord and His Word. However hard it may be, learn to own up to your mistakes. Humbly apologize to your children for any behavior that is inappropriate. Showing your humility and offering this to your child is a great gift that can mold and shape him into a person who takes responsibility for his own actions. It can also increase his respect for you as a parent. You can break that cycle by standing up against the wrong that you experienced as a child.
Are your children little?
Right now, it is easy to appreciate every smile and every adorable “first” that your child experiences. But of course, things won’t always be this way. Trials will come. Differences will happen. At some point, the sight of you, the parent, may not bring such a bright smile to your child’s face. But store up the precious moments you have now and always. Treasure the moments you have and savor them along the way as your child continues to grow.
Are you experiencing a great trial with your child?
As a father of adult children shared, he has learned that his time with his children is very special. He wants each time they gather to be a good and memorable one, not a time of conflict. As your children leave the nest and move out into the world, it is all the clearer that they are not yours, but God’s. Trials with grown children, such as addiction, can be the hardest of a parent’s life, but the Lord is still there, and He is still powerful in love and mercy. All children will make mistakes, but your job will be to love, support, be strong, and pray.
Is your child suffering from illness?
One father shared about his son who was diagnosed with leukemia at age 3. The roller coaster of medical issues reveals once more that we are not in control and we don’t have all the answers. A father must learn to trust the Lord and submit to His counsel and to His will in each moment. We can’t be the perfect father and husband who has all the right words and actions, but we can focus on knowing God and having confidence in Him. Learning how to be a son to a perfect heavenly Father can bring a lot of wisdom and endurance to an imperfect earthly dad.
Are you hoping for fatherhood in your future?
Remember that one of the most important gifts you can give your children is your time and attention. Be present to them. Become involved and passionate about the things they love. You are pouring into a little human and shaping his/her character for adulthood! If you’ve been remiss or absent to your children, it’s not too late. Patiently reach out with your attention and time and give of yourself.
Are you preparing your children for the future?
Engage your children in the Word and in prayer, and encourage them to know their heavenly Father. Eventually they will leave your home and they will need a strong relationship with God to navigate their own lives. If you don’t disciple your children, somebody else will (and not likely for the Lord), so remember that your family is your first ministry. Work daily on extending God’s love and grace in your own home.
Are you seeking the answers for how to parent effectively?
Focus first on falling in love with your heavenly Father. The best leadership example you can give your family is to have a strong relationship with God, obedient to His will and abounding in grace. Become a son or daughter of the Most High who parents you perfectly – and you will find what you seek!