Faith That Builds Fathers
Written by Rise & Shine on April 13, 2021
God may give you two strong arms, but at times it will feel like there’s no strength left in them… rely on His and you’ll be fine.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
You were never meant to bear the weight of the world on your human shoulders. Only Christ can do that. In being given the Sacred task of being a man entrusted with the care of hearts and lives in a family that God only shares with us for a time, we understand the importance of “getting it right”. And we should take that responsibility seriously. However, we can easily confuse the roles of care-taker and provider if we aren’t careful. We are not the source of our family’s strength, we aren’t their means of provision, we aren’t their saviors, we are simply men meant to provide an example of turning to the One who is all of those things to them and for us.
You are only as strong as your faith allows God to be through you. Take heart if you’re feeling less than strong; that’s when God moves in you to provide His strength. Let Him lift the load He never intended for you to carry on your own anyway, and you’ll be fine.
If you make every effort to be sure that when your children look into your eyes, they see God’s love, they’ll be fine.
So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.
1 Thessalonians 2:8
As fathers we often don’t get the credit that mothers do for being able to nurture our children in those motherly ways. And frankly, we weren’t meant to. But we have an absolute responsibility to model what loving others looks like from God’s perspective. When he looks upon us, even in our worst offense as sinners, it is with love. When God corrects, it is with the intent of restoring and prospering us… a decidedly loving thing to do. (Eph. 6:4) We should do the same with our children. We nurture them by expressing our faith in their abilities AND by holding them accountable for the choices they make without destroying them in the process. See John 3:17 to see how God does this for his children…
In that same manner, we sacrifice ourselves to be in relationship with OUR children. Now this is counter intuitive I know, but it sometimes means sacrificing overtime, or hours spent climbing the ladder at work, or even our personal time, because we love them more.
It’s what the Heavenly Father did for us… so I pray that my children understand that that’s the love I have for them. God’s love. (And thankfully I learned it from my earthly father as well!) When they know they’re loved, our children will be more than fine. They’ll prosper.
Love your wife with the same level of passion and compassion that Christ loves you with, and she’ll be fine.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word.
Love on that scale goes deeper than the electric spark of chemical reaction that leads to physical attraction. There is more to a loving commitment than just not doing things that bother our wives so we don’t have to hear them complain.
I mentioned the passion and compassionate love of Christ in this lesson. And this is where that comes in. Christ… THE man above all other men… loves us so much that He pursues us. He woos us. And when we finally surrender our lives to Him, it doesn’t end there. He leaves little love notes (in the form of Scripture passages, or blessing, or revelation) that continue to stir a love for Him in our hearts and living. And here’s the funny thing… He does all of this in spite of who we were/ are. He doesn’t complete us… Instead He restores us. He works diligently on perfecting us. He passionately cares for us and builds us for abundant living!
How men are meant to love their wives? Not with an interest in completing or changing, or fixing them… but with a love that seeks to build them. With a love that brings us joy because the object of that gift, our beloved, is able to find contentment and strength through our support and care. If our wives feel that level of passionate love, they’ll not only prosper… they’ll likely be more inclined to give that passionate love in response.