Tuesday, July 21, 2009

First things first...

I grew up with a lot of kids, who at one point or another, had painfully realised that their family home was filled with what they saw as hypocrisy. The parents, specifically their dads, would lead double lives - one at home and another in the church. I remember observing one situation, when this person's father was as deacon and elder in the church - and preached that Sunday night on the subject of God's grace. He then came home that evening and tore down his family in a fit of rage.

I have memories from an even younger age, of going to my parents' friends' houses, and noticing how strange it was - that these men I saw my dad talk about God with - their sons would cry out in fear even at their father's raised voice.

Heck, if I am to be truly honest with myself, I remember sitting down with my parents once, and blatantly admitting to my dad, that I was scared of him.

I don't mention these things as a means to shame, or blame or even complain. These memories and thoughts are not coming to me because of a need to resolve an issue of the past.

They are coming to me now, because of all the fears I have in my life - to be seen like that by my own children - I can think of few things worse.

I truly believe and live by the fact, that as a father, my attitudes with my kids have the ability to impact their view of God for the rest of their lives. Irrelevant of what the causes are of whatever issues I bring - it is my primary responsibility to ensure that they see God through me. It is my responsibility and delight to be demonstrating God's grace and love to them - as he does to me. For my relationship with Him to be growing, and for them to see it and feel encouraged to seek him also.

Ultimately - I believe for my relationship with my children to be a continuing edifying experience for them, in the same ways and to the a similar extent as living with Jesus should be for me.

How can I possibly call myself a follower of Christ if I fail in any way with this? Its so easy to become self obsessed. Its so easy to become wrapped up in my own stuff - to the point of justifying my actions and attitude as part of that primary responsibility. I can get so hooked on an idea, on ideals - so fixated on a single target that is not my kids - Godly or otherwise - ....... it is worth NOTHING if I let this slip.

How can I be serving God in the world at large, if I cannot get it right in the home? How can I be succeeding at home if my kids don't see an accurate picture of God through me? How can they see God through me, if they are fearing me, or feeling rejected or even not being edified?

Surely it is getting these things correct that is considered in 1st Timothy as having your "house in order"?

So it is first things first - I am going to work on my calling as a dad.


  1. It is a massive responsibility. I'm overwhelmed by it every day. I pray we both will do good by our kids. We do have some pretty amazing kids.

  2. Rene, I look forward to reading about your struggles and your journey. I think trying to be a good dad is a great step to take. But always remember--we all fall short of the glory of God and make mistakes. It is not worth nothing if you have a misstep, and you can still be a follower of Christ even if you take a wrong step now and then. In fact, it makes you MORE a follower of Christ, to make mistakes and learn from them. More people in this world learn from those who've been where they are--made their mistakes and still blossomed into a beautiful individual. So I wouldn't go trying to make mistakes, but remember that first you must forgive yourself and then God will forgive you too.


Please be kind and thoughtful - no trolling or flaming - but feel free to challenge!