Today, I want to encourage and celebrate some of the most important people on the planet…our fathers.
Dad, you are the most valuable player on your home team. You are the individual that God commissioned to train your children and build a strong foundation for your family. Your children are only a portion of today’s population, but they are 100% of our future. They will be tomorrow what you train them to be today.
Your sons need you. They need you to demonstrate how a godly man lives, and that hard work pays off. They need you to show them how to love God with all their heart, and how to share His love with others.
Your daughters need you. They need your loving embrace to be a safe place where they can find strength and confidence, a place to be comforted in their hour of need. They need you to demonstrate how a godly man loves his wife, honors her and serves his household.
Your church needs you. We need you to make an impact in the community, to stand up and speak up for righteousness. We need you to defend the truth found in God’s Word, to be an example of how a godly man should conduct himself.
God needs you. He chose you to lead your family in the principles of righteousness. He needs you to trust in Him and lean not on your own understanding. He needs you to cast your cares on Him when you feel as if you are carrying the weight of the world. He needs you to delight yourself in His Word.
Your children will become what you train them to be. When the family is strong, the church is strong. When the church is strong, the nation is strong. When the nation is strong, tomorrow is filled with hope.
The home team is the most important team. While it is so much fun to cheer your favorite sports team on to victory, to their next big win…the season always comes to an end, and planning starts all over again for the following year. Your children are only yours for a few days. When they grow up and leave home, the game of life begins.
The struggle at times will be life and death. The stakes are winner takes all. The fundamentals that you instill in your children when they are at home will determine how well they are able to play the game.
For professional players, there is an off-season. But for dads, there are no breaks. So, how do you win? How do you prepare? What can you do to build a team of warriors that will become world changers once they leave home?
First, remember exactly where greatness originates. “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain (Psalm 127:1).” Dad, you won’t win in life…in your business, in your marriage, in how you raise your children… unless you build your home on a firm foundation of faith.
With life comes labor. It’s not a matter of will you work, but will your work be done in vain? Or will your work lead to victory? I recently researched some top athletes from various sports, trying to see what made them so successful. And I found that no matter what position they played, no matter what team or program they were a part of… champions were not champions because they did extraordinary things. They are champions because they did ordinary things better than anyone else.
The best of the best are great at fundamentals. The Super Bowl champions blocked and tackled better than their opponents. The Major League World Series champions fielded and hit better. They out-hustled the other team. The NBA Champions made more shots and had fewer turnovers.
Many of these top professional athletes shared testimonies of discipline and routine. They put in the extra effort, took the extra time. They used their strengths to improve their weaknesses.
And the same is true for fathers. There is no magic formula for being an “all-pro” dad. You must commit yourself to the fundamentals.
God wants you to do what’s right. Bring the Word of God to your family and practice what you preach. Be a doer of the Word and not a hearer only. Don’t send your children to church, attend with them. Guide your family along a path of righteousness so that when they leave home, they will continue to follow Him. Pray for, with, and over your family members. Lay hands on your children and speak words of blessing over them.
Be involved in your children’s lives. Know who they hang out with and what they enjoy doing. Their hobbies will become their habits. Are they forming godly friendships and doing things that honor Him? Prepare them for life with unconditional love and godly guidance; arm them with the truth found in God’s Word.
Teach them that respect is earned, and hard work is expected. Giving is better than getting. And forgiveness is the best gift they can give anyone. Teach them that the words “I’m sorry” will build bridges instead of burning them. Talent will take you places, but hard work and discipline will keep you there.
Teach your children that love conquers all, and that no matter where they go or what they do, no matter what life throws at them…you will ALWAYS be there for them. Be consistent. When you say you will be there…show up. There is no greater “job” than being a dad. Do not let your office become more important than your home.
When I was a child, my siblings and I understood that my Dad was only a phone call away. Was there ever a day he wasn’t busy? Not to my knowledge. He has worked from sun up to sun down since I’ve known him, and has instilled a deep love of the Lord in all of us along with a strong work ethic. When I was little, he didn’t ask me how my ballgame went…he showed up. He came to every practice. He was my biggest fan. THIS is the example that was set for me. The bar is high. I love you, Dad!