We recently finished up a study on Colossians at church. Now Colossians is a book written by Paul to put to rest false teaching that was spreading in the early Church. There is a bunch in there about what is right, what is wrong, and ultimately what we should be focusing on. What's this got to do with being a dad you say? Well, first and foremost, if you're going to be a good dad, you should have a good relationship with Christ. Then being a dad and a good one comes from that. Because your focus will be on him and what he wants from your life.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3
This means focusing on the things that are ultimate. I've been reading a book, along with our community group, called Reason for God and in this book we talked about what sin really is. What I came away with is that it isn't focusing on the ultimate things in life. Which means that it can be focusing on good things, such as ministry, jobs, cleaning the house, entertainment, and putting those things over the ultimate focus....Christ! Colossians is all about pointing this out.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:15-17
And now I come to the part about being a family and being a dad in the family. Being the dad is so much more than being the Head of the Household. It isn't lording over your family. It isn't working so much and so often that you put a roof over your families head and food on their table and yet forget to have a relationship with them. What it is, where the rubber meets the road, is loving your family as Christ loved the Church. Now, I don't know about you, but that scares me and inspires me. Think about it! As CHRIST LOVED THE CHURCH! Yes, I just yelled there, but I'm yelling at myself. We can go to Philippians to find out what this really means.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Philippans 2:5-8
I want to finish up by saying, that we as men and as fathers are supposed to be in this mindset. We are supposed to be servants, not only of our Lord Christ, but of our families. We're to serve them just as he served the Church. Where does that hit your pride? It hits mine really low and really hard. Christ humbled himself, the ultimate, powerful, creator of the universe became a stinking pile of human dirt just to die. So can I change that dirty diaper? Can I clean that toilet? Can I work that job that isn't really want I want to do to provide for my family? I hope I can, in light of what Christ did.
This post has already gone on a long time, but please bear with me. I've been thinking about this stuff awhile and I'm sure I'll be writing about board games plenty in the weeks to come, so lets keep it pretty deep here still. Being a husband and father, means being a leader, in both spiritual and non-spiritual things. I remember reading once that all marriage problems after 5 years of marriage are the husbands fault. I'm not sure I'd go that far, especially the specific number of 5 years, but I would say that ultimately our household comes under our responsibility and so we need to man up and admit we're wrong, ask for forgiveness, work those extra hours, sing with our kids at bed time, pray for them, play games with them, take our wife on a date, clean the litter box, whatever it takes to encourage a household of that loves and follows Christ together.
Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:18-22