One of my favorite Pixar movies is The Incredibles. The dad, Mr. Incredible, is a washed-up super hero that was forced to go into hiding along with his wife, Elastigirl. What I like about this movie is that it shows the dad rediscovering his true calling and gifts - being a super hero with incredible strength and abilities. Though the journey creates some "adventure" and "drama", he leads his family in the discovery and acceptance of their abilities. That, ultimately, brings them closer together.
This brings me to my main focus - dads. I recently came across a blog titled To the Married Mom Who Sits Alone In the Pew. The author gives a major shout-out to those moms (who are married) who do church alone for various reasons. This hit me hard. Now, I know that my role is different compared to the average church-goer because I'm on a church staff. BUT! It doesn't change my role as a father (and husband).
It's psychologically proven that the role a dad plays in the lives of their kids is a big one. There are national campaigns to get dads involved in the lives of their kids and mentor programs for men to get involved in the lives of kids so that they can be a male role model. There are emotional and mental issues that arise when the father is absent in the home or non-supportive or abusive.
Dads, we have a major role to accept.
Take a look at these two verses:
"These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead., Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates." -Deuteronomy 6:6-9
"Start a youth out on his way; even when he grows old he will not depart from it." -Proverbs 22:6
These two verses, alone, point to the importance of dads (and parents) being a godly example for their children. Obviously, I'm directing all my attention to those dads (including myself) that are Christ-followers. It's our responsibility to lead our families. It's our responsibility to try our hardest to show our sons what a godly man looks like so that they can, hopefully, see God in us and want to follow in our steps. It's our responsibility to try our hardest to show our daughters what a godly husband looks like so that they don't sell themselves short relationally in the hopes that their standards for a husband fall in line with our character.
Let's take our role seriously.
Lead the way when it comes to faith. Let your kids see you reading your bible. Talk with them about God. Pray with your kids and for your kids. Like I tell my students, we need to live our faith out loud.
Don't be absent within the church. Whatever local church you're a part of, be a part of it. I know full well that it's hard to be at church every time the doors are open - but try. Try hard.
Set the example when it comes to priorities. In our own lives, we must put God in front of it all. When we seek after Him, we'll want to be a part of the body of Christ. We'll crave that time with other believers for encouragement, for corporate worship, and for the deepening of our relationship with Him.
I know life gets busy. I know you're tired. I know you need time to yourself. Believe me, I know. I'm a dad. I'm a husband. I'm far from perfect. But from the perspective of a student pastor, the need for dads to not only be be actively involved in their kids' physical lives, but also their spiritual lives, is extremely important.