Sunday will be the first fathers day that I celebrate without my dad, who passed away in December. Although my dad did not live his life has a Christian man, he was a good man, always there to help anyone who needed help. My dad also taught me many things, but I think the most important lesson I ever learned from him was to always have a go, which is a good thing, as this year we have had to have a go at things that we had always relied on him to do. We have had to actually use the skills that he has spent his life trying to teach us, I must admit, I think should have paid more attention at times, however I have been surprised at what lessons actually did sink in.
As I ponder the loss of my dad this week, I am challenged as I think of what limited time we have as parents to influence our children's lives, and what legacy we will leave behind. I am reminded of Deuteronomy 6 That we are to be active parents with our children, walking the road with them, talking to them about things that point to our heavenly Father. We are also to be a living example to our children as they see us ‘loving the Lord our God wholeheartedly’ and as we commit ‘wholeheartedly to the commands we are given’
4 “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Just as my dad tried to teach me the same lessons over and over again, and as our heavenly Father patiently teaches us and waits for us to learn our lessons over and over again, so we too are to patiently love, encourage and guide our children in the ways of the Lord, over and over again. I know at times it can feel like nothing is sinking in, but I encourage you, keep on investing, over and over again. I pray that the legacy you leave to your children, will be ‘to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.’ and through the Grace of God and your patience and persistence your children and their children will come to know the Lord.