I’m going to jump out there with an assumption…You kids probably don’t know enough about you. Now, again, I know I’m assuming things here, but its something that I’ve noticed over the years. For many children, the lives and backgrounds of their fathers remain a mystery, but who cares?
Family members don’t need to know every single detail of your current and past lives. In fact, there is plenty of wisdom in not glorifying the sin in your past by elaborating on it in detail. Christian father, you’ve been forgiven much and that’s what your kids need to know about.
Romans 10:14-15 has some wonderfully logical questions for followers of Christ to think through:
How, then, can they call on him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about him? And how can they hear without a preacher? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.
After Paul, in the context of addressing the spiritual state of Israel, shares how we are justified with God in 1-13, he gives what might seem like common-sense statements. Frankly, we have the best news in the world…Jesus is ALIVE and is at work in this fallen world. However, how will the lost hear the good news? Someone needs to tell them.
While Paul is not directly teaching on the family, the principle most certainly applies to that institution as well. Think of it this way:
How can my kids call on Jesus if they’ve not heard about Him from me? And how can my kids believe without me telling them about Jesus? And how can my kids hear without me teaching them?
Thank God for calling and sending us pastors. Thank God for calling and sending next-gen pastors. If you’re not actively plugged into a local church, prayerfully choose one to attend this week. Thank God that he has given us Christian friends and extended family members that openly declare the great gospel of Jesus Christ. Praise God we are not alone on the journey of discipling our children! However, we should teach our kids about Jesus as if no one else will. (Take time to slowly read that last sentence again.) If the only teaching your kids had about Jesus came from you and your spouse, would they be able to teach their kids the full council of God (See Acts 20:26-27)?
Fathers, I believe this process of telling your kids about Jesus can begin with you sharing your testimony with them. What was your life like before you met Jesus? When did you meet Him? What has your life been like since you met Him? Your pastor can help you write out your testimony and will help to package it in a way that makes sense to your kids. As your kids get older, they’ll understand more of your story. If your kids know that you’ve been an open book with them, it’s more likely that they’ll be an open book with you. If nothing else, allow your story to be an account of God’s faithfulness to an undeserving sinner.
It’s pretty normal for men to assume that they can’t be vulnerable and open. However, I bet your kids need to know more about who you are and what makes you tick. Opening the door of your heart will contribute to their spiritual development.