The ancient idiom “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” is very accurate. This shouldn’t surprise us. God has hard-wired our children with a desire to follow our example.
I had a friend recently post a picture on Facebook. All I could see of my friend was one of his hands pushing his lawnmower. Not too far away, following right behind my friend was his son pushing his own toy lawnmower right down the same path. My friend was reminded that with every step he takes, he is charting a course for his son to follow. As a father, God has called dads to lead their families. It is one of our highest life-priorities and will almost certainly yield our greatest generational impact. What is extremely sobering is the reality that regardless of how we live our lives, good or bad our children are hard-wired to follow us.
This is the simple truth of the matter. It is unequivocally the divine-given responsibility of a parent to be the primary protector and influencer over that child’s life. God charges fathers specifically to train and discipline their children in the ways of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).
Some sobering realities about the father-child relationship:
- Our kids are hard-wired to follow us.
- Intentionally or not, we will lead our children.
- Without Christ, we will fail in the area that matters most.
As a father of five, I know first-hand how true this is. I look at my children and see a reflection of myself. Not to let the moms off the hook. I also see my wife’s heart-print on each of my kids. This is why it remains our number one life priority to live and share Jesus with our children. God knows that I’ve made countless mistakes in life. Yet, my prayer is that my sons and daughters don’t ultimately look to my example but to Christ.
If I get everything else "wrong" as a father but live for Christ, I’ve succeeded where it matters most (Matthew 6:33). I know that I will never be perfect in this lifetime. It is all about living for The One that is and pointing my kids in His direction. I want my life to say to my children, "Follow me as I follow Christ."
Video courtesy of Mineeo.com.