As I reflect over the death of my father, I think of my most vivid memories. One of them was how, at the end of his week-long business trips, he would come up the back steps with his arms loaded full of all sorts of treats and surprises, and a box of chocolates for my mom. It was always so nice to have him home for the weekend.
My dad was especially good at concocting some sort of special confectionery delight...either a milk shake or a strawberry shortcake or peach ice-cream, all with fruit he had hand-picked (one of his favorite past-times). This treat occurred almost every Saturday afternoon. These memories of my dad make me think of what memories my children will carry forward of me.
The things that I enjoy doing with my time around the house reflect closely what my father enjoyed. The things that I strive to add to what my father enjoyed are things that my father could not do because of his work schedule. These include lively discussion around the dinner table, clear and truthful answers to the questions that my children have and will ask as they grow, and ensuring that my children are able to understand the world through a Biblical perspective (which is the only perspective that allows for a clear understanding of everything that goes on in this world).
For a good 10 years in my adolescence and early adulthood, I doubted the intellectual honesty of the Bible. I want to equip my children with the knowledge and proofs that will allow them to press forward in their spiritual life rather than treading water while holding only onto the faith of their parents.
Edith Schaeffer writes the following in her devotional book, A Way of Seeing:
A child is being robbed, being offended, or made to stumble, if that child is not given the truth with enough explanation and answers to questions so that there is a measure of understanding. The wonderful faith of a child is the quickness to believe what is told, when the one telling is confident that what is told is accurate. It is sad to have children be told things which are not true, knowing that they will discover the deception later and be disillusioned. It is also sad to have children "ask their fathers" and never get an answer which is an understandable explanation of truth. The Bible is strong about responsibility to the next generation.... Believing parents are meant to be constantly teaching their children the facts that need to be verbalized, but also the commands of the Lord as demonstrated in life. Within the family there should be a mingling of questions and answers, growing knowledge unfolded from the Word of God, and practical living out of the teaching of the Word.... No one is free from influencing children in some way.
Dads, we're creating a legacy, no matter what our actions, be they good or bad. We should daily think and pray about what our legacy should and will be to the future generations present in the lives of our children. We should let the Lord's leading guide our actions daily so that we impact these future generations in a mighty way for Him and His kingdom.
"And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." Malachi 4:6
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