If you fail to teach your son
If you fail, father, to teach your son to fear God, the devil will teach him to hate God. If you fail to teach your son to guard his mind, the devil will gladly teach him to have an open mind. If you fail to teach your son to obey his parents, the devil will teach him to rebel and break his parent’s heart. If you fail to teach your son to select his companions, the devil will gladly choose them for him. If you fail to teach your son to control his body, the devil will teach him to give it over completely to lust. If you fail to teach your son to enjoy the marriage partner that God has given him, the devil will teach him to destroy the marriage. If you fail to teach your son to watch his words, the devil will fill his mouth with filth. If you fail to teach your son to pursue his work, the devil will make his laziness a tool of hell. If you fail to teach your son to manage his money, the devil will teach him to waste it on riotous living. And if you fail to teach your son to love his neighbor, the devil will gladly teach him to love only himself. Wise words from Pastor John McArthur.
I have recently been leading our congregation through a study of the Book of Leviticus in a series entitled “Shadows of Grace.” The book is filled with wonderful typology and symbolism which picture in the lives of ancient Israel the grace that is brought by Christ into all of our lives. today, under what we call the New Covenant.
This past week we began to look at the priesthood as God called Israel out of Egypt into the wilderness where they would learn to forsake the worldliness of Egypt and become a people unique in their relationship to God. God told them they were to become a “chief treasure” of His own keeping and would become a nation of Kings and Priests. God called one specific tribe (Levi) out of the whole congregation for specific priestly duties and finally, out of that tribe God called a family to serve Him in the Temple Priesthood. It is a powerful story of the sovereign choosing of God as He consecrates and sets apart men to serve Him. But what is so powerful here is not just that He calls men to His service – but their families as well.
Christian brother, can you believe that God has called your family to a special service in the Kingdom? Can you grasp that God has set you as the Chief Priest in your family and that you bear the weight of responsibility to stand in your family as God’s chosen representative to them? Ephesians 2:10 declares, “For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works which He has foreordained that you should walk in them.” So many men today are failing to understand the divine calling which rests upon them with respect to their families. It is not only that they might be saved to eternal life in Christ, though surely that is the foremost and highest of all callings, but it is more. We are called to prepare them and lead them into those “good works” for which they were created.
Paul said to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:14, “By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.” Now, contextually I believe Paul to be speaking of the gospel here; the “good news” of salvation through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Allow me the liberty to suggest though that it would not be an illegitimate use of these words to remind each of us as parents to look around at the children God has given us, or in some cases of those who don’t have their own children, the children God has given us access to — to look around and realize that sitting around our table, sleeping in our beds, birthed in our loins or carried in our wombs, the “good deposit” of the next generation of those God has fashioned unto good works and He commands us to guard well that good deposit entrusted to us.
Godly fathers and Godly fathering is the key. A question found in a Swiss census some years ago reveals this profoundly:
1. If a father and mother attend church regularly, it is an 80% likelihood that their children will attend church regularly as adults.
2. If a mother only attends church regularly then the likelihood of a child attending church regularly as an adult falls to 30%.
3. If a father only attends church regularly, the likelihood of his children attending church regularly as adults climbs once again to better than 70%.
Fathers can have a tremendous impact upon their children’s faith and values. Are we surprised then at the vigor with which the enemy attacks the home and tries to diminish or remove altogether the impact of fathers in the lives of their children, for if he is successful he can cripple the next generation spiritually and eradicate the “good works” they were fashioned for.