As I look back over the course of almost seventy sears, I wonder, what have I taught my children? I realize that the first twenty years, I was being taught. I’ll have to admit that my dad, in a lot of ways wasn’t the best teacher. or leader. However, even in those years he taught me some lessons that I have used in the process of teaching my children. It’s easy to make a statement like that but, did I do, even as good of a job teaching my children as he did with me?
It’s one plus that I might add to this as I seek to teach through it all. I’ll use a verse of scripture to begin this. ( 2 Timothy 1:5 ) When I call to rememberance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
I realize this verse is using the mother as an example but, it makes the point that I desire to make. No matter what my dad might have been in his early years; he became a spiritual leader to all his grandchildren that, including my children. my children could gleen knowledge from him even as I tried to instruct them. The education went beyond my ability and, could be seen in him. That is exactly the way it is suppose to work. Every generation doing all it can to bring about the glory of God in the next. Every generation teaching and exalting Jesus Christ, the father being the leader of the household.
One of the first things I remember was my dad teaching me to ( plow a straight row ). Although I was driving a tractor, he was taught on a mule. He said they taught him, when he started a row to pick something on the other end of the field between the mule’s ears and keep it there. That would make the row straight. Although I used a tractor; I would take the radiator cap as a guide and keep it on my target. Therefore, the row would be straight.
Can you see how, even that is a life’s lesson? As a father, how do you want your row to look when you get to the end? By example, what are you teaching your children or grandchildren? Father’s, let’s be honest. In every life or, rows we plow there will always be rocks and stumps that cause us to dot off course but, we don’t have to allow ourselves to be defeated by those objects do we? Can’t out children, grandchildren learn from that as well if we use it as a lesson?
Today, as an older man. I keep my eye on the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus. Although my children are grown and, my grandchildren are there as well; my desire is for them to see a desire in me to give my all to Christ, leaving that example for them to follow.
My dad taught me the value of hard work, of honesty. The necessity of respect for others, especially his wife, the woman I called mom. My dad died in 2015. He was 93 years old. In all the years of my life around him, I never heard him say a curse word. Basically, although I know he wasn’t perfect, he always showed respect for my mom and, expected me to do the same. I’ll have to admit, somethimes I fell short at that as well. I’d say that all his grandchildren would agree with what I said about him as well. He set his eyes on the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus and also, set that example for his children and grandchildren to see.
I don’t say these things to do anything other than to say; my dad put a point between a mule’s ears and sought to plow a straight row. The real question is what am I teaching all those that God has given me to instruct? What is my focus and, what will I leave my children and grandchildren?
From my perspective, a father, any man that father’s a child has a tremendous responsibility. That responsibility begans long before the child is even born and, never ends until his life is over. I remember standing by my dad’s bed when he died. I took his hand and said, you go on dad, and rest. I got it from here. Someone took a picture of me sitting at the graveside just before my dad was buried. My wife tells me she sees determination in my face. The detemination to carry on my responsibility to my family. To carry the mantle and finish my course.
I’ll have to admit. I’m not a perfect husband, father, brother or, perfect in any way but, it’s not because of a lack of passion and will. My heart felt desire is, as a father that one day someone will pick up the mantle I carry for Jesus Christ and carry it on, to have the will to find a spot, a point of righteousness and to seek to plow a straight row until the end of their lives.
My last question is; as a father, what kind of lessons are you teaching your children? If I asked your daughter, your son, your grand children what they see in you, what would their answer be? Would it matter to you? We all have a race to run, a fight to fight, an appointment with death, no exceptions. My desire, no matter how short I might have fallen is for my family, my children, my grandchildren to see Christ in my life. My desire is to leave a legacy of the Holy Spirit when I’m gone.
To me, it’s not my place to demand anything of anyone. It’s my place to set a standard of myself that my children might see something in me and, desire to walk like I do and, that because of Christ. I completely understand that I cannot change anyone. My responsibility is to lead by example and, that of Christ. It’s the responsibility of the Holy Spirit to bring about change in the live of those that see my life.
My wife shared a story with me once that went something like this. A Sunday School teacher once ask a little boy if he knew Jesus Christ as his Savior? The little boy replied; yes. The teacher then replied; son you actions are speaking so loud, I can’t hear a word you are saying.
What are my actions saying to my children? What do your actions show your children? One day I’ll stand before Jesus Christ and give an account for my life. My children have their own life to live and, will give an account of how they live that life. Lord, help my life not be the reason for failure in my children and those that I say I love.
Help the things I teach be sent from the very heart of our Lord, Jesus Christ.