My vacation read this year was Gospel-Powered Parenting by William Farley (Brandon’s vacation reads were this book and she started this book…thought the ladies might be interested). Right out of the gate Pastor Farley offered a sobering reminder to parents, especially Fathers. (One of the things I really liked about the book was that Farley continually challenged Fathers and reminded them of their central role.) Farley said:
Christians parent with one eye on eternity. Their children will live forever. This is a staggering thought. We cannot imagine “forever.” Nevertheless, the destiny of our children either will be love that surpasses knowledge, joy inexpressible and full of glory, coupled with peace that passes understanding, or it will be weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. There is no middle ground. Therefore, the Christian does not parent for this life only. The believing parent labors to prepare each child for the day of judgment. The stakes are inexpressibly high.
[Your child’s] life expectancy (on earth) is about seventy-five to eighty years. More significantly, our one chance to influence that destiny last for only about eighteen short years. We get one shot. There are no second chances.
Father’s Day is this Sunday and our stores are filled with cards about firing up the grill, golf, sports, tools, and so on. That is not what Fatherhood is at all! Dads, let the above reminder, humble us and drive us to the Gospel…for our own justification and sanctification and then for the empowerment we desperately need to father well. Also, a word to Dads with adult children; it’s never too late, you are still their Dad and the Gospel is the power of God. I hope this Sunday all Dads are honored, maybe with a new tool, a golf outing, a book, a steak or an ugly tie; but let us remember, we are honored because we are called to an eternal and weighty task. We can’t save our kids but we can sure shepherd their hearts to the cross in all we do!