|Corcovado jesus (Photo credit: @Doug88888)|
|English: The Lord Jesus Christ in the image of Good Shepherd. Early Christian trsdition of symbolism. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
By Dan Liberto, President and Co-Founder of Generation With A Name, LLC
As I write this note, the paraphrased words of Mordecai in the fourth chapter of Esther ring clearly in my mind: “Who knows but that you have come to this royal position for such a time as this.”1 Seems initially like pretty lofty stuff. But as husbands, parents, and dads, are we not sitting in the same position, overseeing the family’s royal crest? Aren’t we called to lead our families to the knowledge of Christ? Do we not have the purpose of reflecting to our family and neighbors faith, hope, and most importantly the love of Christ? These are certainly royal objectives, because they are ordained by the King of kings, our Lord Jesus Christ. But do we treat them as royal objectives?
In our nation and in the world, we are experiencing difficult times. But when light is willingly turned off, then there is no option other than darkness. We have willingly, if not purposely, promoted this darkness by limiting the Light of Christ in our daily expression. This daily expression, which is akin to Jesus’ words to take up your cross daily,2 should begin in the home and radiate out from there.
As husbands we have a unique responsibility and calling specific to the wife of our youth.3 We are to guide, protect, and satisfy her emotional and spiritual needs. Marriage is quite possibly the most intense exhibition of the second greatest commandment there is, because it is a true covenant exemplifying the unity of the triune God. The marriage covenant, as exercised in a manner consistent with Ephesians 5, truly reflects a model of love and commitment to a world that has lost its way. Furthermore, we are compelled as Christian husbands to be considerate of our wives and treat them with respect.4 There is no better example to an ailing society than a successful marriage forged by sacrifice, commitment, and love for your spouse. Who knows but that we have come to this royal position for such a time as this, to respect and fulfill the commitment to our wedding vows and serve as a shining light to a culture of quickie divorces and prenuptial agreements. There should be no doubt in the eyes of my wife that I love her, just as there is no doubt in my eyes that Jesus Christ loves His Church.
As a parent, I am truly blessed. Jackie and I have three daughters: one adolescent, one quickly approaching adolescence, and one (6-year-old) who thinks she exceeds the older two in both knowledge and authority. Since they are all girls, the nest gets a little crowded at times with all the visiting hormones. Conversely, the owner’s manual for boys presents its own set of challenges. At any rate, children in general are a blessing from God.
As parents, Jackie and I are in agreement that we are first and foremost charged with the task of teaching the knowledge of God to the next generation, starting with our children.5 As parents, Jackie and I are heirs of the gracious gift of life.6 Also as parents, we stand steadfast between our children and a broken world that is aggressively making overtures for their hearts and minds.
Tedd Tripp, in his book Shepherding a Child’s Heart,7
states, “Each child in a Christian home will at some point examine the claims of the gospel and determine whether he will embrace its truth.” He goes on to point out that we as parents need to be available to help the children pursue answers to their questions with honest scrutiny. Who knows but that I have come to this royal position for such a time as this, to unite with Jackie and shine the Light of Christ in the hearts of our children by taking literally the words of the Apostle Peter to always be prepared to give an answer to the hope we share.8 This of course extends to our actions as well, given they are never far from the adoring eyes of our children. Who knows but that we have come to this royal position for such a time as this, to show true love and respect to our wives as an example to our children (the next generation9) of God’s ways. Who knows but that we have come to this royal position for such a time as this, to clothe ourselves in the armor of God10 and protect our children from being devoured by the devil, who prowls around like a roaring lion.11 Who knows but that we have come to this royal position for such a time as this, to spend time with our children nurturing their love for Christ, quenching their inquisitive thirst with Living Water12, and answering their many questions from a Christian worldview.
The book Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker, M.D13 describes the heart of a young girl and her desire to have a relationship with her father, including actively showing your daughter that she is worth fighting for. Your daughter needs a hero, and your son needs to know that he measures up. The relationship between the daughter/son and the father is critical to show them how to focus on the Lord as their only source of hope. This is not done solely from the Paternal Pulpit. We as dads must mix in a healthy dose of humility and love. We should allow them to experience trials and the consequences that result from their choices, because it is in these challenges they will discover the true nature of God. It is in knowing God that they come to know themselves and their true worth in the eyes of God and in the eyes of their dad. But there should never be any doubt that you love them and will fight for them without hesitation and without end. As a dad, establishing a strong relationship with your daughters will facilitate her selection of a life mate who will nurture her emotionally and spiritually—just as she saw you nurture her mother.
Similarly, having a strong relationship with your son will pass down the endorsement that he is a man. This rite of passage will increase the chance that he will share your values and look to God to find his name, as John Eldredge states in his book Wild at Heart.14
He will choose a life of leadership similar to the blueprint you shared openly and freely with him as he grew in your love. Who knows but that we have come to this royal position for such a time as this—to turn off the TV, computer, and phone and to patiently talk with our children. Who knows but that we have come to this royal position for such a time as this, to lead our children through individual relationships to a commitment of faith in Jesus Christ. This commitment to Christ will equip our children to stand firm to the end and be saved as the world grows increasingly dark and the love of most grows cold.15 Who knows but that we have come to this royal position for such a time as this to provide a refuge that will keep our children strong, so they can learn to love their friends and enemies as they love themselves,16 because love covers a multitude of sins.17
Let us heed the call to refocus on the family as the core of society and to make it healthy once again by seeking the Lord earnestly through family prayer, praise, devotionals, and yes, even fasting. We are called to walk a path fraught with one battle after another as we swim against the cultural current. But if we persevere, God promises character and hope.18 What better objectives are there?
It truly is a great time to be a husband, parent, and dad. I thank the Lord for this royal appointment . . . at such a time as this.
Dan Liberto is President and co-founder of Generation With A Name, LLC, along with his lovely wife Jackie of nineteen years. Dan and Jackie have three daughters. Their ministry developed as a response to the secular attacks on children and the low rate of Biblical literacy in the Christian family. They sharpen the sword of the Spirit by emphasizing the promises of God through Biblical stories. Learn more about their ministry at TheFreedomGirls.com.
1. Esther 4:14, KJV.
2. Luke 9:23, KJV, Deny yourself and take up cross daily.
3. Malachi 2:13–15, 1 Peter 3:7, KJV, Importance of the marriage covenant KJV.
4. 1 Peter 3:7, KJV, Treat your wives with respect.
5. Deuteronomy 4:9–10, Psalm 78:1–8.
6. 1 Peter 3:7, “gracious gift of life,” NIV.
7. Tedd Tripp, Shepherding a Child’s Heart (Shepherd Press, 1995).
8. 1 Peter 3:15, KJV, Profess Christ in all that you do.
9. Psalm 78:1–7, KJV, Teach the next generation.
10. Ephesians 6:10–17, KJV, The full armor of God.
11. 1 Peter 5:8, KJV, Be vigilant.
12. John 4:10, John 7:37–39, Jeremiah 2:13, Revelation 22:17, KJV, God is the source of Living Water.
13. Meg Meeker, M.D., Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters (Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2006).
14. John Eldridge, Wild at Heart (Thomas Nelson, Inc. 2001).
15. Matthew 24:12–13, Stand firm till the end.
16. Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 22:39, Romans 13:9, Galatians 5:14, James 2:8, KJV, Love your neighbor.
17. 1 Peter 4:8, KJV, Love covers over a multitude of sins.
18. Romans 5:3–4, KJV, Perseverance through suffering.
Copyright 2011, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the Fall 2011 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the trade magazine for homeschool families. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and download the free apps at www.TOSApps.com to read the magazine on your mobile devices.