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The Word for Today

by Bob and Debby Gass

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‘…we loved you so much…’ 1 Thessalonians 2:8 NIV

Spiritual leadership. ‘Surely you remember…we preached the Gospel…to you.’ (v9) A recent survey of Christian families shows that one in ten fathers pray with their children, and one in 25 fathers read the Bible to them. Many of us remember being raised by godly mothers (thank God for them!) while our fathers were either marginally involved, or totally uninvolved with the family’s spiritual life. Though Mum is leading the spiritual charge, God still holds Dad accountable to do it (see Ephesians 6:4). Mum may take the kids to church, pray with them and teach them Biblical principles, but kids have a core need only a father can meet. So model for them the life-shaping, loving character of their heavenly Father. Adults reared without the influence of a godly father frequently report something missing in themselves, preventing their feeling comfortable and intimate with their heavenly Father. He seems inaccessible, unaffectionate, judgmental, conditionally accepting, grudgingly forgiving, and predominantly punitive. They pray infrequently because prayer feels awkward, like ‘bothering God’ who’s ‘way too busy to listen to my needs’. Feeling this, many kids reject God altogether. On the other hand, adults whose dads were involved in leading the family spiritually seem relatively free from these problems. Dad, God has appointed you His representative in your kids’ lives, and there’s no substitute for you. It’s time to take the wheel, whatever age your kids are, so that you, like Paul, can say, ‘Surely you remember…while [I] preached the Gospel…to you!’

SoulFood: Hosea 6-10, Mark 14:43-52, Ps 139:7-12, Pr 13:24

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2011

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