How many times have you seen a son who follows in the footsteps of his father? Some take over businesses, the family farm. Some jump on political bandwagons. Others become preachers like their fathers before them. My grandson chose to be a fireman. Between his shifts on the fire department, he works alongside his father in building homes.
I watch my son-in-law work extremely long hours at his job, then also give generously of his very spare time ministering to people in the church. It’s easy to see why his son works just as diligently and conscientiously. He was taught strong work ethics, to honor God and use his talents to serve God. Throughout his life, he also worked alongside his dad in mission projects, helping hurricane victims, and ministering to elderly. I recall many conversations in which my son-in-law patiently instructed his sons in the principles of God–perseverance, diligence, patience, and honesty. King David also had words of advice for his son, Solomon:
“And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.” 1 Chronicles 28:9
Sometimes we teach our children and pray they follow our instructions. We want them to be polite, to obey the law, to respect authority. But the greatest instructions we can ever give them is to seek God, to honor Him, to depend upon Him, to rely upon Him and believe wholeheartedly. David is instructing Solomon this way in the passage above. So many times David failed in his own relationship with God. He broke commandments. David lived with the consequences of his sins. Yet, God loved David. He forgave David. He restored David because David repented. And David, though he failed in many ways, he still trusted God. He passed on his faith in God to Solomon as he handed over the responsibility of building God’s temple.
As parents, we do not always live up to what we should. We may not always be as patient, as kind, as generous, as sacrificial or obedient as we should be. I imagine my son-in-law recognizes his own flaws. Yet, his sons will always have a legacy from their father: his love for God, his faithfulness to God, and His belief in Christ.
PRAYER: Lord, I pray for fathers today. Let them seek You first in all they do. Let them love You and show their children how to depend upon You. Let them grow closer to You and give honor and glory to You so their children will follow You. Let them love their wives and be faithful and show their sons, by example, how to love sacrificially. Give them wisdom to train their children and instill in them love for Your Word and Your way.