id you know, according to the Huffington Post, in 1970, only six men registered to stay at home dads. That’s not 6% of men; literally 6 men stayed at home. Today, there are 1.9 million “stay at home” dads. As this trend has gone up, as a Father of three children of my own, we need to develop an “as for me and my house” mentality that is anchored in biblical principles.
“As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)
The first thing I would like to bring to our attention today is this simple premise. No one is going to develop this mentality for you. As a father, you have to take the bull by the horns and say, “in this house, we are going to serve the Lord. In this house, we are going to spend time with God.”
The second level to this is the realization that actions speak louder than words. If we are ever going to be the type of Father that has the same relationship our Heavenly Father has with us, then we need to let our actions do the “talking.”
I can think of no greater example of this than Joshua in the Bible. By the time the 24th chapter of Joshua comes around, Joshua has already led the people of God over seven nations that rose up against them in the promised land. Joshua, who succeeded Moses in bringing the people of God to the promise-land, knew good and well what he was saying.
What Joshua was saying was this. After all the years of victory for God, after the walls of Jericho, AI, and the many nations that rose up against us, one thing I know that is true is this: “as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”
What an amazing thing to say. For me, it is one thing to say that at the beginning of your life, and it’s a whole other thing to say it at the end. What is different? Actions. Joshua led his family by allowing his actions to speak louder than his words.
Godly Father's Lead Through Service
Another way that Joshua chose to lead is by his service. Look at the rest of the verse in Joshua 24:15,
“Choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)
As Godly Dads, we have to understand that sometimes serving the Lord isn’t the most popular choice, even in your children’s lives. Are you willing to make the hard choices in serving the Lord? What does your household see you serving? Money? Does not having money make you anxious? What about your career? Are you happy when you go to work and frustrated when you come home?
As good Fathers, we have to understand that there is power in what we serve. Joshua made the hard choice and implored those around them to choose for themselves who they will serve. Notice, Joshua made that choice for his family through the power of God.
If you have children, you will notice that often, children lose sight of who they are and who God created them to be. As their bodies are constantly changing, the minds are as well, as they slowly are being exposed to so many things. Because of this, many times, they lose track of who they are by constantly comparing themselves to others. As parents, we have to make that choice for them early on. When they attack life from a place of confidence in their identity in Jesus Christ, they will develop their own unique character traits and personality that usher in God’s perfect plan in their life.
Godly Father's Lead Through The Correct Perspective
Not only did Joshua choose to serve God for his family, but he also led them by having the correct perspective in life. This perspective was something that was developed early on in his life as an understudy of Moses. In Numbers 13:25-31, we read that Caleb and Joshua were the only ones to bring a positive report back to Moses during the precursor’s of entering the promise-land. Moses had sent out 12 spies, and only Joshua and Caleb came back with the news that they could have victory.
When others saw defeat, Joshua saw an opportunity for victory. Joshua chose to see things through the correct perceptive. As Fathers, we must do the same thing. There will be times that are kids will not show any fruit of being a responsible and caring person (can I get an amen?). It is in these moments; we must rise as parents and choose to see things through the right perspective. I can recall countless evenings that my wife and I told our children how loving and kind they were when the opposite was true. When we began to do this, within minutes or hours, our children would start to respond positively. Why is this true? I believe it only was because we saw things through the correct perspective.
The Prodigal God
Just think about the perspective our heavenly Father has in our lives. One of the greatest passages of Scripture that reveal the Father’s love for us is in the story of the prodigal son. In the story, you may recall, the prodigal son squanders his Father’s inheritance and becomes homeless. It is at this time, that he thinks to himself that it would be better to be a servant in his Father’s house than to eat food with pigs. He never envisions that his Father would have the type of response whenever he returns home. In Luke 15:20, we read the Father’s teaching and his response, “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”
This is such an incredible passage of Scripture, for it reveals the nature of our Heavenly Father’s heart. It doesn’t matter what we’ve done; God’s love for us is unconditional. His response to our repentance will always be through his goodness and love.
When it comes to correcting and disciplining, our response should mimic the response of the Father in the story of the prodigal son. Ephesians 6:4 states, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them.” As Father’s, what should we provoke? Quite simply, the Father’s love.
God sees things in use no one else sees, and it is through that lens He calls us into a relationship with Him. With this being said, are we seeing the same things God sees in our children? If not, we need to get on the same page with God. How does that happen? The secret place. Get alone with God and open up God's Word and begin to allow Him to Father you in a way you never known before.
"Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it." (Provers 22:6)