Christian Dads-What Legacy are you Leaving?January 22, 2012
Some of the best movies always have some aspect of the plot centered around the father-son/daughter theme. Think about it, here are some examples: Star Wars, Tron Legacy, Green Lantern, Lion King, and many more. All of these have a deep rooted character who is seeking either a relationship with their father, trying to find their father, trying to impress their father and the list could go on. This just highlights one simple, basic principle: a father’s influence over their child is critical, needed, and desired by children, no matter their age.
I believe one of the most important thoughts that should be on the forefront of any father’s mind should be their relationship with Christ, followed quickly by the legacy he will leave with his children. If you take a minute to think back, chances are, you will find yourself doing things your father did. I know I will often find myself saying something to one of my kids and thinking inside, “I sound just like my father.” It’s not always a bad thing, but there are some things, as Christian men, we need to break.
It struck me while listening to a sermon on Jacob and Isaac that the “sins of the father” has a definite theme based in Genesis. Many of us will look at the deceiving of Isaac by Jacob with disdain, but where would a child learn something like that? If you go back to the previous chapters in Genesis, you will see the practice of lying has deeper roots. His father and grandfather both had lied to Abimelech. Sure, these were great men of God and even they had their moments of weakness, not trusting God wholly that he would protect their family. Jacob was simply following in the generational footsteps. Jacob continued this tradition, leaning more on his own strength and understanding than that of God. If you continue to read through Jacob’s story, you will find the deceit continuing when his sons sell their brother into slavery. When will the cycle stop?
Joseph was cut from a different fabric. Time and time again throughout his life, he was given the opportunity to be deceitful, self-reliant, but he fled from them and clung to God. In one instance, he fled so quickly he fled naked from a sin he could have easily given in to. Through his continued focus on God, Joseph was able to be saved from many situations, and was even used to save his family. This is what God can do with simple obedience, he can break the sinful patterns of our fathers.
What is it in your life that you are passing on to your son or daughter? This is a critical questions that if you have not already taken some time to think about, you MUST. Do you have an anger issue? If so, you can pretty well bet your child will struggle with the same. Do you often lie to win people’s affection or affirmation? If so, you will pass this curse on to your children. This can only be done by submitting to Christ and letting him mold you to the father he needs you to be, no only for your sake, but also for that of generations to follow you.
Joseph’s obedience was used to break the generational cycle and saved a nation. Take a moment to think about all of the issues we face as fathers and the issues our children will face in their times. Just think of how willing God is to transform our families and our nation. You never know what your obedience to him may spark in your family and ultimately, many generations down the road, in our nation. Pray, focus, and submit. Your children are dependent upon that!
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About the Writer:
Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.
As a husband and father of three, Trent Cotton has a passion surrounding the role Christian Men are to play in their families, communities, churches and businesses. This particular blog is dedicated to helping men take back the role that we have lost in society.