PAX Present: Ginger, Sega, Squatter, Swan, Paycheck, Spam, CDC, Yogi, Speedwalker, Dipstick & Mr. Rogers.
Prayer Needs: 1. Continue to pray for T-Bird’s mom, Dip Stick’s mom & Swan’s M.
Intro: For the last few weeks we’ve been talking about spiritual disciplines. We began this morning by having everyone list some of the most well known spiritual disciplines. Most common ones that were mentioned include: prayer, scripture memory, Bible study, worship, fasting, solitude…
Question: Why do we have spiritual disciplines? The point of spiritual disciplines is to make less of ourself and more of Jesus. They are called disciplines because the cause us to have to “discipline” our selves (minds, hearts, bodies) to put our desires on the back burner and focus more attention on Him.
Today I proposed PARENTING as a spiritual discipline. Though it’s not on most people’s list, parenting is THE key spiritual role we will ever pray if we are a dad. Two reasons I gave for considering it as a spiritual discipline:
- Aside from being a husband, there is no greater opportunity to put aside our self and focus our full attention on someone else.
- Aside from our role as husband, there is no greater role we will play in a person’s life and as a testimony to the world of Christ-likeness than the way we parent our children.
Scripture Reading: Psalm 127
Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to[a] those he loves. Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.
Things we discussed:
- There’s no better opportunity to be selfless than as a dad. What man would willingly get up and clean up puke at 2am than a dad?
- Our role as fathers is vital and it’s crucial we see the spiritual role we play.
- The role of dad is not to make our children happy and successful. Our job is to train them to follow Christ and pass on the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus to the next generation.
- Jesus can’t be part of our life or a box to check off once a week. It must be the center of our household and everything else fall in line around it.
- As a Father – how will our children’s view of “God the Father” be framed? Do they see Jesus in us?
- Parenting is not for the weak. We need each other to be better dads.
- We plan for projects at work, for projects in the community, for sports, and even for Q’s at F3. Do we have a strategic plan to raise our children?
We took a few minutes to look at the life of Jesus in scripture and talk about Mary & Joseph. They were a blended family. Joseph was in many ways a step-dad. They were no different than us. They were even looked down on at times in the community and had their share of struggles. Joseph is not mentioned often, because it is understood that he died prior to Jesus’ three years of ministry – yet Joseph was a pivotal part of Jesus’ life.
- Joseph obeyed the Lord.
- Joseph stuck with Mary when he could have divorced her.
- Joseph protected Jesus as a baby by taking his family to Egypt.
- Joseph (and Mary) took Jesus to church and even worried for him when he was “lost” on their way home.
- Though Jesus is 100% God, he is also 100% human. The way in which he quoted scripture as an adult indicates that Jospeh (and Mary) must have raised him in the Word.
We ended the lessons with 3 Questions to every PAX.
- How are you doing as a dad?
- What area do you struggle with the most as a dad?
- How can we pray for you this week?
Personally I told the PAX that I’ve been selfish lately. I get too wrapped up in what I’m doing (even at church) and don’t always give my FULL attention to my boys when they are talking to me. I often find myself coming home and wanting to “decompress” after a long day at church/work. I listen very well and pastor others – but too often give my leftovers to my wife and sons. And that’s wrong. I asked for prayer that I would realign my priorities. Other PAX had similar struggles. I think we can all relate.
May we truly see our children as arrows (Psalm 127) and shape them into fully devoted followers of Christ who will one day be launched out of our homes and into a world who needs to hear them share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.