For the people of southeast Texas and much of Florida, the value of a firm foundation has become all-too real as they deal with the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. They have learned firsthand the importance that a firm foundation plays in the structural integrity of any building. Without a strong footing, a building will fail when placed under the stress of strong winds and violent storms.
Jesus was a builder, and he also understood the need for a firm foundation. In Matthew 7, he amazes his audience with this simple teaching:
“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against the house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. Matthew 7:24-29
Jesus makes it clear that for us to have a firm foundation, it must be built on the true rock – Jesus. This means we, as fathers, need to put God’s word into action. It’s the focus of The Fatherhood Project – Building Great Dads, and these actions speak volumes to our families without us saying a word!
Five Foundational Truths
As dads, what actions can we take to build that firm foundation and become strong Christian parents? To answer this, we need to examine a few foundational truths about fatherhood:
- You are called – God has called each of us to be fathers, and because God is the one who calls us, He also provides us with the means to fulfill this call. “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.” I Thessalonians 5:24
- You are the example – God uses our role as fathers to be an expression of His role as God the Father in our children’s lives. “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:11
- You are responsible – God uses us to bring our children into a close relationship with God the Father through His Son Jesus, and to see themselves as God sees them – as His sons and daughters. “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:18
- You are influential – God has placed us as the primary influence in our children’s lives. Our children look especially to their fathers for direction and feedback on how they are doing. This is a natural part of the father-child relationship and one that God wants to use as a loving support for our children. “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
- You are to be intentional – In order to be more effective as fathers, it’s important that we become more intentional about how we approach our service to our families. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, ”plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
As we face the storms of life, it’s important to remember the critical roles we play as fathers and how we can use them to support us as we build strong Christian families. Let’s start building!