A Father’s Example

A Father's Example by Jim and Elizabeth George

Most men have heard of Mickey Mantle, one of the greatest base-ball players of all time. I certainly heard about him while I was growing up. He was born and raised in a small town just north of my own hometown in Oklahoma. On one occasion I actually saw him at the local sporting goods store during the off-season. I recognized him right away. Rather than ask for his autograph, I casually walked by and touched his hunting jacket from behind. I vowed I would never wash that hand again!

From the time Mickey Mantle was five years old, his father surrounded him with a life of baseball. Mickey ate, drank, and slept baseball. By his own account, his achievements as a baseball player were partly attributed to the environment created by his father. Mickey credited his father’s constant emphasis on baseball as the strongest contribution to his hall-of-fame success.

Friend, whether it’s with baseball or the faith, what you emphasize and exercise in your own life will leave an indelible impression on your young ones. From my pastoral and personal experience, I see that many Christian fathers today have two main problems. First, as fathers we are not walking with great care. We are not careful enough about how we act around our children. Our kids do not see a significant difference between our actions and how those in the world act. Paul reminds us, “Be careful how you walk” (Ephesians 5:15, 16).

Second, we as believing dads are not “redeeming the time” when it comes to our children. We are so concerned (and rightly so) about providing for the physical needs of our children that we don’t always give proper attention to their spiritual, mental, and emotional needs.

The most important way you can be a good example as a father is to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and confess Him before others, including your family, and live a dedicated life for Christ. That creates a life worth imitating.

Your job is to make sure you establish an environment where your Christian beliefs and character are on constant display before your children. Our children must never for a moment think that our faith isn’t the most important thing in our life. They must never for a moment think that the Christian faith is only a “Sunday faith.” Instead, our kids must hear us constantly talking about Jesus. They must consistently see the vibrancy of our love for Jesus Christ as it is lived our in every aspect of our lives.

RESPOND:

Lord, help me to pay attention to my activities today and to consider the importance of the small decisions that I make that affect my family’s environment. May each decision be a reflection of my one big choice to follow You and lead my family into a growing relationship with You.

RENEWING RESOURCES:

Find more challenges and insights into your godly role in A Husband After God’s Own Heart by Jim George.

REFLECT:

What can I do each day to help guide my children in the faith? How can I live a life that shows them Christ’s love?

REMEMBER:

We need to be careful how we walk, and redeem the time that we are given with our children.


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Jim and Elizabeth George

Jim and Elizabeth George are bestselling authors and national speakers dedicated to helping people live a life after God’s own heart. Together, they have written over 150 books with more than 14 million copies sold around the world. For over 35 years, the teachings and steadfast example of Elizabeth and Jim have helped countless men and women:

  • Simplify life by focusing on God’s priorities.
  • Appreciate God’s Word and apply it to everyday situations.
  • Respond to circumstances with confidence by seeing yourself through God’s loving eyes.
  • Increase closeness in marriage by serving and honoring each other.
  • Powerfully shape the hearts of children and teenagers.
  • Enjoy greater intimacy with God.

Learn more about Jim and Elizabeth George here.

Jim and Elizabeth George

Jim and Elizabeth George are bestselling authors and national speakers dedicated to helping people live a life after God’s own heart. Together, they have written over 150 books with more than 14 million copies sold around the world. For over 35 years, the teachings and steadfast example of Elizabeth and Jim have helped countless men and women:

  • Simplify life by focusing on God’s priorities.
  • Appreciate God’s Word and apply it to everyday situations.
  • Respond to circumstances with confidence by seeing yourself through God’s loving eyes.
  • Increase closeness in marriage by serving and honoring each other.
  • Powerfully shape the hearts of children and teenagers.
  • Enjoy greater intimacy with God.

Learn more about Jim and Elizabeth George here.


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