My Best Decisions as a Dad

He will turn the hearts of the fathers back to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers.  Malachi 4:6a

Notice that in God’s Word in our Scripture above that God begins by turning the hearts of fathers back to their children.  Dads let’s lead the way so our children will follow The Lord and turn their hearts back to us as fathers…and to Him!

Over the next two posts I’m going to share some of the decisions the Lord led me to make as a husband and father and I pray they will encourage and/or challenge you, and either way, bless you in your walk with Him, your marriage, parenting and family. Each of these decisions flowed from the priorities that The Lord had revealed in my life for placing my marriage and family above myself and all else except for The Lord Himself.

Here’s the first decision that I’ve made that I hope will encourage you as parents as you strive to train up your children in The Lord:

1) Loving Christ as Lord and pointing my children to their Heavenly Father.

This is not just claiming His free gift of salvation and showing up at church from time to time or even on a regular basis. Those are good and important but this is so much more.  This is making Him the first priority and thought in every choice (Jeremiah 29:12-13; Matthew 6:33) I make in my life and spending time in His Word and prayer EVERY day for the past 34+ years. He is the Source if we will avail ourselves of Him, and He must be FIRST (Luke 14:25-35).  As He is so prioritized our children have a much greater chance of knowing Him.

Continuing with decisions that helped shape not only who I was and am as a father but who my children have become and are becoming in The Lord, here’s the second best decision I’ve made:

2) My children know they are third, and are blessed for it. (Ephesians 5:25-29)

My children know that Christ is first and my wife, their mom, and our marriage is the second highest priority in my life. They have benefited greatly from seeing this lived out, not always perfectly, but always striving for it. I know because I’ve heard them share this openly with their friends when they’ve seen chaos in other relationships and homes.

This is in line with God’s Covenant Order and priorities of relationships and He blesses us when we are obedient. Remember this is about having a heart to walk in His order as there will be times when you must take care of children and their needs in the moment or season. Be sure to keep your heart and make decisions that show that your walk with The Lord, then your marriage and spouse, take priority. Your children will be blessed.

Next is the third best decision I ever made as a Dad.

3) Limiting time away from home. (Colossians 3:18-21)

In our book, The Authority of Love, I share about a couple of opportunities to be a national spokesperson for a growing organization. Each time my decision was prompted by my love (commitment) for my Lord, my wife, and family above all else. It was not always easy but The Lord has blessed and continues to bless these decisions.

Others may have made, or may make, a different decision. While I’ve never had anyone sit in my office and complain of the choice to spend more time with those they loved, I’ve had numerous “successful” people grieve over time spent in the office, on the road, i.e., away from their family, and wishing they’d chosen differently.

As we continue I pray that you will see The Lord’s hand guiding in these decisions according to His Word.  My fourth best decision was…

4) Saying “No” to other great opportunities. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Throughout the years I was given numerous opportunities to play and coach at every level. I turned down coaching positions with several high schools and universities as well as coaching and playing opportunities overseas and here in the USA because it wasn’t best for my family and children.

When my oldest son was seven years old I began coaching him in a church league and continued to do so with him and his brother all the way through their high school years and teams. Two years prior to this I had been on a collegiate coaching staff that included the National Coach of the Year and Player of the Year. Doors were opened but the priorities remained the same for me.

As I have sought and acknowledged The Lord in every decision, He has been and continues to be faithful for He can do no other. I pray that you will walk with Him and find the same as He leads you in every part of your life.

Turn and run to Him.  Seek, look to and acknowledge Him every moment of every day and He will see you through. You can’t do it without Him.

Food for Thought…Remember, it’s never too late to start and remember His Word to turn the hearts of fathers (parents) to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers (parents).  It will come to pass in all those who seek Him because He is faithful.

Love in Action

  1. Read the Scriptures in this article. Pray and ask The Holy Spirit to show you how He will turn your heart to and for your children.
  2. Make a list of ways that you can turn your heart to your children as The Lord leads.
  3. Pray for your children to turn their hearts fully to Christ and in so doing turn to you as Godly parents.

“Best Decisions, Part 2…” continued next week, Lord willing.

Love and Lordship Prayer Focus Heavenly Father, thank You for the promise of turning my heart as a father to my children and their hearts to me.  Help me to begin by making sure my heart is wholeheartedly devoted and turned to You. In Jesus Name. Amen.