I decided recently that I would ask one question at the dinner table with my family. I don’t ask about their baseball (although I want to) and I don’t ask about school (even though that is important). Instead, I ask the same question I ask those in my small group: “How have you seen Jesus today.”
I remind you….I am asking a 7 year old and a 5 year old. At first, they didn’t know what to do with the question. Look at dad with a blank stare was the common response. But, after a while, they started to realize that dad was going to ask this question every time we sit down to eat dinner…so they better be able to answer it.
When they began to respond, I received a lot of great answers over the first couple weeks but it was just the other day that I received an answer that warmed my heart and terrified me at the same time.
I saw Jesus today in your love daddy – Canaan
I was humbled. Don’t get me wrong. I do my best to show my love to the kids every single day and as a follower of Christ, it makes complete sense that my son would see Jesus in my love for him. But, as a father, to hear those words…the reality that my son experiences Jesus through my love for him…well…that will warm your heart like no other.
Along with that warm fuzzy feeling, I became a little terrified. The words of a great professor in seminary reverberated through my mind:
“As a father, you will be the primary experience of God for your kids.” – Dr. Steve Seamands
I guess Canaan’s words reminded me of the significance of my role as a father. Yes, it is my job to raise my kids. It is my job to ensure that my kids have ethics, morals, and sound judgment. More important than all of that, it is my role to be the spiritual leader of my family. That is a big role…and a role that I cannot do on my own. Thankfully, I am not asked to do this alone. I have the power of Christ guiding me along the way.
Maybe this response from my son was something needed. A kick in the butt kind of reminder that if I am going to be the spiritual leader for my family, I must first follow Christ. The words of the Apostle Paul seem to be appropriate here:
Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ – 1 Corinthians 11:1
Maybe you are in the same boat. Humbled and blessed with the honor of raising and caring for one (or more) of God’s children…all the while a little terrified at the huge responsibility. If so, never forget, you are not alone. Follow the example of Christ and they will see in you something amazing…Christ Himself.