Deuteronomy 6:5-7--Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Phil Downer once served as the President of Christian Business Men’s Committee (CBMC). Before leading CBMC he was a senior partner in a large law firm. He is the father of six children and the author of several books. A Father’s Reward“ Raising Your Children to Walk in the Truth” is an outstanding book that reveals unvarnished lessons from a dad intent on challenging fathers to disciple their own children as God intended.
I am impressed with Mr. Downer. Not just because he speaks from the heart, but because I observed five of his children present at a family retreat, model poise, respect, maturity and a deep love for God uncommon among most children. Two parents care deeply enough to invest heavily in their children and the results speak for themselves. In addition to daily family devotions, Phil weekly spends two hours with each child—engaged with them at their level in a date of sorts. Despite his busy schedule traveling across the country, he is committed to investing a minimum of 12 hours weekly in one-to-one interaction with his kids.
If my wife ignores our rose bushes they don’t produce gorgeous flowers. Aphids, fungus and an assortment of other enemies all conspire industriously to destroy them. In the same way children left to themselves rarely grow up to be sterling adults. Immoral peers, ungodly teachers, an internal sin nature and Satan and his vile underlings are all capable of causing moral meltdowns. Children need training—godly training.
Before you trot off on another spectacular assignment or give your best time and energy to work and to those needing your help consider the welfare of your children. God says we are to impress upon them His commandments. What impresses your young ones—the television, computer games, drugs, sex, depraved music, pornography etc.? I can’t afford to not prioritize spending time with the most precious gifts God entrusted to my care. Neither can you. The York family needed a wake-up call and the Downers delivered. I spent six hours today (my day off) fishing, jumping on a trampoline, and talking to my three favorite children. Did I miss doing important things? Yup, and it was worth it!
If you don’t have munchkins of your own have you ever considered asking the Lord to lead you to parents who would welcome you coming alongside as a godly role model for children they desperately want to come out on the top side of a shaky world? The fact that we cannot determine how our children will live when they become adults should not detract us from imparting as much of God's truth as we can. It’s all a matter of priorities . . . isn’t it?!
. . . the great concern of our lives is not God, but how we are going to fit ourselves to live. Jesus Christ says, “Reverse the order, get rightly related to Me first, see that you maintain that as the great care of your life, and never put the concentration of your care on the other things.—Oswald Chambers in Studies in the Sermon on the Mount
©1999 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)