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|Carrying On the True Family Name
By: Dr. Skip Myers
web posted June 13, 2005
They kept telling us it would be a boy. We had been blessed with one little girl and we were now expecting our second child. The doctor said he was fairly certain it was a boy. The ladies in our church did every type of home test that could be imagined. They dangled pins and pencils to watch which way they would spin. They examined the way my wife was carrying the baby and then, consulted with each other to evaluate the results. The verdict: without a doubt we were having a boy. One woman said she would even bet the family dishes on it.
Several months later I stood in the delivery room and welcomed our second DAUGHTER into the world. Someone asked me if I was disappointed to which I quickly replied, “NO!” There is something wonderfully special about a father’s relationship with his daughters. They asked if we were going to try again for a boy. I quickly replied, “NO!” But what about someone to carry on the family name?
I guess to some people carrying on the family name is an important thing. Don’t get me wrong, I am very proud of my family name. I realize one day my daughters’ last name may change but they have always and will always represent our family with pride. I also realize that they are carrying on the family name that is most important to us all: the name of Christ.
As we look to Father’s Day, I wanted to share with the fathers who are reading this the true meaning of carrying on the family name. You don’t have to have a son to keep this name going. In Ephesians 3:14-15, Paul prays these words, For this reason, I bow my knees, before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives it name. We are all children of one Father. Those who have a relationship with Christ are members of the same family. In other words, we all have the challenge of carrying on our true family name.
Dads, let me remind you that the most important legacy you can leave your children is one of faith. None of us are perfect fathers, we all make mistakes but the greatest mistake we can make is to ignore sharing our family’s spiritual name with our children. We tend to get so tied up in making sure our children are equipped to handle life that we neglect giving them the one thing necessary for handling life: a spiritual foundation. We cannot make our children believe but we can fulfill our spiritual responsibility to them by providing a truthful example that faith actually works. (Deuteronomy 6:4-12)
Let me share with my fellow fathers three simple aspects of faith that we can pass on as a legacy to our children. Paul prayed for these in one of the most beautiful prayers ever recorded in the Bible, Ephesians 3:14-21. We can share with our children the true nature and source of strength. (verses14-16) Strength comes from the right foundation and a constant source of renewal. We cannot find either of these in the world. Life does little to provide stability and renewal. What we choose as our weapon to meet the onslaught of life will determine our ultimate impact in this world. And remember, God expects us to be more of an impact in this world than impacted by this world.
Fathers, provide a legacy of knowledge for your children. (verses 17-19) Every child needs to know how to throw a curveball or pick a potentially good earning stock. But this type of knowledge is so incomplete. True knowledge is eternal in nature. True knowledge teaches there is more than can be seen or touched. True knowledge is found in a Person rather than the mind or a system of belief. If you want your children to know, make sure they know Him.
Finally, pass on a legacy of belief. (verse 20-21) Let God knock your socks off and let your children see you barefoot. In other words, teach your children the joy of the awesome nature of the Lord. There is no fear in the awesome wonders of God. The demonstration of His love for us (the cross) casts out fear. God is incredible. He can do more than we could ever think about praying for or asking. Let them see you visibly enjoying the Lord in worship and let that worship be both personal and with others in the church. Did you get that? Don’t drop them off at church, take them there and go with them.
Fathers, we have one of the toughest jobs in the world. And in many ways we are not fulfilling the most important aspect of that job: passing on to our children what is really important and Who is really important. Pray for me and I’ll pray for you. Celebrate this Father’s Day by being in your Father’s House.
Dr. Myers is Pastor of Smiths Station Baptist Church, Smiths Station Alabama and a former Youth Minister of Sweetwater Baptist Church (1981-1986)
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