Fathers: Show Your Children the Meaning of Commitment
By Rick Warren
— June 19, 2009
“For their sake I dedicate Myself to You, in order that they, too, may be truly dedicated to You” (John 17:19 TEV).
Jesus taught the disciples about commitment by showing His commitment to them.
You will not be able to lead your children any farther spiritually than you are yourself. Jesus said, “For their sake I dedicate Myself to You, in order that they, too, may be truly dedicated to You” (John 17:19 TEV). As a parent, you can say, “For my kids’ sake, I dedicate myself completely to God so that they, too, will be completely dedicated to God.”
Here’s a very important question: What do your kids see that you are dedicated to?
What do your kids see that you are committed to? What do you want them to see that you’re committed to? I suggest you commit yourself to God’s five purposes for your life so that they will commit to that, too.
• Commit yourself to knowing and loving God (worship).
• Commit yourself to learning to love other people (fellowship).
• Commit yourself to growing in Christlike character (discipleship).
• Commit yourself to serving other people unselfishly (ministry).
• Commit yourself to sharing the good news (missions).
They will become purpose driven children rather than pressure driven, guilt driven, worry driven, resentment driven, crowd driven, or peer driven.
Jesus knew He wouldn’t be with the disciples forever. He knew at the Last Supper that He would be hanging on a cross within a few hours. This is what He prayed: “Now I am departing the world; I am leaving them behind and coming to You. Holy Father, keep them and care for them” (John 17:11 NLT).
You’re not going to be with your children forever. Parenting is a season. It isn’t going to last forever, but it’s never too late to start leading. You may be a grandparent now, but you can still be a spiritual leader to those around you. You can echo Jesus’ prayer, saying, “Father, before I depart the world, help me to impart godly truths to my children and grandchildren. Before I leave them behind and come to you, guide me to be a good steward of those you put in my care. And then I can give them back to you, knowing you have always and will always care for them.”