2015-06-24 / Religion

Be Dads of Courage?

( Pastor James Scarborough, Donalsonville Assembly of God)

On one of those steamy hot days last week, I decided to pressure wash one of my sheds. It was well past due for some sprucing up, and I did not allow the uncomfortable weather to prevent me from doing what needed to be done.

As I worked, I became so engrossed in what I was doing that I paid little attention to anything else. My concentration was abruptly broken, though, when I felt several taps on my shoulder. I had no idea that anyone was anywhere nearby, so it was an alarming moment as I tried to figure what was attacking me. When I turned and saw my wife’s beautiful face, I knew I had nothing to fear. What a relief!

We men are usually reluctant to admit our fears; we like to appear to have everything under control as we courageously face the world. Yet in reality, our strength and courage are probably not at nearly as high of a level as we would like to think.

In those moments when an unfamiliar, unidentified occurrence comes unexpectedly tapping us on the shoulder, we get a reality check on just how dangerously low on courage we really are.

Of all the areas of life that call for extreme courage in order to achieve success, fatherhood is certainly a prominent one. Fatherhood is not for cowards.

A Godly dad must be willing to stand firm in the faith and face the unfamiliar and unknown circumstances of life. Such courage must be rooted in something far more powerful than our own natural abilities and personal determinations; it requires uninterrupted faith in God.

In the New Testament, Paul’s words of guidance to the believers in the church at Corinth apply to us as well: “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13, New International Version).

Although Paul was not directly giving guidance on how to be an effective Christian father, his words in this verse give powerful, practical and valuable direction that should be utilized by every dad.

To be dads of courage we have to be on our guard. I suppose my guard was down a bit the other day when my wife slipped up on me and unintentionally shot a lightning bolt of fear down my spine.

Spiritually, we cannot afford to let down our guard to the temptations that are prevalent all about us. To do so can reduce us to a weakling who is deceived and gives in; to keep up the guard against such things allows us to courageously overcome them.

Courage also requires Godly dads to stand firm in the faith—faith in God and His Word. We live in a society that no longer values the importance of staying true to Christian standards as it once did, but we cannot afford to allow the opinions of others to distract us from remaining true to what God has commanded. Be courageous—stand firm in the faith.

To be a courageous dad takes strength. While most dads like to be seen by their children as physically strong, it is of greater importance for us to portray what matters most: spiritual strength that is obtained through the discipline of spending time with God, and then putting into practice what He plants in our hearts.

I hope every dad had a Happy Father’s Day, and remember to strive to “Be men of courage.” What a great goal for dads to pursue!

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