The Power of a Father

The Bible Calls You To Be A Godly Husband And Father

Tim Lundy
Jun 19, 2022    46m
Father's Day is a great time to remember God's call to be a godly husband and father. This powerful message explores Bible passages that explain the key roles a Christian man is supposed to fill in his family. Video recorded at Los Gatos, California.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Tim Lundy: [00:00:00] Well, I do want to say Happy Father's Day. Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. Happy Father's Day to those who are watching online. We're glad that you can join us and be a part of this and be with us. And it's been a good day to celebrate, make sure you do, go in the back, and at least see the classic cars on your way out, it's a dad thing. We've got the dads root beers, I didn't say dad's favorite beer. I just said Dad's root beer is available to you on your way out with it.

Tim Lundy: [00:00:29] And then, you know, you've got to love the dad jokes, congratulations to the guys that won. I saw a couple other dad jokes that were out there, one of them said, Why do fathers take an extra pair of socks with them when they go golfing? In case they get a hole in one. Yeah, this is my favorite one, What do a tic and the Eiffel Tower have in common? They're both parasites. Some of you are just now getting it, yeah. The one that I relate to the most, though, is I thought the dryer was shrinking my clothes, turns out it was the refrigerator all along, so, yeah, I can relate to that. You know, I was thinking about the whole category of dad jokes, why do we call them dad jokes? These lame jokes, you see a lame joke, and then immediately, oh, it's a dad joke. Nobody ever sees a lame joke and calls it a mom joke. Of course, I thought about it and moms are too busy, they don't have time to make lame jokes, so we probably have earned this category with it.

Tim Lundy: [00:01:31] But as we come to a day like today, it is worthy to celebrate, it's worthy to speak to it, to call people to it, and to recognize what a gift, what a privilege, what power we have, to be dads. In fact, as a thought about it and you'll see in your notes there, this life-giving power, fathers have the power to impact a country, a culture, a church, and certainly, a home. Fathers have the ability to impact across all those levels. And we're recognizing that more and more, especially as we live in a country and we live in a culture that has seen such a disconnect, so many homes and so many people that don't have a father in their life. For many of us that grew up, you know, I didn't have a dad for fundamental years of my life, and you feel that wound from it. I've taught men over the years, whether it's Men's Fraternity or Better Man, and the impact of dad looms large over all of life in it.

Tim Lundy: [00:02:37] And as we look at that, I mean, I won't go through all the studies with it. There was a time period in our country that you saw a rise in articles in the seventies, eighties, and nineties, where they were writing these different things that, you know, you really don't need a dad. Does a woman need a dad? Do kids need a dad? And it was almost treated as this extra thing that might be nice to have, but you don't really need. Fortunately, there are enough studies, enough sociologists and others that have come out in the last two decades especially, and have pointed out that dads are critical, dads are fundamental.

Tim Lundy: [00:03:15] And again, I won't read all the stats. One of them, a Rutgers University researcher said, "Involved parent fatherhood is linked to better outcomes on nearly every measure of a child's well-being." And I would say that's true, you can go all the way across the board from educational measures, social well-being measures, all the different measures, and an involved father, from cognitive development to educational achievement, to self-esteem, to pro-social behaviors, the impact, and power of dad.

Tim Lundy: [00:03:51] And as you look at that, I think for those of us, whether you embrace that on a national level when you think about your own household, and I was just thinking about this with my family this week, here's a powerful statement for us to realize in it, As a father, I'm the most powerful man in the lives of those who matter the most to me. As a father, other than Jesus, I'm the most powerful man. Now the sphere of that power may not extend far, but it extends to the people who matter the most in my life. And even as I say that statement, I realize what a gift God has given us. What a gift to me, what a gift to us as dads.

Tim Lundy: [00:04:40] You know, today's Father's Day, you'll receive gifts, probably of some sort, maybe good gifts, maybe not so good gifts, smile and be happy regardless. But if you're a dad, the gift that you get to be a father, the gift that you get to have that impact, the gift that you get to have in your kid's life, you're larger than life in so many ways. If you've got a little boy, you're like a superhero. To your little girl, you're Prince Charming in so many ways.

Tim Lundy: [00:05:13] If you look at it, Proverbs says it this way, I love this, "Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers." Grandchildren are the crown of the aged. In other words, grab a grandparent sometime, what do they like talking about more than anything else? Their grandchildren. Be careful, if they whip out the phone and start showing pictures, have you ever had that when they were like, oh, you've just got to see? And then they show you one picture and you're like, oh, that's great, then they keep showing it's the same kid. You're like, yeah, I don't need to see more. And they are like, oh, no, you do, look at this. Because grandparents, they love their grandchildren. In the same way, he flips it and he says, you're not the glory of kids, they love Dad. He's larger than life. He gets more credit than he probably deserves in so many ways in those years with it.

Tim Lundy: [00:06:08] I remember, especially when they were little, have you ever experienced where they just think Dad can do anything? I remember one time we were hanging out with some friends of ours, and Mike was a good friend, he had kids our kid's age, and they were all little at the time. And Mike is a big guy, he's like, 6'5", 6'6", he played college basketball, ripped and in shape. He worked and his job required physical health. And, you know, big guy, great friend, kindhearted. And I remember I was listening to our boys, they were in the other room, and they were arguing with each other. And I heard Mike's son yell out, my dad can beat up your dad. And then Drew immediately goes, no way, my dad is so strong. My dad can beat up your dad. And I'm just looking at it with me and Mike, and I'm going in what universe does anyone think that I'm going to beat him up? I'll tell you whose universe, my kids'. It may not extend outside of that, but there's that sense in it where they look and they go, man, you are larger than life to us, and part of that is that power God has given us as dads.

Tim Lundy: [00:07:28] And so as you look at that and you think about that power. With great power as a father comes great responsibility. Thank you, Spider-Man. But it's a true statement, with this great power God's given us, we have a responsibility. How are we shepherding it? How are we using it? How are we stepping into what God's called us to do? And I want to spend the remainder of this message just talking about some of the categories of that power that God's given us his dad, and I'd just say challenging all of us to use that well, there probably be areas that you go, oh, man, I need to step into that more. And I don't care what your age is as a dad, we have this opportunity to use well, what God's given us.

Tim Lundy: [00:08:19] Now, let me be clear on the outset when I say this, you may have adult children, who've they've chosen really poor choices at this point in life. You may have a prodigal. You may have been the most involved dad; you may have done everything that I'm talking about here. I just want to be really clear and just to say this at the outset, because sometimes you can hear a message like this and it almost sounds like, man, you do these things, and your kids will turn out great. The problem is your kids have free will too, and I'll just say in Scripture, there's no greater Dad than God the Father, and a lot of his kids rebelled. And so we don't blame him for it, they have to own up to it. And so as you hear this today, this is not an indictment or anything of someone that you may be in a place that maybe your heart breaks for where your kids are right now. God knows that.

Tim Lundy: [00:09:20] But we have an opportunity as well, and I think it's really important on days like today to really speak to men, to speak to each other, to challenge each other to call ourselves to some of the things that can get lost in the daily grind of life. Where one day when you stand before Jesus, I promise you this, he's going to ask each one of us to give an account for what he gave us. He won't ask you about anybody else, but he will ask you about what he gave you. And if you're a dad, he's going to go, okay, I gave you this tremendous power of fatherhood, what did you do with it. How did you leverage it? How did you steward well, what I gave you in the lives of those who are so important to you?

Tim Lundy: [00:10:07] So as we look at these categories, let me give you the first one. The first is the power of your presence, the power of your presence as a dad, just being there, showing up, being in their lives, being present with them. And it's not just physically present, it's also emotionally present, it's also being present in a way that you actually went into their world and engaged their world with it. You know, Stephen Covey, who wrote the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People with it. He was talking about fatherhood in it and he said, you know, one of the best things you can do as a dad is every day on your drive home, mentally resign from your company. For the rest of the night, you don't work for that company anymore, so that you can put on the fatherhood hat fully as you walk through the door. Now, he wrote this years ago, and unfortunately, with digital technology, that makes it a little bit harder, doesn't it? But maybe it makes the principle that much more important. That we go, you know, if I'm going to walk in the door, I'm not going to just physically be in this house. I'm going to be in their lives. And depending on their age, that looks different ways.

Tim Lundy: [00:11:24] If you have little kids right now, preschoolers, let me just give you practical advice for some guys if you got little kids, the number one thing that I discovered in those years and I just would encourage you, I call it floor time. No matter how tired you are, no matter what you're facing, if you will make the choice when you go in the house to not just sit in a chair, but literally get on the floor, sit on the floor, play on the floor. It is amazing the transformation that happens both to you and to them when you get on their level when they realize he really is in my world. And I remember times on the floor where I was exhausted, like. laying there, and I was the jungle gym, that's all I could do at that. But hey, we were engaged together. But invariably, as you start playing together, dads play differently than moms, they just do, they are more rough and tumble, and they're involved with it. It's interesting as they've studied the brains of kids and their parents, do you know that the largest rush of oxytocin that a child gets with his dad, especially the little kids, is when they play together rough and tumble play? They both get this rush, and that's the chemical that when it rushes your brain, you feel good, but it also bonds you together, there's a bonding that happens out of it. For mom, when they studied the mom's brain, the greatest rush of oxytocin happened when she and the child were affectionate together, both she and the child experienced it, they love that affection from mom, and they love to play with Dad. And so it's important that if you're in that season, for your sake, you'll actually feel better, you need that rush as well, it's part of why God designed it that way. I just encourage you floor time.

Tim Lundy: [00:13:10] The second thing I'd say is face time. Face time, and this doesn't matter what your kid's age is, are they actually seeing your face? Do you have a conversation together? And when I say face time, I'm not talking about the app, by the way, I'm talking about literal face to face time. And I'll just tell you right now, the number one blocker of face time is this. (Holds up a phone), And it's amazing, you can be in the same room, you can be within a couple of feet of each other, and the kids have a device out and you have a device out and you can spend hours like that, but you have no connection. We will literally spend more connection to strangers out there in the ether than we will have by going, okay. I got to put this down and we're going to connect face to face, they're going to hear things eyeball to eyeball.

Tim Lundy: [00:14:07] Floor time, face time, and the last one I'd say is fun time. Just making a choice as a dad, do you know what, I'm going to bring some fun to this house, I'm going to bring some fun in there. Fun is a currency that allows you to speak into their life more and connect to them more. And now the problem is what they consider fun is probably not what you consider fun, but you have to go into their world, remember, we're trying to engage and be present for them. And so it's, you know, especially if you have little ones, man, how many hours have you spent reading books that you go, If I ever read this book one more time, I think I'm going to pull my hair out, and they want to hear it again. Or playing games, I remember Kate, she had a season where she loved Candyland. I like games, I hate Candyland. You know, you're just pulling those cards and you're hoping to get the right thing and you think it's going to, and then you oh, no, you got to go back to, you know, Cupcake King or whatever it is and all that. And I figured out how to rig the game, though, there's this one card, Queen Frostine, if you pull that card, it takes you almost to the very end. And so I would rig the game for her, let her win, you know, put in Queen Frostine, count, okay, she's going to get it. And, oh, you got Queen Frostine, oh all right, the game's over. And one night I was tired, I mean I'd rigged it, set it, and I go, hey, the game's over, and she goes no, no, we've got to play again. And I realized in that moment, that she didn't like playing the game, she just liked winning. I had created a monster. And I thought the only way I'm going to go to bed is I've got to beat her now, and I'm shuffling the deck, and I had kind of a crisis there. Do you cheat with a five-year-old? I mean, is that allowed? Which you do, if you need to go to bed. No, I didn't, I played it straight. But man, I was like, come on, daddy needs a Queen Frostine, come on, come on, every card with that. You do those games, you do things that you may not want to do, but you want to be in their world, and you realize how powerful it is.

Tim Lundy: [00:16:12] You realize as well, if you haven't yet, it goes really fast. It doesn't feel like it, but you step back, and you look up and you go, oh, where did the time go? I read a letter, Randy Long, he's 72 years old and he was cleaning out his garage and he found a big bucket of baseballs. And so he took it down to the batting cage and he left it there, and he put this note in it. He said, I hope someone can use some of these baseballs in the batting cages, I found them cleaning my garage. I pitched them to my son and grandson for countless rounds, my son is now 46 years old, and my grandson is 23 years old, I'm 72, and what I won't give to pitch a couple of buckets to them, they both moved away. If you're a father, cherish these times, you won't believe how quickly they will be gone. And then he put a P.S. on there. P.S. Give them a hug and tell them you love them every chance you get. I go, that is wise counsel. Guy's it can feel like long days and there's a lot competing with it. but you alone have the power of their father, of creating that presence in their life. How are we spending it? How are we leveraging that power today?

Tim Lundy: [00:17:50] That gives us the second category, it is the power of your protection. The power of your protection. God has made you strong as a dad, God's given you gifts as a dad, God's given you the responsibility as a dad, to step forward and go, this household, these people, I choose to protect them. I choose to use my strength, I choose to risk myself, for their good. To invest in a way, and to protect in a way, that God calls men to. He calls men in a home, and he calls men in the church, look at First Corinthians 16:13, I love this verse. Paul's writing to the leaders in Corinth. Look what he says to him, he says, "Be watchful." You've got to be on the lookout for what's coming. "Stand firm in the faith." Don't waver in what you believe. "Act like men, be strong." The core of this word is around courage. He says, I'm looking to you to act like men, to step forward, to be courageous. I'm looking to you to stand on your faith, no matter what they say about it. I'm looking to you to step up in that.

Tim Lundy: [00:19:08] Hey, guys, what's true about a church is true about a home. That God has given us unique power, remember I said you're larger than life in your kid's life? That is powerful. And that protection, and part of the backlash even against talking about this, there's a lot of people are like, I don't want men to have power at all, men will abuse their power. Because they abuse their power, we just need to strip that because we can't trust them in it. And you may feel that way today, depending on how you've been damaged, and I'm sorry if you have. But hear me, the answer to that is to not strip men of their power that God's call them to use for your good, that God's calling them to use in a way that the home should never be afraid of them, they leverage that power, for the good of those who were there for the protection of them.

Tim Lundy: [00:20:06] So if you're married as a man, I love how Peter puts it. He recognized it and he said, "Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel." He doesn't say lesser vessel, he's not talking about equality here. He's talking about some realities, the reality of, guys, you're stronger than she is and you could use that strength to really hurt her. Guys, you have a lot of advantages she doesn't have, especially in this culture when he's writing it. The men had all the honor, the men had first dibs on everything. The men made life about them, and that's just how it was, and she's there kind of to help out. And Peter goes, no, not Christian husbands, yeah, you're stronger, yeah, you have advantages, yeah, you have honor, do you know what you do? You use it as her partner, you use it with her, you use it for her good. Since she is your heir with the gospel, when God looks at her, you guys, man, you're on equal footing.

Tim Lundy: [00:21:09] And not only that, "So that your prayers may not be hindered." Man, that's a strong statement, do you hear what Peter's saying in that moment? If you don't treat her right, don't think that you're going to go to God and have a great prayer life. I'll say this to guys all the time, if your wife is a Christian, then God is not only your Father, he's also your Father-in-law, it's the reality. And here's what Peter says, hey, guys, I don't care how much quiet time you did, I don't care about all the things that other people respect you for, if you're not treating her right, if you're not showing her honor, if you're not stepping forward when you go to have your quiet time with God, you know what? God's going to look at you, and his first question to you is, how's my girl? How are you treating her? And if you don't want to show her and treat her the way I know she needs to be treated, we don't have a lot to talk about. It's a pretty powerful verse, it calls us, as men, how do we with our wives, with our kids, how do we step forward and be willing to stand in the gap and protect where needed, protect them from culture, protect from harm. protect from the wounds that are out there, protect from the junk that comes into a household.

Tim Lundy: [00:22:43] Now again, I know some of you as women today you go, I don't need a man to protect me, you probably don't. God may not have called you to be married or you're really strong in your own right, but before you get angry at it, just stop for a minute and just ask yourself, why would you not want that if you're married? Why would you not want someone who's using their strength, their resources for your good so that you can flourish? I mean, I always look at Proverbs 31 as the ideal woman. If you read through that chapter of this ideal wife and this ideal mother. You look at it, though, it's not just what she's doing in the home, it's also what she's doing in the community, she's an entrepreneur, she's a businesswoman, she's very successful, there's respect in the city because of her. And all through that, you know what you see? You see that her husband trusts her, they have this unbelievable trust relationship, he praises her, he shows her honor. So you've got this guy who comes forward and he says, life's not about me, man, how do I provide a hedge for this home? How do I use my strength, my strength, so they can flourish? It's what God calls us to. If you're a guy, you go, well, that doesn't feel really fair. Sorry, that's how he designed it, that we would be willing to take the hits for them. You know,

Tim Lundy: [00:24:09] I love the example, I always see it and I've referenced it before, but for me, the picture when you look at our solar system. Jupiter, Jupiter serves this role for all of us. Do you realize in our solar system, with all the planets that are there, all of the space debris, all of the asteroids, all of the space junk that comes into our solar system? Without Jupiter, we would be destroyed, 99% of the things, the items that come into our solar system, are pulled in by Jupiter's gravity. It's so big, it just takes the blows, it takes the hits to protect all of us. Do you know what Jupiter actually means in Latin? Sky father, that's what it means in Latin. And it speaks to, and I think it's a picture of, that role of as a dad, am I willing to step forward? And I go, yeah, I'll use my strength, but I use my strength, not that they're afraid, I don't use that strength to make it about me, I don't use that strength to make all of life this narcissistic pursuit as a man, you use that strength that you look at and you go, okay God, who are the people you've put in my life, and how am I setting them up to win? How could I use that strength for her, for them, for the next generation? If you're a grandparent, you keep using that strength.

Tim Lundy: [00:25:38] I'll give you the third one, the third one is the power of your partnership. The power of your partnership. And this is where you come along and you recognize if you're married in that, as a husband and wife, you're called to be partners. "God blessed them." This is Adam and Eve, "He said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Notice this, this is the first commission of the first man and woman. He says, you guys are partners in this, you need to fill the earth. so There's that partnering as parents together. You need to subdue the earth, you have dominion over it, you're shaping this planet for God's glory, and both of you are called to that, both are called in that partnership together.

Tim Lundy: [00:26:27] And so as a couple, as a dad, you come into it and you go, man, am I being called to partner with her, and is she flourishing in the ways that God has gifted her in that so that we're shaping this planet for His glory? And that may be that she's in the workplace in that, that may be that God's called her in the home, and she wants to shape that home for God's glory in that. As your kids step into that, how are you helping them with it? And then notice as well, you're partnering, especially in the parenting, and that's not just making a baby that's for a lifetime.

Tim Lundy: [00:27:05] And so as a dad, Paul says, we have a key role. Look at this, he says, "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord." And look at the two parts of it, one, don't provoke your children. Remember, we're very powerful, and you don't see this warning to moms ever, it's interesting in the New Testament, Paul says that a couple of times. Because dad, in particular, if he uses that power in a way, especially in the area of discipline and instruction, that's too powerful, man, he can crush them and he can anger them. Colossians says that you end up discouraging them more than helping. Look at the balance of it, "But bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord." These are two parts of it that go hand in hand, there's discipline and there's instruction.

Tim Lundy: [00:27:55] The discipline is where you're dealing with the foolishness of a child. Proverbs says that the heart of a child is filled with foolishness, it's bound up in the heart of a child. Every child that is born has that same folly. And so if you've had a baby, I don't care how cute they are, I don't care that you look at it and go this is the greatest baby the world has ever seen. I promise you if you parent long enough and you'll find out that they have foolishness in their heart and they make sinful choices. And so part of it, as a parent, you come together and you go, we have to discipline them to deal with the foolishness. And if you read through Proverbs, discipline always deals with pain in some form, it's painful to be disciplined, and you're using that in their life in order to root out the foolishness, remember, their heart is bound up with it. So that you then can come and give them the instruction, and you can pour the wisdom in and you can tell them, okay, that's what foolishness has done, we've got to deal with the foolishness so that you can now receive the instruction of what life looks like and it's a combination of the two.

Tim Lundy: [00:29:01] I'll just say this to both parents, not just dads, because especially generationally, I'm seeing this more and more. There's almost this mindset of, I don't really like the discipline part, I don't like paying part of it, I don't like dealing with that, so what we're going to do as parents, we're just going to doubly instruct. And so we'll just instruct them, we'll instruct them, we'll talk to them, we'll have more resources, we're much smarter than any parents from the generation before we got these resources with it, and you think by instructing, you're going to get them there. The problem with that model is, remember, foolishness is bound in their heart. So if you have a heart that's full of foolishness and you never deal with it discipline-wise, man, that instruction you're pouring in, it just washes over them, it's the combination of the two.

Tim Lundy: [00:29:48] Now dads here's where we step in, we're partners in this, this isn't just a mom thing. This isn't just well, you know, I'm working hard and have long hours and if you knew the stress I was under, she can take care of that stuff, it's just kid stuff. You have this unbelievable power, so much power that Paul had to warn us, hey, don't use it too much, you can cross lines with that power. But when used rightly, the partnership of mom and dad in these areas of discipline and instruction are so powerful. When abdicated and I've seen this enough that it's easy to do; when a dad abdicates this to mom and she's left to carry this alone, man, that's a heavy burden on her. And the older they get, especially when they get into their teenage year, dad's ability to step into that, and to partner and bring power there, really helps the mom in that. Otherwise, she's left in a place, do you know what happens over time when dad never steps into it and mom has to be that voice of it all the time? She becomes somebody she never wanted to be, certainly not in their lives. And mom will often find herself becoming a nag, and the kids resent her and tune her out. Do you know what happens as well? She resents you as a dad because you put her in a place where she goes, I need some partnership, I need a powerful voice that God placed in this home to be a part of this with me, that together we carry this load. Parenting is hard.

Tim Lundy: [00:31:30] That's why I'll just stop for a moment, if you know a single parent, pray for them and then come alongside them. Because parenting is exhausting and hard, I say this as a couple, but for single parents, it's that much harder. And so the church should be the place where we're coming along and going, I can never be the full partner, but I can come along and support you in this. You look at a good dad's discipline, "The Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” 7It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?" This is a core part of it.

Tim Lundy: [00:32:15] The next thing, the power of your priorities. What do you prioritize as a dad? What do you prioritize? What is important to you in your life? And whatever you prioritize, with your time, with your money, with your schedule, with your energy, your kids are watching. Guys, your kids know whether church is important to you or not, and they go off of your cues. No matter what you say, they're watching you, they know what is important in the schedule of your life. They know who's important. They may not be able to verbalize it, but they feel it. And so one of the key things of leveraging your power as a dad that you go, what am I prioritizing in my life? What am I prioritizing in my spiritual life? What am I prioritizing as a spiritual leader of this home? What are the priorities I set?

Tim Lundy: [00:33:10] And when I say that terms spiritual leaders, sometimes we go spiritual leader of the home, it does not mean that you have to subtly morph into this theologian, that you have to be able to open any parts of the Bible and explain it, and you open it up and have these quiet times that are glowing and flowing and your children sit at your feet and they go, teach us more, father, that's not going to happen. But here's what it does mean, you actually take your faith seriously. You actually decide, you know, I can't call these kids to something I'm not living.

Tim Lundy: [00:33:47] Do you actually engage in God's word? I love how Deuteronomy puts it, it's just you talk about it, "These words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise." Notice what he's saying, that the Bible, God's truth, is just a part of your conversation, it's part of your life, but that's never going to be real unless it's real to you. I like how Phil Callaway writes, that when this really hit him, was the day his son was born. He said, "I found myself face to face with my first-born son. Sure, he was a little wrinkly, but who could blame him? I held him close, I touched his tiny fingers, I counted his toes, ten of them, I looked into his eyes, and they were blue, like mine. Then the most amazing thing happened, a revival, I suppose. He says, as I looked into those eyes, it was as if I heard these words, Callaway, for the first 25 years of your life, you've been a hypocrite. You've been close to the church, but far from God. You're holding in your arms the one person you'll never be able to hide it from. If you think this little guy won't see it, you're naive. People ask me when I became a Christian, I say to them, May 31st, 1986. You see that night, for the first time in my life, I bowed my head and I said, Dear God, I'm sorry, make me real. I want my precious little boy to hunger and thirst after righteousness, and if he won't learn it from me, he has two strikes against him already, and I meant every word. It's been slow going sometimes, but I believe God heard that prayer. Five years later, this same little boy looked up at me one night and said, Daddy, I want to be like you, and tears came to my eyes. I don't have all the child-rearing answers for you, but I do know this, if you want your child to love God, you love him first. If you want your son to obey, be obedient to the still small voice of God. If you want to change your life, change it for good, have children, lots of them, but be real."

Tim Lundy: [00:36:00] I just challenge all of us as dads, there's a place where we make it a priority, there's a place where we stake a claim for our household. I love how Joshua put it when he says, hey, I don't know what the rest of you are going to do, I think you ought to obey God, I think you ought to listen to him. And then he puts this line, "But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Notice what he doesn't say, hey, I think y'all ought to obey God, I'm going to go home and talk it over with my kids and see if they want to, you know, they don't, they're not really into it, they don't really like to go to church, they don't like these certain things, I'm going to check it out with everybody. No, no, here's what he said, I'm dad, I have some power here, I have spiritual authority here, I have to make decisions for our household. And I'm just staking a line in the sand right now for me and my household, man, we're serving God. And I will give that power and I'll give that authority; I'll give everything I have that we live out this commitment. What do you prioritize? The priority of partnering well with your wife. The priority of being in their life, the priority of stepping into it.

Tim Lundy: [00:37:12] And even as I say this, some of you, I know right now, for some of you this is hard to hear because you've got a broken relationship with your kids. Maybe there's a divorce that you're trying to overcome, and the evil one wants to tell you it's too late, it's too broken. Do not believe that lie, I've seen too many men over the years who in courage and humility were willing to reengage with their kids, and you'd be amazed at the power of that healing. You're still larger than life, and there's more power there than you realize.

Tim Lundy: [00:37:46] You know, a number of years ago here at Venture, probably about ten years ago, I had a couple that came to see me, they wanted to get married. They asked if I would do the wedding, and I said, well, let's meet together some. And we met through several sessions, and I don't do this often, but about the third session in, I looked at both of them and I said, you two have no business marrying each other. And they both kind of them at first were like. But then when I got them separately, she was relieved that I said it, she knew. And when I talked to him, we met some with it, he was pretty devastated. He's like, man, nothing was working out here. This relationship was the only thing I thought was good, I'm struggling at work. And as we dove in a little more, you know, he had met her and moved out here and he was getting into tech, and so, you know, this is a place to be tech-wise. He had divorced his wife a few years earlier, but he still had four kids at home, and they lived back with her in the Midwest. They had two that were young teenagers, one that was in elementary, and one that was really young. And as he sat there with it, I still remember, he kind of, he was crying a little bit in that. He finally looked at me, he said, what would you do if you were me? And I said, do you really want to hear? He said, yes, what would you do if you were me? I said if I was you, I'd go to my apartment, I'd get rid of everything, I'd load my car with everything I own, and I would start driving east and I'd go back to my hometown, and I would find a job. He goes, there are no jobs there. I said I'd work at Home Depot if I had to, and I'd start life again and humbly ask my kids, can I be in your life again? Because here's all I know, nothing else is working for you. I remember he looked at me, he goes, well, that's not what I wanted to hear. And I told him, I said, oh, you didn't ask me what you wanted to hear. If you want to hear what you want to hear, here's what you want to hear, you want to hear, pursue your passion, and you've got to find you, and find your happiness, and you do you. And as you find your happiness and you get your life established, once you do that, your kids are going to see it and they're going to appreciate that you did and it's all going to be good at the end, that's what you want to hear, isn't it? I said that the problem with that is it's not true. So do you want the truth, or do you want what you want to hear? And he got up and walked out, and I thought to myself, well, I'm not going to see him again. And I didn't, but I did hear from him two days later. He called me and he said, do you know where I am? I said, where? He goes, I'm in my car, it's filled with everything I own, I'm driving east, and even if I have to work at Home Depot, I will be in the lives of my kids because I only get one shot, and I'm going to choose to do that. I remember saying to him, hey, you need to hear me, I'm so proud of you. I don't have any magic bullet, you've got repair work ahead of you, but I promise you this, you will never regret choosing to prioritize those kids in your life. Now, I hope today you're not at a place where you need that much repair, but I think for all of us as dads, there's a place to step back and go, am I prioritizing with my time, with my presence?

Tim Lundy: [00:41:57] The final thing I'd just say, with your pronouncement. What do I mean here? I'm talking about the pronouncement of your blessing on their life. I love John Trent's book; he says every child needs a blessing from their parent and it's a blessing from dad. And when you say that, that blessing, it's the realization, Eldridge puts it this way, Eldridge says, "Every little boy is asking this question of his dad. Am I worthy? Do I have what it takes to be a man? And over and over in life, you're going to get these windows, you get these opportunities where you get to speak into that, where you get to call him up to it, where you get to invest in it, where you're building and blessing him so that he knows, yes, you've got what it takes, you are worthy." He says as well, "Every little girl is looking at her dad going, am I worth loving, am I lovely. Do I have what it takes in this world? Would anybody ever love me? And unfortunately for little girls, there's a bunch of voices that are telling them they're only worth loving if they look a certain way and if they do certain things, and it's killing them. And as the dad, you have this powerful megaphone into her life, so speak into it. So that every kid hears from you in so many ways, I love you, I'm proud of you, I'm for you. Yes, you have what it takes. Yes, that they feel your blessing throughout their life.

Tim Lundy: [00:43:47] And can I say this? Your adult kids need it to. They need the blessing of hearing from their dad, man, I am proud of what you're doing with your life, I'm proud of your work, I'm proud of you guys as parents. Man, I see you stepping into it. Man, you need to know I'm cheering for you, they need blessing too. As you look at you go, how do I do that? I love that God the Father does this for us. Look at how God the Father does this, "May the LORD bless you and protect you. 25May the LORD smile on you and be gracious to you. 26May the LORD show you his favor and give you his peace." Isn't it awesome that God, as the perfect Father, this is how he blesses us? He blesses our life. He protects our life. He smiles at us. He's gracious. He shows his favor. He turns his face toward us. He gives us his peace. And as I was reading through this verse, I thought, okay, this is what God the Father does for me, what would it look like as a dad if this is how I blessed my kids? What if I change the words and I say, may dad bless you, may dad protect you, may dad smile on you and be gracious to you, may dad show his favor to you and give you his peace.

Tim Lundy: [00:45:17] Guys, we are the most powerful man in the lives of the people who matter the most to us, this is how God's blessed us. What would it look like if the people in your life felt this kind of blessing from you? I would challenge you today, hopefully, today, somebody celebrating you. I want to challenge you, while they're celebrating you, would you just take some time to assess and go, God, am I leveraging well the power you've given me, this powerful gift of fatherhood, am I leveraging it with my priorities, am I leveraging my partnership, my presence, and with the pronouncement of blessing? We have a Father who loves to give it to us, and what a gift to us, dads, that we get to live this out in the lives of others.

Tim Lundy: [00:46:24] Let's pray. Father, I do thank you. Thank you for the privilege of fatherhood. I thank you for my kids and my wife. I thank you for just the joy that they bring to my life that is so undeserved. Lord, I thank you for just the power that you've given me as a dad to impact people that I love so much and that you've given that to each dad here. Lord, I pray that we would embrace that, I pray that we would recognize it, I pray that in the same way that you bless us, we would bless others. And even as we close out and we celebrate this blessing, as we celebrate what you've poured over each one of us here, I pray for each of us as dads, we would embrace again not only what we celebrate, but what you've called us to. And we know this is possible because of our Savior, Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.

Recorded in Los Gatos, California.
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Venture Christian Church
16845 Hicks Road
Los Gatos, California 95032