I stopped to pray today. I actually pressed the "stop/eject" button… not just "pause". The power was still on… but I had to stop watching my life for a moment in order to reflect upon what I was seeing.
After some solid quiet… and some solid stillness… and some solid listening… I began to suspect that God would like me to dedicate myself further to my kids. It's not that I sense I've been failing them, or that I think I've been neglecting them or leading them astray… It's that I suspect I have not recently been as attentive to their long-term formation as I should be.
In a way it could be said that God is not "for me".
More accurately, especially considering my identity as a child of God, is that God is "for me to praise God".
Also more accurately, especially considering my identity as a father of my children, is that God is "for me to share with my kids".
Whatever it is that God has entrusted to me is to be returned to Him and is also to be imparted faithfully to my children. All the substance of what makes me who I am is for the sake of God's glory and for the enrichment/edification/equipping of my children.
So, today, I am committing to playing more nerf battles in the basement, reading more books on the bedroom floor, smiling more smiles at the dinner table, asking more questions on the couch, listening more patiently in the car, serving more intentionally at dawn, visioning more for the future on my knees, and praising God more verbally throughout the circumstances of every day.
Deuteronomy 6: 6These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Impress. I am to "impress"… Not "impress my kids with how great I am or what I can do"… I am to "impress" God upon my kids. My goal should not be that they would end up like me… as if I want to impress them with myself. My goal, instead, should be to provide a constancy of environment (sit at home, traveling on the road, going to sleep, getting up, working, thinking, entries and exits) whereby my children are saturated with God's patterns for life. I want my kids to be impressed with God.
And to do so, I'm compelled today, I believe by God's Spirit, to kick my dedication to my kids further into gear.