First things first…is an expression long associated with priorities. We all tend to get the cart before the horse, so to speak. Taking that first step is sometimes the most difficult. To earn your first million, you have to work very hard to make and save the first $10,000. When going on a trip to somewhere you have never been, you must first seek directions and make a plan. You can’t build a great business and have lots of customers or clients without serving and satisfying the first one.
Recently, I was meeting with my new friend, Sebastian Sheetz. He shared an interesting thought that he had heard from Pastor Troy Brewer. It resonated. As I was reflecting on it later, my thoughts turned to fathers and their role in the family.
You must first be aligned before you can be assigned!
First things first! In order for you to go from being a father to that special place called, Dad, you must first get aligned with the One who can ensure your success. And just where does it start? Sebastian suggested Romans 12.1-2. “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that the testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (ESV)
You start by …presenting yourself to Him…avoid conforming to this world…and become transformed by renewing your mind. All this is accomplished in and through God’s word. It says in 2 Timothy 3.16 that four things happen. Teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness. Now you are becoming aligned.
So, what is your assignment? To ‘be the dad…God wants you to be’. Simply to disciple your children in line with Proverbs 22.6 ESV which says; “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” See, ‘train up’ is discipleship. Jesus’ last recorded words in Matthew were; “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…All nations starts in your home. Then you are free to go down the block, in your church, in another country. First things first!
There is an exhortation that goes along with this. The Message translation nails it! “Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master” (Eph. 6.4).
Train them correctly, don’t exasperate them, grab their hand and lead them! That’s the results of being assigned. Humanly speaking, those four basic things cannot be done well. But the Holy Spirit through you—can and will! Don’t attempt it the other way. Failure awaits! Let him align you and then assign you. Success assured!
So, get aligned by digging into God’s word, bathing you and your family in prayer, welcoming accountability and pursuing the highest calling any dad can have—training up (discipling) your children. Now, that’s being aligned and assigned the right way! And remember, it’s not about perfection; it’s about the pursuit.