These are the sons of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.1 Chronicles 2:1
Stumblin’ & Fumblin’
When I was a student at Concordia Seminary, I played intermural sports in order to get regular exercise.
Our Autumn sport was flag football. If you’ve ever seen pictures of me, you can understand why I played lineman and not wide receiver.
However, our quarterback had a trick play that worked rather well. I would start out by blocking and protecting him while our receivers sprinted down field.
Then I would peel off and head down field myself and he would throw to me. I would then have most of the field open in front of me (everyone else either trying to tackle him or chasing our receivers).
I would catch the ball and then start “running” down field. But being built like a lineman and not a receiver, I ended up most of the time stumblin’ and fumblin’ down the field!
Football as Analogy For Fatherhood
This is a good analogy for fatherhood. Each dad is built differently. I don’t mean just physically, but also mentally and emotionally.
Each father handles fatherhood in their own unique ways. And how I handle fatherhood ends up sometimes being like I handled football: stumblin’ & fumbling’ but making my way to the goal line!
Being a dad isn’t easy. I’m certainly not perfect at it. I stumbled many times. I fumbled a few times (but never dropped one of my kids!).
But the key, for me, was to always have the goal line in sight – the goal of raising a child to know and love God. To understand that we are all sinners. And to believe in Jesus Christ who saves us from all our sins!
The Family Tree of Jesus
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. But he is also fully human, with a human family tree! As you look at who the descendants of Jesus are you see what I call a “warts and all” type of listing.
In that family tree are some real characters! There is Judah and Perez. Perez was the child of Judah and his daughter-in-law. There is David, who had a son by another man’s wife (whom he had killed and then married her himself).
Neither would be candidates for father of the year. Still, they were repentant and God was forgiving.
Family Is Important to God
God was deeply involved in the families that would eventually give birth to His Son, Jesus. He was moving history along, sometimes behind the scenes, sometimes out in the open.
It is very clear to me that from the beginning God considers family to be so very important!
And God wants to be deeply involved in your family.
Your Blessings through God’s Family
He is deeply involved in family because that is the first place we receive His blessings – through family!
Our first experience of love is from our parents. It is just about as close to unconditional love that we can ever experience apart from God’s love.
Godly parents share their faith in Jesus Christ with their children. They bring them to the waters of Holy Baptism. They teach them to pray, bring them to worship, and make sure they grow in the knowledge and fear of the Lord.
Being a Godly Father
As a Christian man, God has called me to be a father that will reflect the fatherhood of God Almighty to my children.
Being a godly father is something that I stumble at, fumble at, but will always – God-willing – be working at, running towards the goal line of a godly son or daughter that knows Christ as their Savior.
Visit, O Lord, the homes in which Your people dwell, and keep all harm and danger far from them. Grant that we may dwell together in peace under the protection of Your holy angels, sharing eternally in Your blessings. In Jesus’ name. Amen. [prayer for home and family from Pastoral Care Companion – the app © 2007, 2011 Concordia Publishing House]
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