I’m a proud father of three energetic and very diverse boys, eight, five and 2 years old. A life of peacefully playing with dolls, coloring in and clean toilet seats just does not exist. Haha.
I’m also a son of a father who in the words of his close friend, is one of the hardest workers he knows. He did (and still does) all he could to provide for his family on all levels and enjoy them. Yes, in today’s terms I would be classified as one of the “lucky ones”. My dad has his faults like we all do, but through his example he helped me see God better and I hope I can build on his example for my sons.
Now I carry the name Father (a.k.a. Papa). It’s the same name by which God identifies Himself and I’m often overwhelmed by the thought of this. I’m representing God to my children and placed in their lives to help them know “Our Father” and be in relationship with Him eternally.
How do we do that as fathers?
Our heart at Evergreen is that we help our children follow Jesus through our example and age appropriate instruction. It’s not easy and we constantly need to sit at the feet of Jesus for His instruction before we can instruct our children. And that is exactly it.
For me to be a good father I need to be a teachable son (of God) who in turn teach my sons what I have been taught.
Jesus said “If you have seen me you have seen the Father” (John 14)
When I look at Jesus I see He was Brave, Loving, Self-Sacrificing, Forgiving, Obedient, Confident, Humble, Teachable, Generous, Kind, Truthful, Caring, Responsible (and we can go on). I want that for my sons not because it will make them “good children” or “successful men”. I want that for my sons because then they will represent God as they were created to do.
It takes me to the first step in the Garden of Discipleship … Am I brave in how I live for God? Am I Obedient? etc.
To be a good father, be a good son Ruan. Be follower of Jesus and you’ll be a good leader for Jesus.
May my sons, and your children, one day say, “Seeing my father, helped me to see God better”.
About the author:
Ruan Slabbert is a facilitor for Evergreen Parenting and currently live in Melkbosstrand, Western Cape. He considers himself son, husband, father, pastor, coffee lover and wannabe leather artisan.
Ruan shares he is on a journey of becoming a better expression of the above mentioned for God’s glory. (Though we’re still deciding if loving coffee and loving God can work together)