As the kids are settling down for the night, I think about being a father in the 21st century. There are so many internal struggles like: “Am I strong and courageous for them,” versus “do I model dependency on Christ as my strength and encouragement.” Another struggle is: “I need to be a hard-working, 9 to 5 and then some, always busy, income-producing, working man.” Versus “My kids need me to spend time with them, lots of time. My kids don’t care what I do, they want to wrestle with me when I get home from that job.”
These struggles would be extremely difficult if not for the model of Jesus Christ. Jesus worked extremely hard, but He always made time for people, especially his “family” the 12 disciples. Jesus was strong and courageous, however, He “got alone often to pray.” And, Jesus said “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Him and to accomplish His work” (John 4). So, the Christian life is a balance. We fathers must be, not only a model for hard-working self-reliance, but also a model that says with his actions “God is in control and He is who I trust.” I believe as we balance between these two models, we will multiply our kids into hard-working servants, whose trust is in the Lord for the results.