Dad, it’s hot in here!

Two things are coming up this week and I’m looking forward to both… Father’s Day & the start of summer. Both of these things represent family for me. Father’s Day represents spending time with children, and summer represents playing in the backyard and splashing in the pool with my family.

Summer also means temperatures are on the rise. Anybody who’s lived in the Deep South remembers how the long, hot days of summer feel. If you’ve ever had your air conditioner break down during the dog days of summer, you know just how oppressive the heat and the humidity can be. When the temperatures become unbearable, often the family will look to Dad to fix the situation.

Dads, this article today is for you.

You are the spiritual thermostat of your home. Because God made you to be the spiritual leader in your family, you are supposed to be the one who sets the spiritual temperature for your home. If you want your wife and children to be passionate for King Jesus, they’re going to have to first see that passion in you.

Fathers, if you want your house to be on fire for God, you have to set the temperature for your whole family. Dads, here are five simple things to keep in mind this Father’s Day as you lead your families:

Set the temp

A thermometer reads the temperature; a thermostat sets the temperature. Dad’s, you are supposed to represent Jesus in your home, and you are supposed to set the spiritual temperature for your family.  There is both a thermometer and a thermostat function that you fulfill in the home.

First, you must understand the spiritual climate of your house.  When you accurately assess the spiritual climate of your house, you are fulfilling the thermostat function as a father. However, it’s not good enough just to know the spiritual temperature of your home – you’re also supposed to influence that temperature in your family. As you do this, you are fulfilling the thermostat function of a father in the home.  

Father’s Day is a great time each year to take an honest assessment of the spiritual temperature of your family. From that thermometer reading, you can then assess how much you need to change the spiritual temperature of your home.

Show the eternal

Fathers, you do a lot of things for your family. From family leader, to lawn mower, to breadwinner, to encourager, to protector in the home- Dads, you wear a lot of hats for you family. However, the most important hat that you wear is the hat that represents God.

Dads aren’t the only ones that represent God in the home, and I am not suggesting that mom or children don’t also represent God in the home. What I am suggesting by this principle is that this is one of your primary responsibility’s, Dad. If you’re successful at everything else as a father and you miss this principle, you are failing at the most significant and eternal role that you play in the home. You show the family what Jesus is like. This is an awesome responsibility!   

If you’re not exactly sure how to represent God well in your home because your father never did that for you, I suggest finding an older, godly man who has led his family well and look to him as a mentor. Get some advice from a guy who’s already been down this road and done it well.

Lead by example

The world is full of hypocrites. These are the kind of leaders who tell you to do one thing, and then they do another. Perhaps you grew up in a home where dad told you the phrase, Do as I say, not as I do. That is a terrible way to lead your family.  If that’s the kind of home that you grew up in, it’s time for you to break that that family cycle, Dad.

Be the kind of dad that sets the example for his children.  You should be able to look in the mirror and say to yourself, I hope my sons turn out like me one day. I hope my daughters will marry a man like me one day. If you can’t say that, then maybe you still have some work to do as a leader in the home. 

The essence of leading by example is asking your family to follow you.  Here’s an article  I wrote about leading by example called Follow Me Leadership.

Order priorities

One of the most important things that you will do as a father is to set the priorities for your family. We live in a world where there are amazing opportunities everywhere you look. No one can do it all. Therefore, families have to decide what is most important. Period.

The things that are most important deserve your family’s time and attention. Father’s, this is one of your primary responsibilities as a spiritual leader for your family.

It can be really hard to determine what deserves your time and what doesn’t. Learning to say no to some good opportunities so that you can say yes to the best opportunities takes some practice. For more about ordering your priorities, check out my article on Digging ditches with a spoon.

Establish a legacy

Think about leading your family this way, Fathers: At the end of your life, what do you want future generations to remember you for?  What do you want your legacy to be? You have to start working on your legacy today. If you wait until you’re older, you’ve waited too long to really leave a lasting legacy.

In the Bible, Nehemiah 7 records more than 100 names of fathers who left a lasting legacy. In some cases, these fathers influenced thousands of future family members over many generations. If you want to leave a Nehemiah 7 legacy, you have to start today. 

Rather than just blow through this chapter of the Bible as a litany of names that mean nothing to you, pause for just a second and think about what you’re reading in this book of the Bible. This is a list of men who left a lasting legacy for their families. If you want to know more about leaving a legacy, check out our 2 Cities Church livestream video from Nehemiah 7 this weekend on YouTube.

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