One of my favorite praise and worship songs begins, “I’m not going back; I’m moving ahead. I’m here to declare to you my past is over.” I learned those lyrics early as a born again Christian. What began as an inspirational song, something that motivated me to keep going back to church, has now become absolute truth in my life. This January will mark 10 years since I surrendered my life to Jesus; I still get choked up when I share my testimony with others.
Ten years ago: I was unexpectedly thrust into fatherhood and had no idea what that meant or how I was going to handle it.
Today: My daughter is one of the greatest blessings I have ever known and I cannot imagine a day without her.
Ten years ago: I was still relapsing on alcohol and barely clean off of drugs.
Today: I have been drug-free for over a decade and have not had a drink in eight years.
Ten years ago: I was in the bars and hanging out with women I should never have been around.
Today: I am married to the most godly woman I have ever known.
Ten years ago: I handled adversity through the flesh; letting it completely dominate the moment.
Today: I bring everything to the Cross first and foremost; I seek God’s direction through prayer and His Word.
Ten years ago: I could barely hold a job and cared only about myself.
Today: I have an amazing job, have founded one ministry, and serve regularly in a couple others.
Ten years ago: I did not know Jesus Christ personally and was doing everything I possibly could to ignore Him.
Today: I cannot function a single day without His presence in my life. I am completely dependent upon His leading over me and my family.
I could go on and on. Had God not intervened, I don’t even want to think of what sort of man, husband, or father I would have been if I had not surrendered to Him. I realize not everyone has a testimony as dramatic as mine; some may have an even stronger one. My point is, as parents, we should always be continually moving forward in our relationship with Christ so that we can lead our families accordingly. The world they are growing up in is becoming increasingly hostile towards the Gospel.
What will we you do to prepare your kids? And, looking back over the past decade, year, or even week of your own life, how have you grown personally as a Christ-follower? My questions aren’t meant to be condemning, but perhaps are a wake-up call.
Parents, how will you use the time God has given you TODAY to lead your children in His ways?
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your might.
You shall teach [these words] diligently to your children…
Deuteronomy 6:5-7 ESV
By Matt Haviland
Husband to Christy
Dad of one daughter
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Founder of A Father’s Walk
Co-author of The Daddy Gap