Fathers Leading the Way
By Toby Crowder
Deuteronomy 6:7 “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”
This month we will celebrate Father’s Day; a time to remember and celebrate all that our fathers are, and all that they contribute to our lives. If you did not grow up with a father in the home, then perhaps you had a male role model such as a special uncle or grandfather, or someone who set an example for you to follow. This godly influence is needed now more than ever in our society. We are in desperate need of young fathers who will set an example for their families and lead the way for them to follow. In our text above, we find that Moses had already received the commandments from God in the previous chapter and had given the children of Israel instructions in v.32-33 to walk in the ways of the Lord. Now in chapter six, Moses not only exhorts the people to hear and obey God but also to pass these truths along to their children. These men of Israel were not only to tell but to be an example and show their children the ways of God. It was their job to lead the way!
We notice the word “diligently” in the verse above and understand that if we are going to lead the way for our families, it will involve a CHALLENGE. Moses lets them know that they are to teach them diligently… conscientiously, thoroughly, attentively, carefully, and persistently. This was not to be done half-heartedly or recklessly but was to be treated as a matter of importance! We should take time and seriously consider how much diligence we are using when we teach our children about the ways of the Lord. After all, we are earnest about many other things that we teach them such as sports… school… friendships… jobs… education… hobbies, and other interests. But do we promote this same diligence to the Word of God? Can our children quote and apply Scripture and use it to distinguish right from wrong? This world is teaching them 24/7… about themselves, family, the government, Creation, and their definition of God. They are certainly being diligent… but are we? This is not something that we can take lightly or minimize the importance of in our daily lives. Moses knew that there would be a challenge for these families in seeking and following the Lord and that they would need someone to lead the way… and we still need that today!
Not only is there a CHALLENGE involved, but there should be a CONSISTENCY involved in leading the way for our families. Moses exhorted them to lead the way in the house and the “way”, and to do so when awake and even when asleep. The first two verses of this passage name the commands, statutes, and judgments of God as being the subject of this training so that they might fear the Lord and have a full and long life. Most parents will agree that leading the way consistently is a true challenge! When we speak of consistency, it does not mean that every parent will parent the same way, but rather have the same goal in what we are teaching our children and leading them in the ways of God.
In what ways are you teaching and leading your children? Proverbs 22:6 reminds us to “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” This simple verse reminds us that there is only one way that we should be leading our children and families, and that is the way to salvation. The training of a child should be “upward”, and we should always do things that will point them toward the things of God. Beyond telling them what is right and wrong…we need to show them. This example that they put forth was to be continuous and eternal. Their lives were meant to be a legacy to tell their children. Fathers… men… parents… are we setting a challenging and consistent pattern of godliness for our children to follow… Are we leading the way?
Toby Crowder serves as Pastor of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Spruce Pine. He and his wife Leslie have been married for 28 years and have two daughters, Emilee, and Katy. He can be contacted via the church’s website MCfamilyforChrist.org or firstname.lastname@example.org
You can read more from Pastor Crowder here.