We invest in a lot of things during our lives. We invest financially, saving for retirement, purchasing a home, having life insurance, etc. We invest in hobbies, buying the best rifles, golf clubs, fishing rods, and motorcycles. Yet, there is something I feel that many of us men fail to invest enough in: our children. We spend so much time investing in a plethora of things, but we don’t take time the make a valuable investment in the spiritual lives of our children, regardless of their ages.
Noticed I said spiritual investment. The US Department of agriculture estimates that it takes $233,610 to raise a child (I’m assuming that does NOT include college tuition, which is close to that on its own). In a rare positive change, parents today are spending twice as much time with their children than their parents did, and men have quadrupled the time they spend with children over the past few decades. Yet, despite all of that money and time, how much are we investing in them spiritually?
I am very thankful for the money, time, and energy my parents invested in me. I can’t begin to count the number of practices they drove me to, the things they bought for me, and the grey hairs I caused them. But what was most important was the time and energy they put into raising me as a disciple of Christ. From an early age, my parents taught me how to pray, read me Bible stories, involved me in church (even when I was more of a pain than a help), helped me memorize scripture, modeled the life of a disciple, and provided me with numerous tools to grow in my faith. I remember getting into Christian music because my parents would buy me Christian CD’s, but I had to buy secular ones on my own. That may sound like a silly thing, but it ended up having a big impact on my life.
Investing our time and energy into raising disciples is not just something we should do, its something we are commanded to do. As Paul writes in Ephesians 6:4: Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. This is not something we are to leave up to our church or to chance, but a duty that has been assigned to us as fathers. Just as it takes substantial investment to prepare for retirement or excel at a hobby, it takes a major investment to raise a disciple of Christ in our increasingly secular world. As dads, lets start owning this responsibility. Let’s model faith to our children, pray with and for them, help them dive into the word, and provide them with opportunities and resources to grow into disciples and leaders. Let’s do whatever we can to raise a generation of champions for Christ.