I’ve written, spoken, taught, and preached about Christmas an awful lot in my life. In fact, the first sermon I ever preached was in my home church on Christmas Eve when I was 18. I usually focus on the gift we receive at Christmas, which is a perfectly fine focus. I mean honestly, what bigger and more important gift can any of us receive than Jesus? However, I often don’t write, speak, preach, or even think much about giving the perfect gift at Christmas time. I’m not talking about finding that perfect gift at the store for your kids, wife, or parents. I’m talking about us men taking responsibility for giving the perfect gift of Jesus to our wife, our children, our grandkids, and beyond. We’re talking about living in such a way that those around us not only receive the perfect gift, but use it their entire lives.
Here is a sobering fact: 80% of people who become Christians accept Christ before they turn 18. This statistic is often used by churches to justify further investment in their youth and children ministries, which is certainly valid. I’ve been a youth pastor, and I’ve seen my children blessed by children’s and youth ministries, so I’m a big advocate of both. However, I’m also aware that the Bible is super clear on who is responsible for raising children in the Lord: their mother AND father. Yes, not just their mother, and not their children’s and youth pastor, but their father. Those of us who are dads, or will be dads, are responsible for giving the perfect gift of Christ. We are centrally responsible for teaching our children about Christ and helping them to follow Him.
If you need just one verse to convince you of the importance of your role as a father, checkout this: Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master. Ephesians 6:4 (MSG). I love that last phrase: take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master. As we celebrate this Christmas, are you doing that with your kids? If you don’t have kids yet, are you willing to commit to doing that for your children? Are you not only sharing the gospel with them, but also helping them to follow their Lord and Savior? This Christmas, I pray all of us will, in our own ways, be giving the perfect gift of Christ Jesus to our friends and family. Remember, its not about us, but its about what they will receive: And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11.
Blessings as you give the perfect gift to your loved ones not only this Christmas, but each and every day.