“For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:9).
In some endeavors, you can safely cruise to victory. The super bowl team with a 50-point lead with two minutes to play can safely cruise to victory. The derby horse that has lapped the field can cruise on in. The candidate who holds a wide lead with 95 percent of the vote counted can coast the rest of the evening.
But in the Christian life, we can never coast, including our roles as leaders in the home. Satan can and does strike when we least expect it. We can’t always avoid his darts, but we can prepare for them (1 Peter 5:8; 2 Corinthians 2:11). As leaders in the home, fathers must “suit up” for duty each day, with a willingness to put in much time and effort to insure a godly environment in the home. They cannot afford to coast or slacken their pace. In fact, they must “labor and toil,” as Paul writes above.
Why must fathers employ so much effort?
1. The cost is great.
Homes with turmoil and strife can sap the energy out of life. The issues of life, not properly managed, can strain families and even rip them apart. The father needs to actively fulfill his role as leader of the home. God will provide every encouragement along the way.
2. Our enemies are many.
Every father faces contrary forces, but none more than the Christian father. He struggles not only with the routine issues of life, but also with spiritual forces out to spiritually upend his family. Fathers must prayerfully and actively work hard to help family members.
3. Our time is limited.
As our earthly days are numbered, so our days as the household head are also numbered. We will want to use every opportunity to provide encouragement so that our children will be prepared for life. With the time that God has provided, fathers should work hard to instill values in children and a godly environment in the home.
The forces of evil will make short work of the passive father. Therefore, we need to approach each day with an active prayer focus and willingness to work to the point of toil to insure a godly home atmosphere. We can apply this broadly, to all areas in the Christian life. Keep pressing forward, knowing your labor is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Posted on Tue, June 20, 2017
by Diane Hultgren