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Fathers Have to Say "NO" in Order to Say "YES" for the Good of Their Families
Posted on May 23rd, 2013

That was the closing thought by Russ Zimmerman at our recent men’s rally. Russ works for Bridges International, a ministry of Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ) which focuses on sharing the gospel to international university students here in the US.
I love the point Russ was making. Fathers have to say “no” to good activities in order to say “yes” to the best activities, the things that produce the greater spiritual fruit. Here are some other things Russ had to share.
•          Dads are the primary plan for the discipleship of children. The church can help, but fathers have the responsibility to introduce their children to Jesus and to teach them how to love and follow Him.
•          Russ got to the point when he said, “Dads, don’t screw it up.” It’s too critical. And what’s more precious and important to us than our children.
•          A child’s view of God is largely shaped by how they see dad live his life, talk about God, and respond to life’s circumstances.
•          Russ read Deuteronomy 6:5, 7. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might … You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” I love what Russ said. We never have “time off” as dads. As spiritual leaders of our children, we are always on. We must take advantage of every moment of every day if we want our children to love and follow God too.
•          Russ leads his family in family devotions every morning after breakfast and before school. He admitted that he wasn’t good at coming up with material on his own, so he encouraged us to purchase a devotional guide like the one he uses with his family.
•          Russ and his family have also committed to one of the slots in our church’s Unceasing Prayer initiative. One night a month for 30 minutes, Russ and his family pray for our church and for our city. Imagine how that shapes the hearts of his children.
•          Russ said that he wants his children to understand that “God is not a Sunday thing. He is everything.”
•          And then Russ ended with a challenge to fathers by asking, “Do you have a vision and a dream for your children? Sure, we all want our children to make good grades, get into a good college, married a good mate, and give us good grandchildren. But surely Jesus died for more than that. My dream is that, in 20 years, my children would love Jesus more than I do today. For that to happen, fathers must say “no” to good things in order to say “yes” to the best things.”
Thanks Russ for your wisdom and example to all of us as dads.
The picture with this blog is the Summer Challenge for men. Print this out and commit to taking one of the steps under each section as a way to step up your spiritual leadership.

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