Read Philippians 1:23 – 2:4
Meanwhile, live in such a way that you are a credit to the Message of Christ. Let nothing in your conduct hang on whether I come or not. Your conduct must be the same whether I show up to see things for myself or hear of it from a distance. Stand united, singular in vision, contending for people’s trust in the Message, the good news, (Philippians 1:27 MSG)
I love being a husband and a dad. I’m blessed to be married to the love of my life and I have two kids who are creative and unique and smart and fun… and I absolutely adore both of them. As much as I love my kids, there are times when I feel completely lost as their father. Take yesterday for example. Michelle and I had a meeting where we needed to go through and sign several important papers. We brought the kids with us, along with all kinds of things to keep them occupied while we were taking care of our business. The kids, however, didn’t cooperate. They didn’t just sit and play. Instead, they were loud and out of control and into everything in the office. Eventually we got things done, but at the end Michelle had to take two screaming kids out to the car. Marin cried the entire way home and Zachary wasn’t much better. We got through it and ended up putting the kids to bed early. It was a rough night. When my kids are out of control I don’t always like who I become. I get tense and angry and I react rather than respond. My tone gets harsh and I say things in ways that often isn’t helpful. I get lost sometimes, and I want that to change.
As I read this Philippians text this morning I am struck by this directive, “Meanwhile, live in such a way that you are a credit to the Message of Christ.”
This is an important directive to me. I’m constantly seeking how I might live authentically in my relationship with Jesus. I want my life to be a witness and a credit to who Jesus is. I want people to know that love is alive and well through the Spirit of Christ who lives in me.
I want my kids to know that too.
Is my life as their dad always a credit to the Message of Christ? Yesterday it wasn’t. I’m not trying to be too hard on myself here. I am a good dad, and I have a great relationship with my kids. But I also want to challenge myself to grow. I have some work to do. In this time in my life I want to turn to Jesus and learn from our heavenly Father what it might look like to Father my kids in a way that is a credit to the Message… even when they are acting like they did yesterday.
Teach me Lord.