As Father’s Day approaches, our thoughts turn toward the tremendous privilege and responsibility of fatherhood. God speaks many times to fathers in Scripture and holds them to high standards (Ephesians 6:4). Men, in many different stages of life, will fill the seats of our congregations in June as we honor the role of fathers. Some will have children of their own and for some our message may cause them to consider the men who raised them or perhaps were absent from their lives.
A father has the responsibility of stewarding the tremendous influence he has on his child, but every man has some realm of influence in his life. As we speak to fathers this month we can also challenge and encourage all men to embrace this opportunity to impact those within their influence. Each man can positively impact those around him at home, at work, in his social circles, and even those he simply interacts with daily with encouragement and truth.
Some men may feel inadequate or question what kind of influence they actually have. We can encourage them that every man can influence those around them with 3 truths:
1) Who They Are – It is important for a man to be confident in who he is. I am a sinner offered salvation by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-10), a child of God (John 1:12) born on purpose and living with a purpose, and an individual with a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11). These truths don’t change when our circumstances change. They simply identify us and make us who we are. They give us strength and stability when other things seem uncertain, and they can make a huge impact on an individual when they know and believe the truth of who they are.
2) What They Know – This does take self-evaluation. We are bombarded with so much information every day. But when we look deeply into ourselves, what do we actually know and believe? This is the truth we can offer and pass on to those around us. I know that I am created by God to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever (Psalm 86:9). I know that God sent His Son to save me from the sin I was born into so I could have eternal life (John 3:16). And if they can’t identify what truth they are confident of, then this is the opportunity to explore that and seek His Truth. We need to point them to the Word of God that is full of exactly what they need to know.
3) Why They Are Here – God created each of us with a purpose. We are not here to just take up space. He has gifted each of us uniquely and has placed us on the earth and in people’s lives to love others (Matthew 22:36-40) and be His hands and feet. As we get to know our Father and Creator and deepen our relationship with His Son we will learn more specifically what He has uniquely called us to do with our lives.
Men are designed to be influencers. We influence those around us whether intentionally or not. Let’s teach the men we shepherd to use their influence well and be intentional with their time.
What can you do personally this month to be more intentional in the way you influence those close to you? How can you challenge the men in your congregation to evaluate the way they influence others?