Today in Australia we celebrate Father's Day! To honour this special day, I preached about 'Leaving a Godly Legacy for the Next Generation' in our church service this morning. In my introduction I shared a quote from the final scene of the movie Courageous:
A father should love his children, and seek to win their hearts. He should protect them, discipline them, and teach them about God. He should model how to walk with integrity and treat others with respect, and should call out his children to become responsible men and women, who live their lives for what matters in eternity. Some men will hear this, and mock it. Or ignore it. But I tell you that as a father, you are accountable to God for the position of influence he has given you. You can't fall asleep at the wheel, only to wake up one day and realize that your job or your hobbies have no eternal value, but the souls of your children do. Some men will hear this and agree with it, but have no resolve to live it out. Instead, they will live for themselves, and waste the opportunity to leave a godly legacy for the next generation. But there are some men, who regardless of the mistakes we've made in the past, regardless of what our fathers did NOT do for us, will give the strength of our arms and the rest of our days to loving God with all that we are and to teach our children to do the same. And whenever possible to love and mentor others who have no father in their lives, but who desperately need help and direction.
This powerful scene puts out a strong call to fathers to be men of courage and step up to be fully involved in their children's lives. This is a role that cannot be abdicated or delegated if we are serious about leaving a godly legacy for the next generation. I thank God for a godly father who courageously laid a solid foundation for my faith and leadership, a legacy that is now being passed onto his grandchildren.
Today, I took the opportunity to continue this legacy by giving my children a gift on Father's Day that shares with them a significant part of my leadership journey. While attending a Leadership Masterclass with Bill Hybels earlier this year, I was privileged to have him sign two copies of his book Courageous Leadership, dedicating them to my children. Bill has imparted a leadership legacy in my life over the past 19 years through his teaching and ministry, so it was an immense joy to share something of that legacy with Rebekah and Adam today.
I pray that this Father's Day will leave an imprint upon my children's lives that will shape this and future generations through their godly leadership!