Even though Jesus did not have a wife and kids while he was here on earth, he was still the model of how a man should love his wife and kids. After all, Jesus does have a Wife and he loves Her dearly and sacrificially.
Listen to Paul’s instructions to the Ephesian Christians:
“And walk in love as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us” (Eph. 5:2).
“The husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church” (5:23).
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church” (5:25).
“In the same way husbands should love their wives…just as Christ does the church“ (5:28-29).
Aside from my relationship with God the Father, my relationship with Jesus also affects my relationship with our child. Paul’s point in the passages above is to show that how we love – especially our spouse and our children – must be a reflection of Christ’s love for his Church. God wants me to love my family with the love of Christ. This is only possible for a true follower of Jesus.
That is why I thank God because my dad did not end up like my grandfather. I know that he loves my mom so dearly. I have never heard – from my mom or anyone else – any instance when my father was involved in an extra-marital relationship. This beautifully reflects Christ’s faithfulness to his Church.
We love fathers who are willing to sacrifice for their family’s welfare, and not to spend meaningless hours with their drinking buddies. We adore fathers who are willing to lay down their lives for the sake of his children. But how can a father do that with all his heart if he is not a true follower of Jesus?
So here’s my second resolution as a father:
Resolved, that I will love my wife and my son as a follower of Jesus in the way he lived his life, suffered and died for his Church.
I am a follower of Christ. I will not let my role as a father be influenced by the ways of this world. Like Christ, I will do everything I can (by God’s grace) so that my family may experience life to the full (see John 10:10). I will make known to my son who Jesus is and how he can also follow him like his dad. In my life, in our home, my son will see what it means to have Jesus as Lord of our life.
Application Question: What connection do you see between parenting and following Jesus? In what practical ways can you show Christ-like love to your spouse and children today?