Tuesday, 06 October 2015 14:03

Striving to be a Faithful Father

Written by  Kyle Searcy, Fresh Anointing International House of Worship
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My wife, Mimi, and I moved to Montgomery five months ago when I accepted the call to be the new Rector (a fancy Anglican word for “head pastor”) of Christchurch. Mimi was seven months pregnant when we arrived. Thus the craziness of moving to a new city to shepherd a whole new community was profoundly punctuated by the arrival of our first child, a son, Stephen Ebenezer (“Eben”) in June! 

Since Eben’s birth, I’ve been trying to remember all of the “wise pastoral counsel” that “Father Andrew” has given to new parents over the years, for I suddenly find myself in need of some of that advice! As a pastor I’m pulled in many directions as I strive to be a good shepherd to the wonderful flock of Christians at Christchurch. But like all fathers, I’m called first to let God, the true Good Shepherd (John 10:11), guide my own heart; secondly to be a good shepherd for my family; and finally to look outward to my call to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-14) in the world in my vocation. So I find myself on my knees asking God for the wisdom to be a faithful follower of Him in my heart and a faithful husband and father in my home. Only then can I be a good Father for my church family. 

The first counsel on which I’ve been meditating is God’s command that I teach my son about His faithfulness. The culture around us tells us to do all in our power to make sure our children go to the best schools and are the best dressed, smartest and most athletic children around. But as I pray for my son, I keep hearing the Lord call me to a very different set of priorities. Throughout Scripture we hear God’s commandment to tell our children and our children’s children about the things that God has done for us (Deuteronomy 4:9, 6:6-9; Proverbs 22:6). If we teach our children the Truth by which all other truths must be measured - that God created all that there is and, when creation fell in sin and became subject to evil and death, sent His Son into the world to die on the Cross so that we might be reconciled to Him - then we will be parents after God’s own heart. I want good things for my son. But God tells me to seek just one thing for Eben - the knowledge of the goodness of God - and all the other things Eben might need will be added to him. “Ebenezer” means “Rock of God’s Help” (1 Samuel 7:12). May little Eben, and all of our children, know that God is our help and stay, our Rock and our Redeemer (Psalm 19:14), and that worshipping Him takes precedence over every other thing in our lives.

The second counsel on which I’ve been meditating is God’s command to model for my son a life dependent upon the Lord. Now, that might sound easy - I’m a priest after all! But I’m human, sinful and disobedient and in need of God’s grace at all times. I, too, face the temptation to rely on money or social standing or the approval of others for my sense of self-worth. I, too, hear our culture’s siren song of consumerism, which promises that happiness is something we can purchase. Will Eben see me find my worth in my life in the Lord, the One Who made me from before the foundations of the world (Psalm 139:13-16)? Will Eben see me storing up my treasures in heaven, rather than on the fleeting pleasures of stuff (Matthew 6:19-21)? May little Eben, and all of our children, see us conformed, not to the image of the world, but rather transformed, renewed, and remade by the power of God’s Spirit (Romans 12:2)! 

Like all dads, I can’t wait to see who Eben will be when he grows up. But having Eben has helped me grow up a little bit too. May we both, with the help of one another and God’s church gathered around, grow up into the full stature of men of our holy God (Ephesians 4:11-15)!

 

Fr. Andrew Rowell is delighted to be the second Rector of Christchurch Montgomery. He is married to Miriam “Mimi” Suber Rowell, who is a Critical Care Registered Nurse. Andrew and Mimi have a son.

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 06 October 2015 14:09

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