Dads, have your children ever asked any of the following questions: “Why is my dad not like other dads? When I look at dad’s lifestyle, why does he live the way he lives? Why does dad live such a questionable life?”
Fellow fathers, if your children think your life is questionable, if our kids notice that we, as Christian fathers, are different from other dads, if our words and actions sometimes leave our children asking questions, we may have reason to rejoice! In a culture in which godly Christian fathers are increasingly rare, to be counter-cultural, or questionable, is exactly what Christian dads are called to do!
Living a questionable life is what the apostle Peter urges in 1 Peter 3:15, “In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”
Peter urges Christians to be ready to give a defense, a witness, a positive testimony to those who ask for the reason for the hope that is in them. He goes on to say that this witness should be given with gentleness and respect. But in order for others to ask questions about our hope, we must first live hope-filled lives that are shaped by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In other words, as followers of Christ, Christians live counter-cultural, questionable lives. This kind of questionable lifestyle is good and godly.
If we are called by God to live lives that prompt our neighbor to ask questions about the hope in us, how much more should Christian fathers strive to live questionable lives in the sight of some of our closest “neighbors”—our children? So, what are some of the questions our sons and daughters might ask us as we live questionable lives, and how might we give a gentle answer reflecting the hope we have in Christ?
Dad, why do you spend so much time praying?
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18).
Dad, why did we miss the Sunday morning soccer game to go to church?
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God” (Exodus 20:8-10).
Dad, why do you always tell us Bible stories?
“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (Deuteronomy 6:6–7).
Dad, why do you go out of your way to help other people?
“We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
Dad, why do you take time to read the Bible every day?
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).
Dad, why do you give offering at church?
“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Dad, why are you so certain we’ll be together in heaven?
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Dad, why do you choose to be so different from other dads?
“Then here will I and mine today
A solemn promise make and say:
Though all the world forsake His Word,
I and my house will serve the Lord!” (Oh, Blest the House; LSB 862:5)
So, fellow fathers, let’s challenge ourselves to not be content to just be like other dads. Let’s be bold to live questionable lives! But when we fail, we find forgiveness from the Father who did the most questionable thing of all—send His only Son to be our Savior. Perhaps our children asking about the Christian life we live is the greatest gift we can receive this Father's Day.