Having a good job is a blessing from God, but our day job should not keep us distant from our children. We should provide for our children and spend time with them. We need to examine ourselves.
Here's a few things that God does for us in the way that he — The Great Shepherd — shepherds us.
This is how Jesus shepherds. He shepherds through provision and presence. It's not just one or the other.
Here's the beauty of the cross — one of the many beauties of the cross — we needed provision. Spiritually. Somebody had to pay the price for our sin. We were in debt to God and the cross does that. Jesus atones for sin. He pays the price with his own life, even though he didn't deserve death, he took it in our place.
And on the flip side, we, because we are sinners, are separated from God. Apart from Christ we were absolutely 100% separated from God and on the cross the two collide — the presence and the provision through Jesus that he provides the atonement we need for our sins.
Because of that he is our high priest and there's one mediator between God and man — the man Jesus.
And you and I can have access at anytime to the presence of God. And because the Holy Spirit indwells every believer you don't ever have to worry "Is God in my life?" if your faith is in the life death and resurrection of Jesus Christ you've been saved by grace and you can trust God's Spirit doesn't just seal you for the day of redemption but teaches you and is with you and to show you God's presence in your life in a tangible way.
He does it.
You say, "What does this have to do with the way I parent? Even in church culture we will exalt parts of fatherhood that maybe the Bible doesn't exalt over one or the other.
Which of these two do you think we exalt? Provision.
We say if you just provide for your kids then you're being a good dad and thank you men for those of you who are providing for your kids. You should provide. But if you're spending your whole life providing for a family that you're not really a part of, how depressing is that?
You say "Well what am I supposed to do? My job requires 60 hours a week." Well maybe you need to check things. Is our lifestyle up here and the job that I'm forced to have to keep that life style is keeping me away from my kids maybe I need to look into a different job.
"Oh how dare you say that. You know how hard, you know blessed I am to have the job I am?"
I believe that you're blessed if you have a job, but ultimately if it's at the expense of you not being with your family, it ain't good.
There's a balance. There's a tension. Some of us need to pull back and we need to say what are we doing? We say it's just a season. When the kids are young I'll be putting the new hours in, but one day we'll retire.
Yeah? Will your kids be around then?
No, Jesus perfectly provides and is perfectly present all the time.
Although we're certainly not God we can reflect that by recognizing I need to be in their life because here's what's gonna happen with your kids — if you are providing for them but you're not around them very much, then at best, at best they will be thankful that you provided but brokenhearted because you weren't around.
At worst, they will resent you — spend the rest of their lives trying to get your approval and trying to get around you and they'll become just like you and you'll wonder why your grandkids don't have a father around because he's acting like you.
This isn't fun but this is needed because we're the church and we do things differently. To honor God, we provide but we are with our kids at the same time. You might have to get creative, but you need to pray if you're in that position about changing your life to where you can do both of these.
Watch the full sermon here.