Pass On The Book
“My book!” This is the cry of my young son as he climbs on top of me and proceeds to grab my book. It has been a game we have played since he was old enough to climb and speak. When he has felt ignored or felt the need to play he would often look over and see me with my nose in a book. Instead of just knocking the book away and claiming my attention, he would seek to start a fight over what I was giving my attention to.
While this is a very clear indication that I need to give my son my full attention, I also believe it shows the power of modeling. The power of modeling is why my little 10 month old loves to grab mine or my wife’s cell phone. She sees us on it all the time and so thinks on some level it must be pretty cool to occupy my parents’ minds. We have modeled that the phone is important and something to be desired and so she acts accordingly. This of course leads us to ask ourselves (as we all should) what are we modeling?
When my son fights over what occupies my attention it should be over something worthwhile. My desire should be for my son to look upon my habits and life and be motivated in godly ways, and for his pursuit of God to be impacted in meaningful ways. So my son shouldn’t be fighting me over the remote to the TV or the tablet, but rather something that has value. My son should see me engaging my mind by being in the Word of God so much that he can’t help but say “my book” as he seeks to grab it.
This obviously means that I need to be a man of the Word. I need to have a regular time when I am studying God’s Word, interacting with it, meditating on its wisdom, and responding to its promise. And this needs to have a visible consequence on my life. I need to be changed by the Word in ways that my family sees and appreciates. To be a grumpy dad who studies the Bible doesn’t commend the Bible to my children. But to be a transformed son of God through Christ, who repents and seeks the good of his family while serving God, makes the scriptures something worthwhile.
In the end, that is my biggest desire as a parent. That in some way I leave my son and now my new daughter with a desire to be in God’s Word; to be people of the book. That even if they just start with the desire to occupy what occupies my attention, that that will grow into a desire to know what occupies my attention for itself and grow to love it for how wonderful it truly is. I can’t wait until I get to give my son his first real Bible (he already has several kid devotional Bibles) and let him know that this is his book. That this book is for him and his life, so that he can know what God has done and rejoice in it.
Adam is the lead pastor at River Valley Community Church in Fort Smith, AR. He graduated from Denver Seminar in 2009 with his M.Div. Adam is married to Kacee, and they have two kids, Titus and Jillian.