I love riddles and I love being a father. So, I’ve written a fun, little riddle for all the dads out there reading this on or about the time of Father’s Day. I trust the riddle (and this article) will encourage Christian fathers out there to be the man (and dad) God has called you to be. In a day when fathers often are admonished for their failures in church and family, I’d like to commend you, Dad, for sticking it out, for staying the course, and for keeping the faith. Keep at it, God has designed you to reflect His glory in your willingness to serve as He served, to sacrifice as He sacrificed, to lead as He leads, and to love as He loves. As you struggle to carry the load of your many important responsibilities, take a moment to ponder this riddle… (Note: If you’re looking for free activities related to Father’s Day, click here.)
What one thing is a priceless treasure,
Yet given to all in equal measure?
What cannot be found when once it’s lost?
What cannot be valued for its cost?
What heals all wounds, destroys all things?
What crumbles mountains and vanquishes kings?
What’s spent on others, yet treasured forever?
What’s useless and empty when wasted in pleasure?
Gentlemen, I am sure you know the answer to the riddle, and if you cannot figure it out, it’s in my opening sentence. That “one thing” is something that needs to be spent carefully. We all have an abundance of it, in equal measure each day. And it needs to be invested wisely.
It sounds difficult, and it is, because it ultimately boils down to surrender, a word the typical man doesn’t like. We are raised to believe that we are the protector, the provider, and the priest in our home. And all of that is true. But in order to fulfill those tasks, we must be yielded, to give up some of those rights.
I know in this day and age it’s hard to get our priorities right, with the preponderance of distractions out there and the busyness of life, but as the days slip into months and the months slip into years, we cannot fail to align our moments with what God has designed us for.
Time Spent with God
Before all other things, Dad, you need to spend time with your Maker. He loves you with an everlasting love, and He wants to spend time with you. To talk to you, through His word, and through the gentle whispers of the Holy Spirit. And He wants you to talk to Him, through prayer and praise. Not a litany of complaints and requests, though He has very broad shoulders and can take all that, but just a chat over coffee about your day, your struggles, and your love for Him for what He’s done for you.
Time Spent with Family
Your children desperately need you. Your wife needs you. They need to see you home. Work can wait. The stack of things in your inbox will still be there tomorrow; schedule your day to leave as best you can on time, so that you can spend time with your family. Talk with them about God and His plans for them (Deut. 6:7). Plan fun things to do together, but try spending at least fifteen minutes each day just listening to each person in your family. Don’t talk, just… listen. Let them tell you about their day, their struggles, their joys, and sadness. Isn’t that what God does with you?
Time Spent with God’s Family
Take your family to church. Make friends with other Christian dads. Make sure your kids make good Christian friends. Get involved, but NOT to the expense of the first two priorities above. Because I can tell you, when you sacrifice your family, or your relationship to God, on the altar of your ministry, you will regret it, and it will take much time to regain what you’ve lost.