A strong father should be a hopeful encourager. He should cheer his kids on toward success, walking them through the hard times, and giving them hope for the future.
As a father, God calls you to encourage your family. The dad who raises godly children will be a shepherd, leading them with love. Let’s look at what it takes to live out the biblical trait of an encourager—leading your family so we raise godly children.
“And a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased.” —Matthew 3:17
Biblical Trait #6: Encourager
Matthew writes, “And a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased” (3:17). Isn’t it amazing that the Lord even says this? When Jesus was baptized, God said, “You are my beloved son.”
This past year, the Lord taught me some things. It’s as if the Lord said, “Alex, find your encouragement in Me.” I was reading Matthew 6 in my morning devotion time. This was right after we were asked if we were going to submit LifeMark movie for an award. Sometimes, after we finish a film, it’s submitted by our distributor and sometimes we’re asked if we want to submit it.
Over the last 15-20 years, we’ve been blessed to win many awards. But this time was different. I was reading Matthew 6 where Jesus says…watch out don’t do your good deeds publicly to be admired by others for you will lose the reward from your father in heaven…when you give to someone in need don’t do as the hypocrites do…blowing trumpets in the synagogue at streets to call attention to their acts of charity…I tell you the truth they’ve received all the reward…but when you give to someone in need don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing…give your gifts in private and your Father who sees everything will reward you…
So, I’m reading through Matthew 6 and what do you think the Lord is saying to me? Let me be your encourager…let me reward you…do not seek rewards from men just to be seen…and so the Lord tells me “Alex, stop. Don’t chase man-made awards…don’t chase them…if an award comes…be humble and gracious…but may it come when you’re not looking for it.
You and I want the reward God has for us and we do not want to trade it in for something temporary. So, I met with Stephen, then I met with our team, and we decided we weren’t going to submit any of our films for any awards. If an award comes, it must come when we aren’t looking for it or expecting it—because our reward must fully come from the Lord.
Now, you have to swallow your ego and humble yourself. No, it’s not that I did movies to get awards. But you’re always hoping it’s good enough to get an award. It’s not a bad thing to win awards. But, if your heart starts chasing them, if awards become your motive, you’re in trouble.
Why? Because you want God’s blessing on whatever you do. So the Lord was saying, “Alex, get that from me. Get your encouragement for Me.” And isn’t God the perfect encourager?! The Lord is amazing and gives us all the encouragement we should want.
When I was reading Matthew 6, the Lord shot this through my head…can you imagine…you’re reading the Old Testament and there was a “Prophet of the Year” award in Jerusalem.
Think about it: at the end of every year they got all the prophets together; they come in and sit on the stage and we talk about that one from Jeremiah….”Oh just made me cry…” and Jeremiah’s like, “Yeah, thank you so much…thank you…” Or Ezekiel’s up for the award and he’s like, “Isaiah’s going to win it again!” : )
Wouldn’t it bother you if there was a “Disciple of the Year” award and every year one of the 12 disciples was like, “Peter’s going to get it again…you know he walks on water…”
It would bother you to read that in Scripture. You would say, “No, you’re supposed to be following Jesus for Jesus’ glory and do whatever He calls you to do.”
Here’s the point: you don’t follow Jesus to get an award.
But, what do we do in today’s culture? There are awards for everything. There’s…
- Christian Author of the Year
- Christian Singer of the Year
- Christian Album of the Year
- Christian Movie of the Year
…there’s a Christian award for everything!
Lord, please, help us. May we give the awards to truly encourage and affirm others. May they not simply be chasing after it. Listen, whatever we’re doing in ministry, don’t do it to receive an award. Instead, do your work for the Lord. Be faithful. Jesus is the reward! As a fatherhood and family leader, serve and work diligently to be an encourager to those around you. Start by being faithful to encourage and fulfill your calling in your home.
Find the previous post from the series:
7 Biblical Traits for Raising Godly Children
- Biblical Trait 1: Provider
- Biblical Trait 2: Protector
- Biblical Trait 3: Leader
- Biblical Trait 4: Teacher
- Biblical Trait 5: Helper
- Biblical Trait 6: Encourager
- Biblical Trait 7: Friend
This is the sixth part of an eight-part series. We believe fatherhood on earth comes from the Fatherhood of God. This series was created from a talk given at the 2022 Fatherhood CoMission Summit. May God bless your fatherhood.