1 John 2:12-14
I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name's sake. I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
You’ve already noticed the Apostle John’s understanding of who makes up the family of our Heavenly Father. At least 3 generations: children, young men, fathers. Each generation has a different kind of relationship with the One who gave them birth and life.
Children are delightful and messy. Dennis and Barbara Rainey note that every child needs,
“Parents who don’t freak out when their children are caught lying, stealing, hiding things, making stupid choices…and more” (The Art of Parenting).
Children realize they spill more, break more things, get dirtier more quickly than those who are older in the family. They need to know—over and over again—that they are forgiven by a Father who won’t reject them because of their chaos.
Young men/women are eager to prove themselves against the odds. Desiring to pursue a passion, unsure but nonetheless confident, they need the Father’s “go for it!” Personally, they have no interest in being a casualty. Spiritually, they need to experience—to learn to use—the conquering power of the Word over the threatening power of Satan.
Fathers? Great fathers have a proven track record of trusting God, of finding Him faithful through thick-and-thin. They are both rudders (direction) and ballast (stability) for God’s family. They lead well because they know God the Father.