One of the best things about being a parent is that you get the opportunity to instill Godly values in the hearts and minds of impressionable children.
If you’re successful in your quest, your children will grow up to be responsible adults. At the same time, however, your success also might place you at times in the awkward position of having a child who can identify your shortcomings.
Such is often the case when it comes to those times when “bending the rules” a bit might seem like a good idea for business.
Have you given much thought recently to how doing so might after those youngsters you taught to be honest, forthright and trustworthy?
Well, in my nearly three decades of youth ministry, it’s been my experience that the most effective parents are the men and women who love the Lord, walk in His ways, and are accountable to their brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ – including their children.
Accountability is more than merely remaining faithful to your spouse or doing honest business. In fact, it involves routinely taking what I like to call a “Life Inventory” to make sure your “walk” really does line up with your “Christian talk.”
Your Life Inventory questions should include but not be limited to the following:
1. Have you been with a woman anywhere during this past week that might have been seen as compromising?
2. Have any of your financial dealings lacked integrity?
3. Have you exposed yourself to any sexually explicit material?
4. Have you spend adequate time in Bible Study and prayer?
5. Have you given priority to your family?
6. Have you fulfilled the mandates of your calling?
7. Have you just lied to me?
8. How has God blessed you this week? (Put another way, what went right for you during the past 7 days?)
9. What problem has consumed your thoughts this week? (In other words, what went wrong?)
10. Have you read God’s Word daily? (For how long? Will you again net week?)
11. Describe your prayerlife (do you pray for yourself? For others? With gratitude? Confession?)
12. How is your relationship with Christ changing? (Is it maturing? Are you backsliding?)
13. How have you been tempted this week? (How did you respond?)
14. Do you have any unconfessed sin in your life?
15. Are you walking in the Spirit?
16. Did you worship in church this week? (Was your faith in Jesus strengthened? Was He honored by your worship?)
17. Have your shared your faith this week? In what ways? How can you improve?
18. How are things going with your wife?
19. What about your kids?
20. How are your finances doing? (debts, savings, sharing, stewardship)
21. How are things going on the job? (career progress, relationships, temptations, workload, stress, problems, working too much)
22. Do you feel in the center of God’s Will for your life? Do you sense His peace?
23. What are you wrestling with in your thought life?
24. What have you done for someone else this week?
25. Do you feel your priorities are in order?
26. Is your moral and ethical behavior what it should be?
27. How are you doing in your personal “high risk” area?
28. Are the “visible” you and the “real” you consistent in this relationship?
29. If married, have you spent quality time and given priority to your family?
30. If married, are you growing in intimacy with your wife?
31. If single, do you have someone with whom you can be transparent and receive helpful feedback?
32. Have all your financial dealings been filled with integrity?
33. How are you doing with stewardship of your resources?
34. Has your speech been edifying, sarcastic or somewhere in between?
35. Have you run roughshod – even in the simplest ways – over someone?
36. In what ways have you used God-given position, relationship or power in your dealings with others in a way that violates servant leadership values?
37. Have you promised something to a follower or followers on which you have not followed through?
38. Have you manipulated your wife to meet your needs (sexual or otherwise)?
39. Have your gratified your sexual needs in a way unpleasing to the Lord?
40. Have you called attention to your own accomplishments to someone else for personal recognition?
41. Have you taken credit for things your shouldn’t?
42. What aspect of your character is the Lord working on right now? What is the Holy Spirit doing in your inner life?
43. What evidence can you give from recent experience that you are maintaining a learning posture?
44. Have you been honest with me in answering all of these questions?
Personal integrity is key if you’re going to be a Godly father. Take these questions seriously . . . and stay accountable!