“My son, do not forget my teaching, But let your heart keep my commandments; For length of days and years of life And peace they will add to you. Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute In the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight”Proverbs 3:1-6

There once was a little boy who was full of life, emotion, and energy who grasped the hearts of almost everyone he was around. He had never met a stranger, always made others feel wanted, and had a very tender heart as many little boys do. However, this little boy was special because he was my son.

From the first moments of our lives together I knew that I loved him with all my heart. I would do anything for him, and I wanted nothing but the best for him in this life and the next.

My prayer has continued to be throughout his life…

“Lord, please bless my son and help me get him to heaven. Let me lead him to You so that he will lead others to You. Use him in Your Kingdom and bless him to grow in his faith.”

Over and over throughout his life I have prayed for him and his faith to grow, and desired for him to see mine, that it may be a beacon for him to look to always and direct him to the Lord so that no matter where he was or what he was doing, he could always look back and see my faith to help him grow in his.

Just recently my little boy was married to a beautiful woman who is a blessing to our family in many ways. She is an answer to prayer and loves my little boy very much. While I am so happy for my son and our new daughter, it has been very hard for me to let go. Although I know and know I need to, it has not been easy.

I’ll never forget the moment as long as I live, me driving him down to the wedding site, getting off the golf cart, and watching him walk in front of me to get married and begin his own family. I was holding it together well until that point, and it was all over for me. My little boy was no longer a little boy, he was a man, about to be the husband of a wonderful woman who would bless his life for the rest of her life.

When your children finally grow up you begin to realize, you didn’t have as much time as you thought you did in your mind. You think about all the things you could have done differently or should have done more of, only to realize you can’t get that time back. You feel as if there is more you want to say or do to try to ensure spirituality in their heart to make sure it is there and that they will never stray from it. But, in all reality, you can’t. The time you had with them growing up is over and now a new chapter begins.

For years I have taught and preached about the family. The importance of faith passes from generation to generation much like we find in Deuteronomy 6. However, until recently it never dawned on me just what I was missing and did not understand fully.

You see faith isn’t something that you receive and hold onto like you might a memory or a home. It is something that you must continually pursue daily in your walk with God.

Here is where we all including myself have to “excel in our faith.”

We must trust in the Lord and His word, and allow His ways to lead us in our life.

This may seem like a standard teaching, but for me, all my focus was on the time I would lose with him and possibly even the lack of impact I may have on his life.

Questions rolled through my mind. Would he stay faithful? Will he walk in His ways? Will he follow His word? Will his faith continue? Will he lead his family to heaven? Will he teach his children? Will he lead as God wants him to lead, and will he focus on the Kingdom?

All these thoughts and questions have gone through my mind over and over again as the realization of where he is now in his life has dawned on my heart.

There has been a problem. In all reality, it isn’t his faith I was worried about. It isn’t what he will do, where he will live, or if he will walk in His ways. The problem was not in his faith, it was in mine.

When we think about the words of Moses as he spoke to the nation of Israel, he was speaking to every person of every generation to know God’s will, follow God’s will, and possess their spirituality and faith. As these wonderful words were spoken, the true impact of the teaching is continually on the individual and for the individual, because faith grows in different stages of your life. When you are young, you are building your faith to know who God is, when you are older, you must trust in God that what He has done through you will work as He said it would.

There may not be many things that I know, but what I do know is this.

  1. God is God and He will always remain as God.
  2. If I follow His will for my life and walk in His ways, my faith will continue to grow stronger and allow me to understand things I may not have before
  3. I will always be my son’s father and he will always be his father’s son.
  4. Although we may not be in the younger years of life the impact, I can have on him is more than I may ever know.

So here are some things to think about as we go through the different stages of life and excel in our faith…

  1. To excel in our faith, we must TRUST IN HIS PATTERN. When one teaches the gospel, he must have faith in the system God has set up, which is the family and the church to teach every generation the truth God has given us and understand the influence God has made within us…. Deut. 6:1-10; Prov. 20:7; Eph. 6:4; Tit. 2:1-8
  2. To excel in our faith, we must TRUST IN HIS PURPOSE for which others are being taught. We all remember going through English or math classes in school, but we most likely don’t remember a quarter (if that) of what we learned in those classes and certainly didn’t care why we were learning it. However, when we share our faith, it is much different because there is an eternal purpose behind what we are sharing. To share His purpose is to share heaven and that builds faith…Eph. 3:9-12; 2 Tim. 1:8-12
  3. To excel in our faith, we must TRUST IN HIS PLAN. God’s plan is for the faithful to remain faithful and He used you as the parent/teacher to teach His plan. The plan of salvation offered by His Son. The power is not within you but is within the story, because the story is true, and salvation is real. Have faith in His plan.

In all honesty, my focus has been the faith of my son, when it was my faith that was being tested. For you, whether you are an evangelist, missionary, parent, preacher, or Sunday morning bible class teacher, your faith must be in ALL THAT GOD OFFERS US and not just in some of it.

  • Have faith in how you are teaching but also have faith in the pattern God has designed for it to be taught.
  • Have faith in the reason you are teaching but also have faith in the purpose for which you teach it.
  • Have faith in what you are teaching but also have faith in the plan of salvation that you are teaching, because the power is in the story of Jesus which will convict their hearts forever!

So, for all of us, it is important to understand the passing of faith, but it is equally if not more important to have faith in the system God has set up to implant faith in their hearts forever.

To excel in my faith, I must pursue and rely on faith, which allows us to teach others to have faith in all that He does and has given to us because He can produce more than we can ever comprehend! We may think about those whom we teach and pray for their faith to grow but remember our faith is still growing, so trust in the Lord and He will bless it to grow!

“My son, do not forget my teaching…..Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And do not lean on your understanding”

Website | + posts

Garrett married his wife, Cristen, in December 2005 and has four wonderful boys! Parker is married to his beautiful wife Claire and their daughter Taytum, Cohen, Ryder, and Kamden. Garrett has directed and participated in many camps, retreats, conferences, and workshops and serves on the national staff for Lads to Leaders. He is the President of Excel Still More and an annual writer and instructor for ESM. Garrett currently serves as the pulpit minister for the Hydro Church of Christ in Hydro, Oklahoma, where he and his family reside.