Hi everyone. Rob here.
My nearly 9 year old son was given some clothes last week made by a company called Hunting & Fishing. He loves them! He’s got his sister playing hunting games with him. They’re asking questions about hunting. It all leaves me feeling just a bit insecure. I love the outdoors and I love adventure but hunting was never part of my masculine initiation. As a dad I want to be a coach to my son, but I have to face the fact that I have gaps and limitations. This is where faith and trust kick in. Do I trust that God will be Father to my son? Do I trust God to fill the gaps and overcome my limitations? Do I trust God with the desires of my children’s hearts?
When we think of God as Father do we think of him as coach? Ian Grant, a parenting expert here in New Zealand says that the main role of dads is that of coach. I can see this happening as I parent. I have taught my kids how to play cricket, how to fold the washing, how to brake safely on a bike and so on. Coaching happens every day in our house. God is our coach. He even sent his Son as a flesh and blood example of how to do life. But how does God coach us?
In John 16:12-13 Jesus says,
I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.
Earlier in John 14:15-18 he said this:
If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
We are coached by the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit, God lives in us and wants to help us through life. The other day I faced a big bill from the mechanics for our second car which is 20 years old with high mileage. It doesn’t have a long shelf life anymore and this bill meant we had to consider getting rid of it. I sent up a quick prayer, talked it through with Kiley, gained some clarity in my thinking, paid the bill and kept the car. Looking back I see God coaching me through that scenario. I know as much about cars as I do about hunting and I needed help. God gave it. He coached me because he’s my Father and that’s what Fathers do.
Of course the key to receiving good coaching is to be a receptive learner. You have to want to be coached. I have been a slow learner here. Like my son Jake, I prefer to charge in, make mistakes and get coaching later. That can be expensive so I’ve had to learn a different posture. Kiley’s dad loved to tell me how to do things and often I decided to let him. I learnt a lot by setting aside my ego and listening. When it comes to ministry and the life of the heart I have been hungry to learn and have been coached by various sources.
The best coaches draw out what already lies within. God has placed eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11) and made us in his image. Our deepest desire is for him and for his kingdom. So let yourself be coached by your Father this week. He wants to draw out the life, the gifts and the glory that lie within you for the sake of his name and his realm.