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So I’m doing my daily Bible reading and I come across a passage that makes me pause every time I read it.

It’s Mark 15:20-21.  When Simon carries Jesus’ cross.  (To the left, you see Gustave Doré’s engraving of "Jesus Falling Under the Cross.")

What jumps out when you read it?  You might think of Jesus’ suffering at the hands of the Romans.  You might think of the crowds that lined the path to His crucifixion.  You might remember Jesus didn’t have the strength to carry His cross all the way to Mt. Calvary.  I do.

I also think of parenting.

What does it mean to be a father…a parent?  What does God want me to accomplish with my children?  Here’s what occurs to me from this event in Simon’s family.

  • Invest in the spiritual life of your kids.  Simon was in Jerusalem with his two sons during a holiday (Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread).  He was likely following the example of generations of fathers, teaching his children how God had redeemed them in the past.
  • Establish a rhythm of worship in their lives.  I’m guessing Simon didn’t take a "family vote" on whether or not to attend worship.  Simon lead his family.  He brought his sons to worship with him because that’s what God had called fathers to do.
  • Let your kids see you following Jesus with your cross.  Alex and Rufus watched the whole scene unfold.  They heard the commandment to carry the cross.  They saw their father’s options.  They watched their father choose to pick up the cross and follow Jesus.

A new take on fathering.  Maybe parenting is all about teaching your children about God, establishing a lifestyle of worshiping Him, and letting your children watch you follow Him through life’s ups and downs.

So, is this parenting?  What do you think?