Lessons From The Baptizer

8 Jun


My oldest son graduated from kindergarten a few nights ago.  I was so proud watching him walk in his cap and gown.  I couldn’t help but picture him 13 years from now when he will be wearing a cap and gown graduating from high school.  As I watched him go through the ceremony, he blew me away in a moment that many would not have noticed, unless of course you are his dad.

The time came for the end of the year awards.  My wife is the administrative assistant to the school and I already knew that he would not receive an award.  He missed highest academic achievement by a fraction of a point.  I also knew how he took losing.  He is like his daddy, we don’t like to lose.  So, I was wondering how he was going to take not receiving an award.  This is the moment that completely blew me away.  Two of his friends won the highest awards, highest academic achievement and Christian Spirit.  When each of their names were announced, I watched my highly competitive five year old son throw his hands in the air and rejoice along with his friends!  I was completely blown away because this was not like him.  He cried once when he didn’t win a raffle after all.  So, instead of bawling tears of utter disappointment, he poured all his energy into rejoicing with his friends.

It’s interesting that this happened tonight because it reminded me of John the Baptist when he said in John 3:30, “He must become greater; I must become less.”  John the Baptist has come up a few times this past week.  I take that as a sign that God wants me to pay attention.  As human beings, we are naturally going to struggle with jealousy.  We want to be the ones in the spotlight.  We want to be the ones who succeed.  But, is this how we are to be as Christians?  We are to strive to become less so that Jesus is more in us.  This is the example I want to give to my son, but he tonight, he gave me the example to follow and I need to be humble enough to learn from him.

We live in a world where more and more people feel entitled to something.  They feel as though the world owes them something.  When parents act this way, children will follow in their footsteps.  Even as Christians, we act like this.  We feel entitled to respect from the world.  But, Jesus said the world would hate us because it hated him first.  Parents we need to model Christ to our kids.  We need to model the one who took off his outer robe and washed his disciples dirty feet.  We need to follow in the footsteps of John the Baptist who desired to fade away into history rather than make a name for himself.

My prayer for the next generations is that they will desire obscurity over celebrity.  I pray that they will be thankful for what comes their way rather than desire what they feel they are entitled to.  Father’s day is a few weeks away.  It is a time to celebrate dads and all we do.  My prayer for dads is that we will be like the Baptizer who desired humility.  May we rejoice over the success of others, rather than desire our own.

Thank you John for living out the Gospel.  Thank you Caedmon for teaching your dad a lesson from the Baptizer.

-Ryan Reveley


Ryan Reveley grew up in Arkansas, but now lives in Massachusetts.  He is married to Allie and they have three boys, Caedmon (5), Shepherd (2), and Rex (9 months).  He is the pastor of Matthew Memorial Church in Chelmsford, MA and is also a stay-at-home dad.  He is pursuing his Masters of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies from Knox Seminary and is an ordained minister through the Primitive Methodist Church.  He is a sports lover with baseball and football being his favorite.  He is a die-hard Braves, Red Sox, and Chicago Bears fan.  He loves reading and spending time with his family. Connect with Ryan on his blog.

2 Responses to “Lessons From The Baptizer”

  1. For the Love of God June 8, 2013 at 22:59 #

    Very true statement here.

  2. Shelley DuPont June 9, 2013 at 20:54 #

    I know you were proud of your son’s response. Teaching our children to be happy for the other guy is something we fall short of. It looks like yours have a great start.

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