There is hope. As 24/7 news cycles produce what seems a never-ending litany of bad news, a Christian dad is to be cognizant of what it means to be a light of hope. While he cannot ignore the media, he can maintain a healthy perspective by keeping his eyes focused on Jesus. December is a great time for dads to lead with the right perspective, to focus on the hope that is the Reason for the season, the Christ-child’s birth.
Advent, starting four Sundays before Christmas, provides a good ...read on
How are you doing at counting the gifts and blessings in your life? Are you thankful or have you taken some blessings for granted? Has life thrown you some curveballs that did not seem like blessings at the time, but looking back, indeed were? The charge is to walk in all things with a thankful state of mind.
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to recalibrate if family circumstances, or life’s happenings in general, have ...read on
George Barna, The Barna Group market research firm, released a report early in the year that identified a faith crisis hitting young people. He reports that only 17% of young people, ages 18 – 22, are calling themselves committed Christians. That is on us dads! The question is, “Are you leading your family spiritually or secularly by example?”
When the son met his birth father, along with a flood of emotions there was the immediate connection through shared physical characteristics – the eyes, nose, smile, the laugh and even gestures. The absence of genetic mirroring in the adoptee’s world represents one more of many questions adoptees carry through life about their origins. When the void is filled, it can be a beautiful moment.
While the ‘Teacher’ season of fathering, roughly the first ten years of a child’s life, may seem like it goes on forever, the ‘Coach’ season blasts by. All of a sudden, the teenager is in his twenties and telling you that he has made a decision about attending college, joining the military, or moving in with his girlfriend. No questions, no request for advice, just a matter-of-fact statement. Welcome to the ‘Counselor’ season!
The second ten years of a child’s life is what I refer to as the ‘Coach’ season of fathering. It is a time of letting the reins out a bit, knowing there will be some attitude and even bad decisions that will have consequences. Dad is engaged in coaching a child through the successes and failures associated with this season be they in school, extra-curricular activities or relationships. The Lord is at work through these experiences to shape the young adult child for the next chapter of life. Then the next chapter arrives!
Calling the Twelve to Him, He began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. – Mark 6:7. After a season of teaching and leading by example in His ministry, Jesus equipped the disciples for success but understood there would be failure. He let the reins out for them to experience what they needed to experience for the work they were going to carry on. “While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name, which You have given Me; and I guarded them, and not one of them perished except the son of destruction, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. But now I am coming to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. … Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. Just as You sent Me into the world, I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, so that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. I am not asking on behalf of these alone, but also for those who believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one; just as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.” – John 17:12-13, 17-21. Jesus prayed to the Father for His disciples in the world. He also prayed for His disciples’ disciples, confident they would pass the baton of faith as He had to them. As dads, the call is the same, to teach and coach our kids well. Then prayerfully pass the baton of faith to the next generation. The word for the ‘Teacher’ season is intentionality; for the ‘Coach’ season it is engagement; and, for the ‘Counselor’ season, it is availability. The charge to dads is to be available physically and spiritually when an adult child calls.
Tips for the Coach to Counselor Transition:
Visibly reflect Christ’s love for His Church in marriage every day;
Read the gospel of John to understand Jesus' relationship with His Father;
Stay available, schedule a periodic activity or lunch with adult children;
Provide faith-related encouragement and let go in love;
Prayer guide: Thank You Lord for Your word and the example of Your relationship with the Father. I confess that I thought I could put fathering in a box and “do dad” by providing financially and correcting the kids when necessary. Forgive me. I now understand I am to “be a faithful father” by being intentional early-on in the ‘Teacher’ season; engaged during the ‘Coach’ season; and, available for adult children through the ‘Counselor’ season. Help me point to You and glorify You through each season. That is the dad You call me to be and that’s the dad my kids need to see. Amen.
A faithful father is intentional, engaged and available across the seasons.
From the feedings and changing diapers stage through the early elementary school years, dad and mom are in the thick of it. Parenting is a team sport that not only takes intentional effort as couples mature through being husband and wife to dad and mom, but also in leading their family through what we call the Seasons of Fathering.
The first ten years of a child’s life is referred to as the ...read on
The general manager had just given the group of cub scouts a tour of the Sugar Land Airport when a twin-engine Cessna landed. He told the boys to wait a few minutes because Captain may want to speak to them. The plane taxied up near where the boys were and a tall, lanky gentleman got out of the plane and walked over to them.
He put his arms around all eight boys and said, “I have two things for you. First ...read on
All dads disciple their family through the day-to-day example of living under a secular worldview or under a biblical worldview. The charge is to embrace the inherent power of a father and the responsibility granted by the Father to raise His children well.
As the dad goes, the family goes. Where are you going dad? Good dads often go the way of working hard, paying the bills and trying to “do dad” better than their dad. The kids may catch an excellent work-ethic but they may also catch a secular worldview. Spiritual leadership is needed to equip the family in the Way, under a biblical worldview.
This week, I saw a dad and daughter walking across a parking lot. When they got to his pickup truck, the dad hit the remote unlock, opened the driver’s side door and pulled himself up behind the steering wheel. His daughter walked around the front of the truck, opened the passenger door and climbed up into her seat. No problem.
I tip my cap to this dad. He was spending time with his young daughter who looked to be ...read on