Unbeknownst to Mom, when the young boy got home from school, he grabbed her phone and ran up to his room. When she realized the boy was not there for his after-school snack, she went to his room and found the door closed. When she opened the door, the boy threw the phone on the bed and said, “I have been bad.” Mom picked up the phone and saw pornographic images.
In the transition from the ‘Teacher’ season to the ‘Coach’ season of fathering, around age ten, there is the realization that influences outside the home are beginning to inject themselves into the life of a child. Straight yes and no answers, this is good and that is bad, no longer suffice. When you feel the inclination to say, “That is just the way it is!” with raised voice, it is time to transition to ‘Coach’.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. – 2Corinthians 10:5. Paul had established the foundational “knowledge of God” in the church at Corinth. In this passage, he is equipping men to stand firm against the worldly arguments and pretensions that are actively working to break down that foundational knowledge. Similarly, influences outside the home during the middle- and high-school years are often actively at work to break down the values and faith established in the home during the early years, the foundation for a child’s life. While the ‘Teacher’ states succinctly, “What to do”, the ‘Coach’ references the foundational teaching and explains, “Why you do what you do.” A good ‘Coach’ helps kids identify the arguments and pretensions that contradict their faith and worldview. Then contrary thoughts can be taken captive, even when dad and mom are not around, and made obedient to Jesus the Christ.
The boy was ten years old. While he did not have a phone, older boys on the school bus did and were passing them around. They were looking at pornographic images and talking about boobs. He did not understand so when he got home, he grabbed his mom’s phone and Googled ‘boobs’. And up came more pornographic images. The values and faith established during the ‘Teacher’ season for this young boy through his parents’ day-to-day example in marriage provided the foundational knowledge of what a healthy relationship looks like. Now in the ‘Coach’ season, it is time to move to the “Why you do what you do” and initiate the first of many discussions around respect for the opposite sex, relationships and sexuality that honor God’s design – Coaching 101.
Prayer guide: Lord, I thank You for the Word and Your design for marriage and family. I confess that I struggled to provide the grounding for my kids needed in those early years of fathering because I was also in the early years of marriage and the early years of my job and career. At least that is my rationalization for ‘doing dad’ instead of ‘being a faithful father’. Forgive me. Provide the clarity needed to be the ‘Teacher’ I need to be and the discernment to transition well into the ‘Coach’ season of fathering. That is the dad You call me to be and that is the dad the next generation needs. Amen.
A faithful father transitions well through the ‘Teacher’ to ‘Coach’ season of fathering.