We typically spend twelve years in primary and secondary education to study the basics of reading, writing, arithmetic and history. After that there are vocational, military and higher education opportunities to continue programs or studies. The focus for the most part is to help prepare one to be a productive citizen.
Preparation for marriage and parenting is typically left to the family and the church. I was very impressed recently to see a church assign an older couple to work through a pre-marital study with an engaged couple. And I am equally impressed to see many churches commit to conducting at least one dad-specific study each year. When dads in the church resolve to study fathering, marriages and family benefit.
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. – Ephesians 6:4. To bring children “up in the training and instruction of the Lord”, a dad must know and live under the training and instruction provided by the Father. That requires a man to know the Father and the Son, which means one must read and study His book, the Bible. There are many great techniques to start this process. One is a fabulous study called, Bible in 90 Days. Others include a beautiful mix of Old Testament, Psalms and New Testament readings each day. You may have seen my preferred technique in previous blogs of starting with the book of Romans and reading all the letters through Jude. Then reading the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and Acts. It is not a speed read. It is the “Bible in a couple of years.” My suggestion is: Find a window of time that works for you, 30 or 40 minutes a day; Open with a short prayer for help to tune-in to what the Lord has to say in this time; Read a chapter or two and underline any verse that jumps out at you; When you are done reading, write the underlined verse down in a separate journal and add any thoughts the Lord puts on your heart around that passage; and, Close the time in prayer. After completing the New Testament, continue the same methodology to read the Old Testament, Genesis through Malachi. This journey will help provide the grounding needed to bring your children “up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
I also encourage dad-specific studies that are grounded in Scripture. Faithful Fathering’s studies are designed to provide practical application of the word of God as it pertains to fathering. Resolve to participate in at least one dad-specific study in this new year.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for Your word and for the opportunity to grow under the training and instruction of You. I confess that I have turned to others to teach and lead me in my faith. While that is not necessarily a bad thing, I failed to take personal responsibility to read and study Your word. Forgive me. Grant me the tenacity needed to read and study Your word, and the strength to lead my family in the training and instruction You provide. That is the dad You call me to be and that’s the dad my kids need to see. Amen.
A faithful father resolves to study fathering and the Father’s word.