One of the most frustrating statistics on the fathering front is that less than one in ten families attending church weekly have any spiritual discussion in the home between Sundays. This lack of leadership gives the world more influence than we realize and the result rests square on the shoulders of dads!
When kids are learning to drive, we lead the way in helping them understand the rules of the road. I took my kids out to the country and downtown Houston in all kinds of weather to teach them how to handle a vehicle under various road conditions. I showed them how to stay alert as other drivers disregard the rules of the road and do the unexpected – there is no shortage of such educational opportunities while driving around Houston. We talked often about leaving enough room to have a way out of a bad situation. And of course I had to lead by example every time I got behind the wheel.
When kids begin their faith journey, a dad’s role is to lead by example in his personal relationship with Jesus the Christ and help his kids understand the word of God as the absolute truth for life in this world. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the Beginning. … The word became flesh and made His dwelling among us – John 1:1-2, 14.
Dads are responsible for teaching sons and daughters how to handle themselves in different situations, specifically how to honor the temple, the body they have been blessed with and to glorify God with the unique gifts they have been given. Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body – 1Corinthians 6:18-20.
Dads must also equip kids well to stay alert to lies that percolate in the world and be disciplined in the choices they make. Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come – 1Timothy 4:7-8. When kids do get caught in a situation that is not good, they must know Dad is the one to call as their way out. Leadership on the spiritual front will pay off in this life and beyond.
Tips to Lead in the Way:
- Lead spiritually by example – attend church, worship, study, walk your faith;
- Read the scripture passage the pastor used for his sermon Sunday and discuss it at the dinner table;
- Schedule 30 minutes of family devotion & prayer time once a week.
- Pray for your wife and kids by name every day.
Prayer guide: Lord, I confess that I have been passive as the spiritual leader in the family and have granted the world more access to my home than I have You. Forgive me and help me lead in the Way, to turn from the noise of the world and tune in to You. I pray that my family will feel Your presence, even Your pleasure as we renew our minds in Your Word. Amen.
A faithful father leads spiritually by example.