Thursday, June 18, 2009
Advice For Fathers
A mother was out walking with her 4 year old daughter. The child picked up something off the ground and started to put it into her mouth. The mother took it away and said “Don’t do that!”
“Why not?” asked the child.
“Because it’s on the ground,” said her mother. “You don’t know where it’s been. It’s dirty, and it’s probably loaded with germs that could make you sick.”
The child looked at her mother with total admiration and said, “Mommy, how do you know all this stuff? You’re so smart.”
The mother said, “All Moms know this stuff. It’s on the Mom’s Test. You have to know it or they don’t let you be a Mom.”
There was silence for a minute or so as the child thought this through. “Oh, I get it,” she said at last. “And if you don’t pass the test you have to be the Daddy?”
Fathers don’t always get the respect that mothers do. That will become evident on Sunday. The truth is, Father’s Day is just not as big as Mother’s Day. On Mother’s Day, there’s a higher attendance at church, mothers have corsages on, emotions run high, restaurants do a booming business. On Father’s day, well, there are more collect phone calls than any other day of the year (yes, that’s a true fact).
Despite the fact that fathers are sometimes overlooked, the Bible is clear about the great responsibility given to those of us who are fathers. God challenges husbands to be the leaders in their homes. He challenges fathers to be someone their kids can look up to Allow me to share a few biblical pieces of advice with those of you who are fathers:
Love your wife! Paul said in Ephesians 5:28, “So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.” That’s one of the most important things you can do as a father. Trust me -- your children do watch how you treat their mother. They watch … and they are learning and forming their concept of marriage from you.
Spend time with your children. The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 127:3, “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.” In other words, our children are a great blessing. Children are given to us to enjoy -- not to be a burden … not to avoid … not to ignore … But to enjoy! And in order to enjoy them, you’ve got to be with them … have fun with them … share your life with them.
Listen to your children. Give them your undivided attention … not with one eye on the TV and the other eye on them. When they have a problem, they don’t need cartoons, they don’t need a video game, they don’t even need their best friends. Dad … they need you! We need to be approachable. Be the kind of father that they can come to and say anything that’s on their mind.
Train your children. Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:4, “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” Notice what Paul said. He didn’t say “parents”. And he didn’t say “Sunday School teachers”. He said, “fathers.” As we train our children, our goal is not merely to get our kids to outwardly conform to a list of rules. Our goal is to train and develop children who seek to glorify God with their lives.
Be a positive role model. Much of what our kids learn is caught rather than taught—they learn from what they observe. This means we can’t afford to cheat on our taxes, lie to our boss, or be rude to a salesperson. You are a role model for your children and, like it or not … good or bad … they will, to one degree or another, model their lives after you. You have inherited some of your father’s characteristics and your children are inheriting some of yours.
May God bless those of you who are fathers, and may we always look to our Heavenly Father as a perfect example of what a father should be!