70 Things – Fathering
NOTE: Guys, we’ll stick with one per week. These are the 70 things I think every man needs to know excerpted from Pastoring Men (Moody Publishers).
Jesus wasn’t just born to a virgin woman, he was born to a virgin couple. Joseph planned to divorce Mary quietly. Jesus was going to grow up without a dad. God thought it was important enough for Jesus to have a father in the home that he intervened supernaturally to change Joseph’s mind (and so Mary would not be disgraced as an unwed mother).
Mary may have had the baby, but Joseph taught Him how to be a man. Jesus was a man’s man, and He didn’t learn that from His mommy. Fathers are important.
There are basically two fathering styles: fathering for performance and fathering the heart.
Most dads father for performance. They try to get their children to “do the right things.” They exasperate their children. The Scripture warns, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
Fathering the heart is the approach the Bible recommends. “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks,” Jesus said (Matthew 12:34).
When a man fathers for performance, his emphasis is on conformity, and the child grows in an atmosphere of fear. In contrast, when a man fathers for heart-change, his emphasis is on transformation, and the atmosphere is one of safety.
Fathering for performance is law; fathering the heart is grace. Teach fathers that they can raise their children under grace or law, but grace is better. If they raise their children under law, they will leave home as soon as possible and come back as little as they can.
Teach fathers not to have (a) too much structure, or (b) not enough structure. Encourage dads to give their children a voice.
A man’s true character is most revealed by how he treats his family. No amount of success at work will ever be adequate to compensate for failure at home.
Encourage your men to tell each of their children every day, “I love you,” and “I’m proud of you.” There is biblical precedent for these words: the baptism and transfiguration of Jesus.
Yours for changed lives,
Patrick Morley, PhD
“The Journey to Biblical Manhood” -Coming Soon!
For More: Go to www.pastoringmen.com and click on “23. Fathering” to (1) see or hear the “Twelve Tasks of an Effective Father” series, also available on CD-Rom; (2) see or hear “Children: How to Avoid Regrets” in The Man in the Mirror Remix series; and (3) read David Delk’s article “The Goal of a Father” @ http://www.maninthemirror.org/a-look-in-the-mirror/21-the-goal-of-a-father
#400 © 2010. Patrick Morley. All rights reserved. This article may be reproduced
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