Thursday, June 12, 2014

Be an Example by Your Will

So that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory….  I Thessalonians 2:12

Men today need to finish the job with their children.  They need to be back in place where they can make a difference.  This week we are going to look at being a father by example by looking at the life of Paul – a great biblical father by example.
It is purpose that provides the energy for our actions.  Without a “why” the “what” becomes toil and drudgery...a trap of existence, not life.  What is the purpose of the father?  Fathers need to make sure their children are SAFE, SECURE, and SIGNIFICANT.
  • SAFE – Safe means the child does not feel responsible to protect themselves or someone else, but that they are protected. You may believe that most children live in what would be considered a “safe environment.”  However, such is not the case.  We can certainly understand the safety concerns of children of alcoholic fathers or abusive fathers. Children who lie in bed awaiting dad’s arrival and hoping he is not drunk and won’t hurt mom do not feel safe.  Those who ask the question, “If my dad is drunk and wants me to ride with him, what do I do?”  What about the children of verbally abusive or angry fathers? Not feeling safe when your father’s anger explodes is a traumatic experience for any child.
  • SECURITY - Security is different than safety. Security is an inner feeling of acceptance and value. It is a sense of having a place in the world.  Many have spoken to me about the fear they had in their own homes when parents were screaming and they feared the division of the family by divorce. There is no security in that.  Can a child feel much more secure than when they are being tucked into bed at night and words of love and acceptance are poured over them?  How do you tuck a 16-year-old into bed?  The same way you do a 4-year-old. And they may need it more.  Security is having a home and not just living in a house.
  • SIGNIFICANTEvery child wants to know they are special.  Let’s face it, so does every adult.  Being special is akin to being significant.  It says there is a uniqueness to us that sets us apart and yet makes us desired.  Many children hear from teachers, parents and grandparents that they are “special” yet they are not told why.  Being “pretty” for a little girl is good as is being “strong” for a boy, but being significant is more.  It speaks of making a difference.  It speaks of being appreciated as well as attractive.  A dad’s words create a mindset in a child as to their value.  Being significant is a search every person goes on.  But early on, a dad can make a big difference in how that search is made.  A child who feels significant will look for their purpose and future with a positive attitude.
The goal of parenting should not be about behavior but character; not about control but wise choices; not about protecting but equipping.  The goal we choose changes the methods we use.  I cannot teach responsibility without allowing for mistakes.  I cannot teach someone to fly a plane without giving them the controls.  All parenting should be toward a purpose.  Fathers, what is your desire for your children; to behave or mature into a responsible, caring, godly individual?  What you decide will affect the way you lead.

Scripture to Claim:
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.  Ephesians 6:4

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