How to be the best dad (or leader) you can be.
By revealing himself as our Father, God compares himself to something we experience as fallible. Jesus even refers to the flawed goodness of earthly fathers to highlight the perfection of our heavenly Father. As much as we earthly fathers want to provide for and protect our children, our Father God does all the more. And He is able. As the perfect Father, He is never too slow or caught off guard, never a helpless bystander. He is never too busy. Unlike even the best earthly father, God’s motives are always perfectly good, even when we don’t understand His actions or lack of intervention.
Something To Talk About:
- Follow Jesus: At times, fatherhood can be daunting. Maybe there are moments you don’t have a clue what you’re doing. The tough questions. The disciplining. The nurturing. Every father has been given one of the greatest gifts around—a child to guide and direct, mold and teach, raise and nurture. So how can you make sure you get it right? By following Jesus. No matter what kind of father you grew up with, at some point every dad breaks a promise, fails to protect his family, or neglects them altogether. Humans are imperfect, but God the Father is not. Deciding to follow Jesus means we have a relationship with God as our Father. He is the best version of a father we can imagine. Think about what the perfect father would be like. How would he treat his children? God is the one who made us, the one who knows the most about us, and the one who cares the most about us. He protects us and helps us grow. Once you commit to following Jesus, God will always be your father and you will always be His child. He helps us through tough times and corrects us when we need it. There’s no one better to run to.
- Be honest: It’s really important for us as parents to be honest with our kids. When we fail them in any way or do wrong to them, we should be person enough to admit it and say, “Honey, I messed up, I’m sorry. Will you forgive me?” If we lose our temper and speak harshly to them, we should apologize. Sooner or later, they will find out that we aren’t perfect anyway. You may think my kids will think less of God if they see me make mistakes. Look at it this way: if a person does you wrong, do you think less of him if he comes to you and apologizes for it? Of course not. We usually think less of the person who doesn’t apologize. Determine to live honestly and openly before God and people. Scripture to remember: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). If Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for telling and being the truth, what price are you willing to pay for being honest?
- What makes a good father?
- What makes a bad father? What do you like best about your father? How can you show your love for your father?
- After being away on business or just working long hours, what is your favorite or best way to reconnect with your family?
- What does spiritual leadership look like in your home?
- How do you handle conflict resolution in your home? Do you have any ground rules?
- What practical things did you do or have seen done to lay the foundation for your children’s faith? What works and what doesn’t?
- Using a scale of 1-10, with 1 being under culture, and 10 being under God, what do you think is a reasonable number to be at? Why?
- Would you call yourself a distracted father? Why or why not? What’s the worst distraction for you? What is a strategy you can use to develop a devotional time with your family?
- How are you maintaining a culture of communication and conversation in your home? How can you become a better listener for your child?
- We must seek out opportunities to speak God’s Word to them. What is a question you can ask your child this week to stimulate a faith discussion?
- What are your expectations for this week as a result of Sunday’s message?
Take One Thing Home with You:
“And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)
The Deuteronomy passage is a roadmap for how we are to live out our faith in front of our children. What we believe must make its way into our daily attitudes, conversations, and routines. If we want our kids to have a growing faith and love God’s Word, we need to demonstrate its importance in our lives. A “Do as I say, not as I do” approach to parenting will fall flat. We can’t fake it as parents. We need to read His Word daily. Connect with your church. Make God’s Word a necessary part of our daily life. Allow your kids to be a part of that process. Allow them to see the importance and joy of God’s Word in your life. They will learn to lean on God and develop a growing love for Him and His Word.