Let’s see how you can avoid making the same fathering mistake that so many fathers make. This is part one of two on fathering God’s way, Being a Father 101.
I want to start by having you read Ephesians chapter 6 and verse 4. Read it out loud if you can so it can make a stronger impression on you.
‘Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. ‘ Ephesians 6:4
In the book of Ephesians and especially in chapters 5 & 6 of this book, Paul is trying to establish guidelines for Christian relationships. He works to show God’s plan for the family, for Christians, and the church. In chapter 6 and verse 4 we see Paul addressing primarily fathers. In this first class on fathering, Paul gives guidelines for God’s plan for Dads. The first requirement for a godly father is that he be present.
In this verse, Paul is assuming that there is a father present in the home. In our world today, that is a large assumption. Through death, divorce, abandonment, and premarital permissiveness, there are many homes today without dads in them. Sadly, the fastest growing group in our society today, is the group made up of single, unwed mothers. But let us assume with Paul, that there is a father claiming and supporting the family. Does that mean that he is actually present? Since you are reading this article today, I am assuming that you are present in your home. I am assuming that you are taking responsibility for providing for your children and your family, but does that mean that you are actually present?
There are too many fathers today that are not home. Too many fathers today are not there when their children need them and too many fathers today are attempting to parent by proxy. Let me tell you that too many fathers, and perhaps some of you, are laying all of the parenting responsibility on the shoulders of your wives. You never assume the responsibility, your position as a leader, as the head of the family that God intended you to have. It reminds me of some of the Restaurant Managers I’ve known from over 30 years working in the Food and Beverage industry.
For 8 years I worked in San Antonio as a multi-unit supervisor and I got to know a lot of managers. It was imperative that I got to know them well enough to identify what kind of manager they were. There are basically 2 kinds of managers.
There are managers who hire employees to do the work for them. Then there are managers who get out and work, those who “own” the business and do the work themselves.
The first group is made up of men and women who had the title of manager and were given the keys, the safe, the money and the inventory to run a restaurant but they did little actual work. The loyalty of their employees is tied solely to how much they were paid. The employees were paid, but they received little guidance, and little encouragement from the boss.
The second group of managers is made of men and women who had the title of manager and were given the keys, the safe, the money and the inventory to run a restaurant, but who are also involved in the actual work, in the day-to-day operations themselves. They got in there and washed dishes, they cooked, they served, and they worked to maintain and repair their equipment. The second is the best type of manager. The second is the type people like to work for. It’s easier to work late, or to be concerned about the business if you know the boss is there with you. When you know that he’s not asking you to do anything that he’s not willing to do himself. That’s the kind of boss men are committed to.
The Best Father
Well my friend, the second group also makes the best fathers. Rather than just sending down decrees from on high about how things are supposed to be done. Instead of simply coming home and talking about how the family and the house is supposed to be, the second group of fathers are the ones who get in there and help build the family. They realize that the “business” they are managing in the home is much more important than any that can be managed in the world.
These are the type of men who know the areas their children are struggling with in school. Men who spend time with the kids trying to help them bring up their grades. They are the fathers who know when and why their children are hurting. They provide guidance to help their children through struggles while also providing a comforting shoulder. A godly father is the one who is involved in his children’s daily lives. He is not too busy to help. A father like that, one who loves his children and who spends time with them, is a father children will attempt to model their lives after. That is a father they can love.
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