It’s a little awkward, isn’t it? Sometimes being a father is just a little weird, and man, I’m telling you it can be uncomfortable. Raising 2 girls and 4 boys has its share of challenges, and that’s putting it about as laid back as I can. But to be real honest about this, there’s an elephant in the room, isn’t there dad’s? When it comes to our role as father’s we have a war going on, and it’s a war of the scriptures versus the culture. Do you think I’m being a little fanatical here? Let me provide some proof.
The bible says the following in Ephesians 6:4 “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
Let’s just be real clear. You are definitely NOT provoking your children to anger when you punish them for violating your rules or the scriptures in the house. But what provoking your children to anger IS being wishy washy, having ZERO backbone (which equals zero leadership when they need you), and blowing off your God-given responsibilities. Turning your head the other way and ignoring the direct sin (including the movies, music, and maybe even porn) that you come across in your home doesn’t make you hip or cool, it makes weak, and that’s putting it nicely. Trust me. In fact, if you ignore porn especially it’s quite likely your kids will eventually hold you in the same contempt as the porn addiction they now will have to struggle with for the rest of their lives.
But when you are consistent in your approach to your children’s lives, you provide them with safety, peace, and boundaries that will encourage their spiritual and relational growth for the rest of their lives. You cultivate their soul, not their earthly desires. In our culture today, I am quite confident many of my closest friends and myself would be considered controlling and some would even say my approach provokes anger, but I disagree. True, my kids are not always so pleased with our rules or my leadership, but it’s not their job to establish the culture of our home. Their role is to honor my wife and myself, and each other. What’s most important, and maybe what I succeed and also fail at the most, is instructing our through God’s Word.
If you listen to the media, the latest crazes in parenting, and what our culture tells us about being a dad, you would be lost in a haze of confusion and frustration. The Bible, however, not only gives us guidelines from God Himself on living this life, it also provides us with the path we need to journey down with our kids. Through the scriptures, we can grow as men and as dads.
Earlier I mentioned I have failed here, and boy have I ever! It is soooo tough sometimes to teach the kids from God’s word. One kid might be totally focused on fighting with their sibling, while another might be trying everything possible to be a distraction. Another kid might be egging them both on the whole time, and that’s a lot of time the way it goes. I have learned, however, to keep going. I have learned to tell them to hush, and I may tell them five hundred times to be quiet, and sometimes to sit on their hands since they can’t keep their hands to themselves. Sometimes the speed of the day gets the best of me, and I do absolutely nothing to encourage their growth. Some days I’m like a referee running around blowing my whistle. Other days I work more like a bouncer trying to break up fights, and almost every day, I am a highly skilled negotiator of sugar allowances, bedtimes, highly volatile disputes over balls, video game units, and am a tenacious interrogator, especially when deciphering who started that whole crazy mess I’m staring at.
Breathe. It’s all going to be okay. I promise. Hey, do you ever see it in the stars? That’s where I can see it. I see God’s love for us, when I gaze into the night sky at his glorious handiwork. I see all of the weirdness and dumb stuff I’ve done too, but I look up and maybe understand a little more about him and his pure love for me. I remember his clear instruction and that his word is the breath of his love. In many ways, this understanding helps me to see our children in a different light, and it encourages my role as their earthly Father.
Today I went into each kid’s room and prayed out loud individually for their day and for their lives. It took me about ten minutes, including the time I spent praying for my wife and myself, too. I asked each kid to be protected from the discouragement and attacks of the enemy, and for the Lord to bless them greatly and encourage them today. It was simple, but it’s what we need around here. I’m still learning, and I bet are too.
Dads. We’ve got to do this our way. God’s way. Not the way our society tells us to do this thing, but we need to dig into the scriptures, get very real, and lead our families. If we don’t lead them, someone else will, and you will have a whole lot more to pray about if it’s the wrong person. Trust me on that. You can do this, though. God will help you. It will take courage and tenacity. It’s worth it. I promise you it’s worth it. I’ll be praying for you, my fellow fathers. The Lord will help us. Message me if I can be of encouragement or help to you, and God bless you on your remarkable journey.