7 Goals of Christ-like Fatherhood

daddy

Happy Father’s day 2013 to all father’s reading this. You are the world’s influencers, the future of the next generation, the head of God’s beloved sheep, and utlimately, the image of God’s grace to your families. These are the highest responsibilities anyone can have and it is more important than anything that we have in our mortal lives to get it right.
1. Fatherhood is being Christ to your children.
And you can’t be Christ to your children unless you yourself have Christ. You can be a good father or a bad father. And a good father always sacrifices his body for his family as Christ does for his. A bad father will always sacfrice his family’s needs to nurture his own mortal body as the pagans, puffed up with pride do. The reward is either risky and eternal, or easy and mortal.
2. Fatherhood is finding the right values in your children.
A great father will always compliment his children over pulling out all of his current and past failures. He is more interested in his children’s growth in the humility of Christ than he is with proving that he is the boss and that he is always right. If we constantly remind them of their failures then they will desire nothing else, other than to fail, because at least their failure will please their father. These children either usually end their lives in physical or emotional suicide, or meet God The Father who offers far better satisfaction than their earthly father, but will still deal with scars. Let’s make sure that we let our kids know that people are more important than things. That even if they break something or destroy something, that they are far more valuable to us than materialism that we cannot take with us when we die. This will require sacrifice on your part but it will be worth it in gaining something majestic, unrivaled, and eternally beautiful.
3. Fatherhood is love shown through grace.
As father’s we tend to tell our families that we love them far more often than we communicate it. Let’s not speak love just in word, but in action and truth also. Let’s be Christ by showing grace to our wives and chrildren when they sin or when they screw up. We must remember as Christian men that we were sinners and had screwed up beyond repair before Christ had initiated his salvation and healing to us by a sheer gift of absolute grace. I believe strongly that how we treat our struggling children is the closest we will ever get to treating the Lord Jesus in this life. There is nothing more valuable in this life as a follower of Jesus than having a Dad who will take you in your worst failure, lower himself into your failure equally right beside you, and then slowly walk you out of it when you didn’t think their was a way out. That’s what we can be as fathers! When our kids don’t see a way out, we do because we have been their. So let’s not be stingy and mock our children for making the same mistakes we made because we warned them. This would not be showing Christ’s grace, because He didn’t have to hang on a tree for you, after all He warned you to stay away from the tree in Eden! This is not His character though, and so it should not be ours. Let’s lower ourselves into the lostness of our children, and use the knowledge that we have from being their to navigate our children through the hidden paths that got us out! We will have a whole new respect from our children! This is grace!
4. Let’s find joy in the things that our kids find joy in.
Let’s be honest, adult jokes really should not be adult jokes because they are for children who are not children physcially. And “Mature” ratings, if they were honest, would be changed to “Immature” ratings because mature is what they are farthest from. And “Not for the faint of heart” would really be “Not for the faint of a heart.” We need to be mature in our humor. Let’s find laughter and joy in the smallest things. Yeah, we might have to have some wrestling matches in the mud with our kids, wear the silliest outfits, sit in some girly tea parties, laugh genuinely at some things that would otherwise see insignificant, etc. There is joy in fatherhood if you really want it. One of my favorites is Daddy-daughter dates with my two year old. I may be more mature than a two year old, nut we have some fun times laughing, man!
5. Let’s be committed.
The worst things we could do as father’s is read all of the the blogs on ways to be better fathers, listen to all of the youtube sermons, and Sunday services, and then look at all of these things as chores to be checked off in our lives.Fatherhood is a joy not a job! Let’s not do these things and not be committed, because if we are not committed then we are doing all of these things in vain and might even be better off not doing them at all. So let’s give our wives and kids the best fruits of love, grace, joy, peace, and knowledge that Christ given us! If God is hearing our families’ prayers of thanksgiving everyday than I am sure that He will be pleased with us.
6. Let’s be accountable.
This is a hard one, especially for me, when many men in the church seem to think that accountaility partner means accountability master. Meaning, let’s go into all of your problems as long as we stay clear of mine. There may be few strong men, who are brave enough to walk out your problems with you, but I assure you, they are there! So let’s partners in fatherhood, whether you are father, son, or brother. When we find someone who listens as much as they talk, let’s walk the walk with them and not distance oursleves or be afraid. Risks must be taken.
7. Let’s be leaders.
As leaders in our home, our most important and primary goal in fatherhood should be to lead our families in one direction: Christ. If we are truly born again, the goal to love and know Christ should be above every other goal in our lives. So let’s use the authority God has temporarily given to us for a purpose to spread the love of God shown through Christ. I have heard of some men not using their authority at all in fear of abusing it. This is itself a form of abuse of authority. Doing nothing is doing something. Being at a stand still in a constantly moving world is being sluggish. Being in East Tennessee, I have seen a lot of slugs on my front porch. They always tend to come out during the sludge of the rain, and won’t let go of what they are attached to without being pried. Taking authority correctly is not abusive, it’s brave because it’s leading your family with you as their body guard.
These things are sometimes hard to remember for people like me and other fathers who grew up win performance based homes. There needs to more investing than performance in our homes if we are to be father’s who love to expect. Fruit always come from investing. Just as I have never seen a plant grow more beautiful for it’s owner without it’s owner’s watering, I have never seen a child grow more loving because of father who expects good character from his kids while not ever investing his blessing.
As a Dad, I sometimes see a lot of the things in myself that I promised never to do because of my parents come to life. My parents are not perfect and neither am I. This does not mean I have to run and hide, nor does it mean I have to embrace imperfection. It means I must embrace Christ’s perfection by taking up my cross daily and following Him. Whether we are good fathers or bad fathers, it doesn’t matter, because without the Good Father we are bad fathers right off the bat. The best standard is recognizing that in our flesh, we are bad fathers, but only in the finished performance of Christ Himself, we are truly made, good fathers, just as He is the Good Father. God bless you fathers. I love you as I walk next to you in Christ toward godliness.

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