The Bible is the greatest instructional guide for fathers. It clearly outlines why dads matter and how a father is to treat, instruct, guide, nurture and provide for his children. Throughout the Bible, you will find verse after verse that will equip fathers to become the father that God intended them to be.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important attributes that a Godly father must possess.
Compassion means showing concern for others, understanding their pain, “and the desire to somehow mitigate that pain.” Why do you think a father should be able to show compassion? Share a time in which you showed compassion. Talk with your children about showing compassion and decide how best you and your children can show compassion this week to someone in need.
“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;”
Discipline is hard, and yet it is absolutely necessary for a child to grow and mature into a responsible adult. As adults, we find that sometimes God will discipline us. Share with your child how you have seen God at work disciplining your life. There are times in which we stray from being present with God. When that happens, He will guide us back to Him. In the same way, a father must gently guide his child through correction and discipline. Discipline can be done in a quiet, respectful way. Be sure to make eye contact with your child and let them know that their behavior/action is unacceptable but you still love them. Love is the key to successful discipline. Dads matter when it comes to discipline.
“My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke because the Lord disciplines those he loves…”
(Proverbs 3: 11-12)
It’s been said that God gave us two ears and one mouth for a good reason. We need to listen twice as much as we talk. This verse highlights that a father’s instructions are worth paying attention to and understanding. When you give your child an instruction, ask your child to repeat what you just said to be sure they understand.
“Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding.”
The word “exasperate” means to irritate or frustrate intensely. This verse clearly says that Fathers do not anger or annoy your children, instead train them in the way of the Lord, showing kindness, gentleness, self-control, patience. Not always easy after a long day, but keeping your temper at bay, will show that you are trying to represent Godly instruction in true righteousness and holiness. The next time you find yourself about to lose your patience, take a moment to pray for patience and remember that your son or daughter is a “Child of God” and you are given the amazing responsibility to train them in the ways of the Lord.
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
The goal of every father is to provide for his family, therefore if a child asks for food, you wouldn’t give him something harmful, instead, you would provide something that would provide nourishment. Providing for a child can come in a variety of ways. Providing for the health and well-being of a child is the primary way in which a father can show his love and support to his child. Providing doesn’t always mean financially but can also mean mentally and spiritually. List a few ways you are providing for your child that doesn’t cost anything. Some examples might be, spending time together, talking, walking, riding bikes, teaching a new skill. These are all valuable ways that show you are a provider.
Fathers are “indispensable” in the lives of their children. A father’s love, support, encouragement, and quiet strength are so important to the natural growth and spiritual development of any child. Never doubt that a father’s guiding hand and Godly instructions can have a lasting impact upon their child. May God bless you each day because DADS MATTER in the life of their child(ren).
“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?”
For an additional resource, click here for 10 Things Scripture Says about Being a Father from “All Pro Dads.”
From the moment you are born, you are learning social skills, a smile, a soft voice, a touch. These all contribute to your sense of being socially engaged with your surroundings. The Bible is our training manual for learning to become a successful dad with more intense social skills. For instance, the most important aspect of being social is being able to communicate effectively. Psalm 19:14 says, “May the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” This is a great memory verse to start out your day. Asking God to guard your mouth against saying things that are unkind and protecting your heart from selfish desires.
Another great resource from the Bible is the book of Proverbs. “A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction.” (Proverbs 16:23) “A kind man benefits himself, but a cruel man brings trouble on himself.” (Proverbs 11:17) Verse after verse describes the righteous man being rewarded by God and the wicked man being trapped by evil. Where do you find yourself today? Trapped or blessed, you have the power to choose.
Here are a few ways in which you can help you become a successful dad and guide your children as they learn to become social with others.
The art of being patient. This is a tough one to teach, but through playing board games, cards or other activities in which one must wait their turn is a valuable lesson in life. (“A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel.” Proverbs 15:18)
The art of listening and following directions is absolutely necessary to succeed in life. James 1:19-20 gives us a clear understanding of how we should live. Take note of this: “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry because man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” Children need to learn that there is a time to be quiet and listen and a time to follow directions without quarreling or arguing.
The art of organization is a skill that is totally necessary to manage life. We need routine, structure, consistency in order for things to move along smoothly in the home. Children need to see that fathers can help set up clear expectations when there are organizational skills implemented in the home. Deuteronomy 6:7-9 tells us that we are to impress the 10 Commandments on your children, …”talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road…”
The art of friendship is so crucial to the healthy well-being of your child. During this time of social distancing and social isolation, a child can feel frustrated that they can’t play or visit with a friend. Let them know that they will be able to see their friends up close again, but until then be creative on how to continue building upon their friendships. For instance, Facetime, or Zoom calls can be helpful so that children can actually see their friends. Have your child write a note or draw a picture for a friend and either mail it or drop it off at their friend’s home.
Becoming a successful dad means being a blessing to your children by setting the example that even though we are living in a time where uncertainty is real, our hope is in our Heavenly Father who gives us hope each day. We can share our disappointments with one another, but at the end of the day, we choose faith over fear. 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” Love one another, because love comes from God!
Biblical References on Becoming a Successful Dad
“May the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)
“A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction.” (Proverbs 16:23)
“A kind man benefits himself, but a cruel man brings trouble on himself.” (Proverbs 11:17)
Setting the Right Example
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18)
In the third video of the “Fathering in a Pandemic” series, Darryl Grayson provides a webinar reviewing the POPS 101 information concerning how fathers can be the best protectors, order keepers, providers, and stabilizers for their families. This introduces the POPS concept that will be reviewed in further detail in future videos.
Our lives have been turned upside down in the midst of COVID-19. Suddenly everything that we knew to be normal has now been redefined. Fathers are needed now to help provide stability to their families while we navigate through this pandemic. POPS is here to help give you some guidance and support.
The first goal of any father is to make sure that his family is protected. He is the protector from the unknown. He makes his home a safe place. The saying, “there is no place like home” is so true today. Our homes must be a place of safety and comfort. While we are all spending more time together at home, be sure that the time you are together is meaningful. Make sure that each day you find time to connect with one another. See how your children are feeling. It’s ok to let them know that you may have some anxious thoughts too, but you trust in God’s word. 1 Peter 5:7, says “Cast all your cares on him because he cares for you.”
Currently, things may seem out of control, there is not the usual order of events anymore. Perhaps you had a daily schedule with your family, now is the time to set up a new routine. 1 Corinthians 14:40 says, “But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.” Take control of your home life and make sure that each day your children have a set schedule. Of course you will need to be flexible, but spending time with daily chores teaches responsibilities. Expecting that your child will read or do some sort of academic work will help their educational growth during this pandemic. In addition, always make sure to have some fun activities planned. Let your children help you plan a meal, or do some sort of fun family time. This is the moment to create family memories. Family bonding moments will last a lifetime.
Fathers can provide for their families in a variety of ways, whether it is financially, emotionally, or spiritually. However the most important way a father can provide for his family is by just being there, be present! Your love, and attention is key to the healthy development of your child. During this pandemic one of the main ways in which a father can provide is by keeping a positive attitude. This will be your biggest challenge, and yet one that will leave an invaluable impression on your child. Who would you rather your child remember during this pandemic, a father who was always negative or a father who started out each day with a smile and a positive thought? Be grateful for what you have and know that God will provide for all your needs. Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
Fathers are the stabilizers of the home. Children look to their fathers to be the anchor in the storm. The one who keeps calm and has a positive attitude. Hebrews 6:19 says, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Our hope is in nothing less that Jesus Christ, He is the anchor in the storms of life. Fathers need to be intentional in their leadership styles using the examples of Jesus Christ as he led the disciples through the storms in the New Testament, with a calm and caring heart.
Protector “Cast all your cares on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7,) Order Keeper “But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.” (1 Corinthians 14:40) Provider “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) Stabilizer “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (Hebrews 6:19)
The fourth video in the Fathering in a Pandemic series highlighting Urban Light Ministries POPS 101 course on how to become a better father. This session is hosted by Phil Sanders, the Sonshine Clubs youth ministry director of Urban Light Ministries. Phil reviews the first “P” in POPS101 concerning being a Protector for your family.
In this unprecedented time, it is apparent that the role of fathers is critical to the safety and well-being of the family. Fathers can help to ease the fears of chaos and confusion that their children may be feeling as we continue to live with the threat of the COVID-19. The greatest fear that we may face is the fear of the unknown and yet God tells us not to be afraid because He is always with us. Psalm 34:4 says, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” An important lesson that fathers need to teach their children is that God is always with us even in times when we are fearful. God wants to protect us from our fears, just as fathers want to protect their own children. God offers us protection through our faith. Faith over fear should be our guiding force during this pandemic.
Another way fathers can provide protection to their children is by teaching them to be safe through “safety huddles.” Safety huddles provide families an opportunity to discuss safety issues within the home such as bullying, on-line predetors, “Stranger Danger,” or what to do if there is a fire. In addition, it also allows for discussions regarding personal safety as well.
Not only are we currently dealing with a pandemic, but our nation is coming to grips with systemic racism and division that has been suppressed for far too long. There is an outcry for justice and peace among our brothers and sisters and we must listen and learn. Fathers have an incredible responsibility now to help their children understand that our country and its leaders must listen to the cries for justice. However, this must be done in a peaceful and responsible way. A question that we need to consider is, “How are the children?” Children today have been exposed to so much violence, chaos, confusion and uncertainty. Fathers must get a firm handle on how their children are doing. Spend some time talking, sharing ideas and just listening to one another may be the best way a father can protect his family from the lies of satan.
Matthew 18:3 refers to a “childlike” quality that must exist before you can enter into the kingdom of heaven, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Little children are humble and teachable, they have a sweet innocence about them and that’s what Christ was referring to in this passage. We must change and lose all pretense about one another. No judgement, there is only one who is able to judge others and that is Jesus Christ.
Father as Protector
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4)
“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)
Phil Sanders continues with the series and identifies the importance fathers play in being an order keeper and provider for the family.
Corinthians 14:40 says, “But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner.” The foundation of a successful home is order, disorder causes chaos. Fathers can help keep order within the home by providing leadership and direction. Keeping a family calendar where everyone can see it can provide a certain amount of comfort to a child as they will see what is happening within the family. It will give them a sense of routine and structure. This will help their mental health remain calm and at peace when there is a sense of order in their homes.
It’s been said that it takes a “village” to raise a child. This is so true, we are all responsible for helping to raise children whatever position you hold in your community, you make a difference. Fathers are especially needed to create order and stability within our communities. They are the key to keeping the “villages” safe and under control. Here are a few ways in which fathers can keep order:
Get involved and be present
Model peacemaking within the home, be the peacekeeper
Build relationships with neighbors
Be aware of what is happening in the neighborhood
Develop relationships with law enforcement/school staff
Report unusual activities in the neighborhood and let those in charge take care of it
Take pride in your community
Fathers are not only order keepers but providers for their families. Providing means more than just a paycheck. It means providing emotional and spiritual support. Fathers who provide a positive role model are creating a lasting legacy for their children’s future. There is nothing more important to a child than words of encouragement from their fathers. Those positive words will be imprinted on your child’s thoughts for years to come.
It’s been said that moms are the “broccoli” and dads are the “ice cream” in the family meaning, dads get to have all the fun. Perhaps that is true sometimes, but a father who knows how to have fun and play with their children as well as knowing when to be the disciplinarian and set acceptable standards for the family is crucial. A father’s stern look or reassuring nod with a gentle grin can empower a child to do amazing things. Fathers, you matter! Your family is not complete without your guiding hand of order keeping and provisions. “..My sons, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves…” (Hebrews 12:5) Just as our Heavenly Father disciplines us, fathers are charged with disciplining their children thereby keeping the order in the family and teaching them to be respectful and responsible citizens in the community.
Father as an Order Keeper “But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner.” (1 Corinthians 14:40)
“..My sons, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves…” (Hebrews 12:5)
Mark Sturgeon, Board Member at Urban Light Ministries reveals his heartfelt learnings as a father of teenagers. Learn that you are not on this fatherhood journey alone.
Our parenting roles change as our children grow older. However, one thing remains the same, children are to obey their parents and fathers are charged with a particular assignment, don’t aggravate your children, instead bring your children up in the faith instructing them through the words of the Lord. “Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother-which is the first commandment with a promise-that it may go well with and and that you may enjoy long life on the earth. Fathers do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:1-4)
Many fathers make the mistake of wanting to be their teenage child’s friend and not their parent. They want to be the “cool” dad! As inviting as that may sound, that is really an unhealthy idea. A child needs a father, who can provide structure, stability, and discipline. Your job during those teenage years is to be an adult, making sure that your child knows that there are rules in your home and they are not meant to be broken. Once the rules are broken, there will be consequences. Of course children will make mistakes and they must learn to grow from them. You learn, you grow and you move on! There is a breakdown in the family when rules and expectations are not set, when a child doesn’t see immediate consequences for their actions or behaviors. This sets up a household of chaos and that creates disorder and as much as children will want to disagree, they really do need order, structure and stability.
In the midst of our current pandemic, fathers need to stay connected to their teenage children more than ever. Talk to your children, understand what they are feeling, what they are thinking about, and how you can help to ease their fears and frustrations. Keep up with the current trends on social media, understand your child’s world and talk with them about what is happening in the world. Words to the wise, “this too shall pass”, but in the meantime, let’s make the most of the time we have together. You may never have this opportunity to be together as much again.
Always find time to hug your child, let them know that you love them unconditionally. Even when your child pulls away, they will come back if you have laid a solid foundation of love, faith, encouragement and support. Teenagers will need your grace, guidance and forgiveness. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…” (2 Corinthians 12:9) We all need to accept our weaknesses but be relieved to know that God is a loving God full of grace and mercy.
“Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother-which is the first commandment with a promise-that it may go well with and and that you may enjoy long life on the earth. Fathers do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…”