Part 3 Fathering
When a father puts himself under the umbrella of God’s authority, he can then bring his children under the authority God has given him. Look at Deuteronomy 11: 13-19
13 ’ And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the LORD your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul,
14 ’then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil.
15 ’And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock, that you may eat and be filled.’
16 “Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them,
17 “lest the LORD’s anger be aroused against you, and He shut up the heavens so that there be no rain, and the land yield no produce, and you perish quickly from the good land which the LORD is giving you.
18 ” Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
19 “You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
There are 3 principles revealed in this passage that we must apply to point our children to God, God must be the focus, model by example, and verbally instruct.
There is only ONE True and Living God. Examples of other gods are money, material possessions, desire for fame, desire to be popular or attractive, basically all things that gratify a feeling of need for self-pride satisfaction. Extreme examples are displayed on people who have cosmetic surgery which can be a “botched” disaster. Other examples are people who must be noticed, they show off their expensive coats, cars and jewelry. What do they do for the hungry, and impoverished? What will they hear when they appear one day before God?
God and God’s Ways must be the focus
The focus of God’s plan of parenting is not that we be perfect parents, but that we be God focused parents. Unfortunately, there is no learning curve with kids. You don’t get a chance to go back and fix mistakes. When you become a parent, you start with no experience. If you are a parent with a pile of self-pride issues and constantly feel a need to defend your “honor” you will start off badly with your child and if you continue past age 12 you will build a barbed wire wall between you two forever. Don’t doubt me about this! My own parents built a very thick tall wall and I am still doing my best to forgive them for giving me years between being a runaway and a suicide. If you want to be your son’s friend, start early and show him the respect any person, even the family cat, deserves! If you want to be the respected military general you’ll get that and resentment even past your death.
Psychologists spend decades attempting to tell people to organize and take charge of their lives, their money and their businesses. I think often these psychologists never seek after the source of the problem. A adult taught from youth by everyone that he’s not tall enough, muscular enough, handsome enough, wealthy enough, smart enough, sexual enough, God-respecting enough, scholarly enough, something enough, is always going to have an uphill battle against his own created dark shadows.
The kid is getting enough of that in school from “his peers,” adults we laughingly call “teachers,” television movies, music that is not music. My Word, if you’re going to make it worse for him, end it quickly! Take him to a crocodile park and just throw him into the water! Get it over with early. What justification can you find to torture the kid for the rest of his life?
Oh? You ….. you didn’t — umm — want to do that? Well then show kindness, love, respect, and find something good about his actions every day. He was given to you as a gift from God. Therefore there must be something good you can find about him. Remarkably if you find one thing good, he’ll present more reasons to be pleased.
There is the father who says, “Don’t do that!” constantly but never says, “Do this instead.” Which would You rather have?
You can try to learn this quickly enough between age 1 and 5, but most don’t change themselves well in that time span. This is going to be a serious challenge. If the process did not begin with the way your father treated you, you’ll really be required to consider God’s Ways all time. If you can’t do anything other than remain silent, do that much! Just shut up! When the boy upsets you, just say nothing a while, formulate a calm answer and talk with him about it later.
If the kid does something differently to the way you would have done it, ask why that way, why is it better, and show him/her again how you do it. Don’t belittle this young person. Even at age 8, s/he is a young adult. S/He really wants you to love him/her and be pleased with the efforts s/he makes. You have to ask yourself, “Was telling this person off worth going to that extreme? Did I gain such a great satisfaction or gain from doing this that it was worth the damage I also have done? Could it possibly be that this young person has another, even a better answer? (Oh yes! It is not possible, it is PROBABLE.)
Do you think 100% of the guys who join the military really want to die to help some investor make more money selling more weapons? Maybe a lot of them want to be buried with honor at Arlington because by age 18 they’re convinced they’re worthless for anything more than cannon fodder. That is why I’m telling you to be careful of the story you’re selling to your kids!
If you want to be a good father center your mind on God mostly. Delete the smart phone and movies and all the other distractions and seek God with all your heart, all your mind, all your strength and all the energy you have left over.
We become good fathers by becoming Christ centered God respecting men. Wisdom comes from God and only those who seek God will find the wisdom God gives to those who ask. You can’t ask God for wisdom to be a father and reject God’s wisdom concerning your own life. God doesn’t provide situational wisdom but lifestyle wisdom. As you seek God and pursue wisdom, it becomes a part of your life. This is that huge moment in your life when we find out if you’re just going to church for social contact or if you really believe God is real and deserves your respect.
If you don’t make God the center of your everyday life, you can’t expect God to intervene when problems arise. Look at Proverbs 1:
Proverbs 1 from the NIV.
20 Out in the open wisdom calls aloud,
she raises her voice in the public square;
21 on top of the wall[d] she cries out,
at the city gate she makes her speech:
22 “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways?
How long will mockers delight in mockery
and fools hate knowledge?
23 Repent at my rebuke!
Then I will pour out my thoughts to you,
I will make known to you my teachings.
24 But since you refuse to listen when I call
and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand,
25 since you disregard all my advice
and do not accept my rebuke,
26 I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you;
I will mock when calamity overtakes you—
27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind,
when distress and trouble overwhelm you.
28 “Then they will call to me but I will not answer;
they will look for me but will not find me,
29 since they hated knowledge
and did not choose to fear the Lord.
30 Since they would not accept my advice
and spurned my rebuke,
31 they will eat the fruit of their ways
and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,
and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety
and be at ease, without fear of harm.”
But those who choose wisdom as a lifestyle will inherit wisdom. Look at
Proverbs 8:12 – 19 (NIV translation)
“I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence;
I possess knowledge and discretion.
13 To fear the Lord is to hate evil;
I hate pride and arrogance,
evil behavior and perverse speech.
14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine;
I have insight, I have power.
15 By me kings reign
and rulers issue decrees that are just;
16 by me princes govern,
and nobles—all who rule on earth.[b]
17 I love those who love me,
and those who seek me find me.
18 With me are riches and honor,
enduring wealth and prosperity.
19 My fruit is better than fine gold;
what I yield surpasses choice silver.
As you can see, it is not those who wait for trouble that find wisdom, but those who seek wisdom and submit to God’s plan who will have a better life and avoid trouble. This is always true. Only fools who have nothing are mockers of God telling you that God is a myth and that The Holy Bible does not relate to today.
If you feel a need to argue ask “Why do you think so?” and “Can you use science or numbers to absolutely prove these assertions.” Almost always they cannot.