Friday, June 19, 2015

Dads are the Real Superheroes!

In light of all the recent movies lately from Batman, Superman, Ironman and even Captain America, I believe we lose sight on who is the real superhero in our lives. Fathers! Father's are most effective in the parenting when they not only "show the way" but "go the way" themselves. And trust me, the world needs more real superheroes in godly men!

You can't help but look around the world and see the impact in the lives of those who are missing father figures in their lives? If parents aren't influencing the lives of their children, then who is? Peers, public schools, media, television and the internet!

I'm not just talking about kids you father, but in some cases men who step up to become role models for kids who need a father figure in their life. We need men who can step in and bring them up because they are already filled with a sinful nature. We need to show them how they can live a life worthy of something more.

What does a Super Dad look like?

He is one that stays married, devotes his time and energy to his marriage, his wife and his children and most importantly follows God in everything he does. God is his benchmark!

Almost every social ill can be traced to the absence of masculine leadership. 22 million children live in a fatherless home. Kids who don't have a father figure in their life, are far more likely to use drugs and alcohol, drop out of high school, commit violent crimes, attempt suicide, get pregnant in their teens and wind up in prison.

Almost everything can be traced back to a broken family. We need more men to stand up in their commitments as a father.

But in order to do that, we have to go back to biblical principles and we seem to be watching the world right now as if it is a social experiment that has gone horribly wrong. Just look at the recent shootings that are happening all around us that are simply slowly becoming the norm.

Our children are a gift to be nurtured and cared for, for the Lord. They are not ours to possess and control.

Children growing up in a fatherless home, are looking for a father figure in their life, often times however, find the wrong examples, men who are far from being godly!

Husbands hold the key to a successful marriage, as well as being the key to a successful family.

In Ephesians 6:4 ~ " Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." (NIV). 

It is interesting to note that this particular passage of scripture is directed to men, because it seems that women are already nurturing to their children. It is something that almost instinctively do naturally.

What is means is not to provoke them repeatedly in such a way, that they grow angry and hateful, to provoke them.

One way fathers can inadvertently do this is playing favorite with your children. You need to watch your words like, "Why can't you be more like....?"

We can see clear cut examples of why this doesn't work from the Bible, in regards to the sibling rivalry between Esau and Isaac. How each one was favored by a different parent. In the example of Joseph and his 11 other brothers, how well his father expressed his affection to Joseph over the other sons so much so that they sold Joseph. Even Daniel was favored by Samuel in the house of Jesse, his father but his 7 other brothers were rejected by God. He was the least of his brothers that he wasn't even brought before Samuel initially.

Children will carry this pain throughout their whole life.

Not complimenting them. Children need self affirmation and more from their parents than anyone else. Trust me, I can speak from experience on this one. My mom, gave it to me, but I craved it from my dad who withheld it from me based on how he was raised from his parents. Affection and compliments were not something they displayed. How much I craved that attention from my own dad even 51 years, but I am realizing that God never disappoints to show me just how much He loves me and isn't afraid to show me on any given day.

Children need to know and hear that they are loved. But be careful, balance is key, often times some are overly complimented so much so that they develop overinflated egos. Don't be overly critical. Remember a father's goal is not to knock them down but to bring them up!

If having a prodigal child means you're a failure as a parent, then God is a failure as God. This simply isn't true. Too many times a father will look to what his child does long after they leave home and when they fall away from God, a father or even mother will blame themselves. Remember God isn't done with them yet. He will bring them back in His timing. All you can do is pray and love them, it's the one thing they can't run from, no matter how far away they try to go. They need to know they have a home to return to and a father who loves them unconditionally.

To the best of your ability, raise and model your life after the ways of God. Look for teachable moments in your day. Watch their favorite television shows or movies with them and offer a biblical perspective.

You need to create a thirst in your child's life for God. and that comes through modeling that faith that creates a desire for them to be like you and want what you have in their own life. As fathers, children need to understand that external boundaries are set in place not to limit them, but to protect them.

Even when raised in a godly home, children can still rebel. Sometimes it merely shows that they are beginning to think for themselves. In the story of the prodigal son, they may escape your presence, but they can't escape your love and prayers.

Think about these statistics:

If both parents attend church regularly, 72% of their kids will remain faithful to God.
If only the dads remain faithful to attend church regularly, 55% remain faithful.
If only moms remain faithful to attend church regularly, 15% of kids remain true to their faith.
If none of their parents attend church regularly, only 6% remain true to their faith.

What this shows is that it is important for you to attend church regularly together as husband and wife, and not just drop your kids off at church. One day our children will be gone. No one plans on their children proceeding them in death, but often times it happens.

We are in a race in this life in which we need to pass that baton of our faith to our kids to continue on in a legacy! The door is always open to prodigal sons and daughters. It's never too late to change and you can begin today.

Let's make sure as fathers and dads that we do that job well. It's the highest calling God has placed on our lives and in our hearts. Happy Father's Day to those who are raising up children who are following in the footsteps of God. May they be blessed and honored as we celebrate them this Father's Day!  

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