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You want to be the dad that doesn’t ruin your kids’ lives. You do. I (probably) don’t know you personally, but I know this about you.

Because it’s the same desire I have.

I want my son (and future daughter) to look back on their childhood and say, “Daddy was a good dad. He didn’t mess me up or leave me damaged. And I love Jesus more because of my dad.”

If anyone has something to say about fatherhood, it should be the one who created fatherhood, right? God better have something to say about it if He’s going to be a good dad. Which we know He is. (1 John 3:1)

Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 11.52.00 AM

image credits: mine

10 Commandments of Fatherhood

1. Do not provoke your children to anger. (Ephesians 6:4)

Don’t publicly humiliate your child. Don’t give them undue and unfair discipline. Don’t make fun of them, even privately, just you and them. Instead, actively play with them, love on them, be “present,” and look for ways to honor them.

2. Bring them up in the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)

Consistently have them worshipping in a healthy church. You, the adult, lead the way in church attendance and in living life openly and honestly with others (in a small group). Live out your faith at home.

3. Do not provoke your children…they’ll become discouraged (Colossians 3:21)

Encourage your children! Show them you’re proud of them…even when they color outside of the lines. Or, maybe especially when they color outside of the lines. Knowing they’ve made Dad proud is a huge accomplishment. Let them know this constantly, and help your children curb discouragement. You don’t want them seeking their sense of approval and worth from the world. Trust me, you don’t.

4. Discipline your children. (Proverbs 3:12; Hebrews 12:10)

Discipline in the moment feels negative. But it’s for our children’s good. It helps create structure, learning right from wrong, and shapes our children’s hearts. It also helps them understand the loving discipline of God that works for our good. The dad that doesn’t discipline his child is an unloving, unkind, and foolish dad.

5. Don’t abuse verbally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually. (Colossians 3:8)

This is just outright sinful. Don’t ever resort to this. What they’ve done never necessitates this. Ever!

6. Have fun. (Proverbs 17:22)

Enjoy your kids! Don’t be boring. Go outside and play. Take ‘em to the park. Go to a ball game. Head out to the zoo. Play hide-and-seek. Figure out what they love, and do that with them. They’ll love you for it.

7. Give ‘em good gifts. (Luke 11:13)

Give them something that they’ll love. Study them, and know what they like. Maybe that’s a video game. Maybe that’s a new baseball glove. Maybe it’s a book or a CD or a special piece of candy. Go out of your way to know your kids and their interests. Then go get them something they’ll love.

8. Hug them. (Ecclesiastes 3:5; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

Embrace your children. Give them comfort. Let them know they’re safe and secure with you. God loves and comforts us…let’s do the same with our kids.

9. Tell them you love them. (*Zephaniah 3:17)

Tell them every single day. Let them never doubt you love them because you fail to say it. God speaks over us…let’s speak over, and to, our children.

10. Be present. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

You can abandon your children without leaving the room. You know that, right? You can escape into something other than what you’re surrounded with and who you’re surrounded by. So put the phone down. Turn the TV off. No iPads. Or text messages. Just be with your kids. Time’s too short, and they’re too precious, to be consumed every moment with something else.

Time for dads to be dads. Ravenously loving our kids and constantly pointing them to Jesus. I’m ready to have a counter-cultural relationship with my son. Are you?

Anything you’d add to the 10 commandments?

*it’s a stretch in application, but hang with me. God’s “rejoicing over us,” to me, can apply to fathers rejoicing in love over their children. Which HAS to include telling your kids you love them. Right?

 

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Stupid, Crazy Faith

Ben Reed —  April 17, 2013 — 4 Comments
17827

CreationSwap user Thomas Roberts

Me: How many days did it take God to create everything?

Rex (my 4 year old son): 3?

Me: No, 6.

Rex: Oh. That’s a lot of days.

See, my son fully believed that the God he’s been learning about could’ve made everything in 3 days. That God was big enough and powerful enough and quick enough to make everything his eyes have ever come in contact with…in just 3 days. Why would He need 6? Why would it take Him a whole 6 days to make the earth, the animals, the trees, and the water?

He’s so awesome, He could do it in 3 if He wanted.

I’m so encouraged by Rex’s faith. He believes that God is bigger than even I say He is.

About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”

Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. – Matthew 18:1-4

The faith of an adult

Our faith, the faith of a rational, college-educated, enlightened adult is much less, isn’t it? It’s not quite as quick to believe. Not quite as quick to take that step of faith. A little more sluggish to accept the unacceptable, and grasp the miracles.

We’re a little slower than our kids are.

We struggle to believe

  • God can save our marriage
  • God can really change our dad’s heart
  • We will ever have a good relationship with our kids
  • We will ever be where we need to be spiritually
  • We can ever beat this addiction
  • She could ever forgive me
  • Our daughter could ever love me
  • Our life could ever count for something
  • God could actually be in control of our crazy lives
  • God could ever use him to minister Truth and Grace.
  • God could ever use me.
We rationalize our way out of miracles. We look for what we can see, touch, taste, feel…and base our belief on that. Rather than on the unchanging truth of who God has claimed to be, and what He has promised to us.

May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. – Ephesians 3:19-20

Faith is believing in what we can’t see. It’s trusting God for what He’s promised rather than what we’ve seen come true.

God can change your marriage. God can use you. God can use her. He can forgive you. He can use your addiction, and the victory you’re going to enjoy, to serve others.

It’s time you stopped believing lies. Stop believing the haters in your life. Stop listening to the voices that beat you up.

Start trusting in the promises given to you in the Bible. Start trusting in the One who loves you on your worst days. (Romans 5:6) Start believing the One who wants to give you life. (John 10:10) Star believing the One who loved you first. (1 John 4:19)

Start having the faith of a child, instead of the faith of an adult.

 

 

 

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Prolonging bedtime

Ben Reed —  July 28, 2011 — 4 Comments

image via Naima Williams

At night, the last thing my wife and I do with our son is pray for, and with, him. One thing we always do is ask him who he’d like to pray for, because we want to get him in the habit of praying for people that he knows and loves. And he’s gotten pretty good at remembering people.

It’s a cool thing to be able to tell our friends and family, “Hey, Rex prayed for you by name last night.”

But lately, I think he’s picked up on the fact that the more names he suggests, the longer that “bedtime” is prolonged.

The more names he suggests, the longer mom and dad stay in my room.

The more names he suggest, the longer the light stays on.

He’s even begun naming, and praying for, things like his Mac Truck, the light (which he immediately reminds us that “Daddy” and “Poppy” fixed), his “Chloe” (a stuffed animal dog he likes to sleep with), his trains, and our family car. He’s prayed for fireworks, monkeys (jury’s still out on why he wants to pray for monkeys…), and lightning bugs. He’s prayed for his hat(s), his sucker, and himself. He’ll pray for my truck, “work,” and church.

And after a couple of these “extras,” I always say, “Ok, Rex, that’s enough. It’s time to go to sleep.” And I kiss him on the forehead, turn off the light, and close his door.

Faith like a child

But I wonder…is this really a ploy by my son to become more manipulative? Or is it a great example of the faith of a child?  Faith that says, “God’s provided these people in our lives…hasn’t He also provided these ‘things’ for our enjoyment and benefit?”

It’s reminded me to slow down. Because I don’t pray for the things he’s praying for. When was the last time I thanked God for my truck? Or for the lights in our home? Or for the beauty and wonder of lightning bugs?

When did I thank him for the simple joys of fireworks and…ahem…monkeys?

Have I ever thanked God for fun things like toys?

Or suckers?

I’ve got a lot of growing up to do. Never thought I’d learn that lesson from my 2 year old.

Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” – Luke 18:17

 

 

 

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