I am a father who does not know everything

When I was little my father appeared to me to always be strong and wise. Of course, that was merely the perspective of a little boy. Now that I am a father, I know better. I am a father who does not know everything. I can relate very well to the biblical writer who said our fathers disciplined us “as it seemed best to them” (Hebrews 12:9-10). There were times I wondered if I should have been stronger. At other times I wondered if I should have been more lenient. Kids, give dad a break! When you were a kid he had to make decisions on the fly, decisions no one else was willing to make, and he did it out of the very best of intentions

Leading By Example: Many fathers lead by example. They are the strong silent type, but if you watch them, you will know what is most important to them. They “let their lights shine” before their children (Matthew 5:16).

A quiet man who works hard is honest and does not draw attention to himself. How many men work overtime or a second job just to put food on the table and clothe his family? Have you observed the opposite? That is, a man who will not work and does not provide? The Bible is pretty direct in its view of such a man: “If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10).

Be A Spiritual Leader: I urge our Christian men to be more. Be a spiritual leader. God knew Abraham would be a spiritual leader for his children even before he had them! “For I have chosen him, that he might command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord” (Genesis 18:17-19).

The proving ground for leadership in the church is the home (1 Timothy 3:4,5). Here he learns the skills and hones the techniques to be a leader for the church.

Our children need to see us pray. They need to see that singing hymns isn’t just for women and sissies. They need to see us take a lead in worship, in serving the church. Don’t wait to be asked to serve: volunteer.

The Need to Grow: Dad, you can grow. You don’t have to be the same man next year you are today. Grow in your character; grow in your leadership skills; Grow in the way you lead the church.

You Never Retire From This Job: Finally, fathers, you don’t retire from this position. There is no “sell by” date for fatherhood. I don’t see a time when we get to quit honoring our parents. “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children …” (Proverbs 13:22). I think one thing I learned from my father is that a father can continue to be an influence for good through the generations. Even when I was a father myself, I sought his wisdom often.

Men, the most important job you will ever have is being a father; develop the craft of fatherhood, for your kids’ sake!

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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