- June 21, 2017
- Christian Living
Now that Father’s Day has come and gone, it would be easy to take the focus off of Dad for a little while. He got a new fishing pole, golf club, or some other new toy, so he must be good for a while, right? He might be a little too proud to say it, but Christian fathers could always use a little encouragement. As the head of the household, there’s a lot riding on his shoulders. He may not be the breadwinner these days, but the father is the spiritual leader of the home. What are some ways we can celebrate, encourage, and be thankful for fathers beyond the annual holiday? (Hint: None of them involve buying more ties.)
Pray for Christian Fathers
One of the best gifts you could give anyone is to consistently pray for them. When it comes to fathers, they are always in need of support through prayer. As we established before, dads are the head of the household when it comes to spiritual matters. On top of the obvious weight that responsibility carries, this also means that Satan would love nothing more than to corrupt him and endanger the family. Pray for him and encourage him to stay in Scripture and seek the Lord’s guidance in each decision. There are so many ways for a person to be hindered by sin. A father can be tempted with a sinful lifestyle, by becoming a workaholic, neglecting his Christian role, or a number of other ways.
When Christian fathers stray from God’s path, it opens the door up to his family losing its way as well. Say for instance that a father decides that church is no longer a priority and his family can just attend whenever they feel like it. This could possibly lead to every member of the family having only a surface-level relationship with God. If enough families act this way, then suddenly the greater Church is full of Christians who can only swim in the shallow end of the pool of faith. When this happens, missions fall by the wayside, evangelism is on life support, and tithing becomes optional. In short, it is how churches die. Perhaps that seems like an extreme diagnosis, but it shouldn’t sound too far-fetched that as the father goes, so goes the home.
Pray that fathers would seek God first and not be bogged down by all of the obstacles that life wants to throw in his path. Bills, work, personal time, and more are all important things for a man to have and care about but they all have a time and place. God and family come first.
Believe in Him
Not to discount the important work of mothers, but dads have a lot of responsibility and special needs that are often exclusive to them. Men in general have a track record of struggling with passivity that can often lead to strains in a marriage. Many guys out there also have trouble transitioning from boyhood to manhood. More recently, the idea of prolonged adolescence has attempted to explain this in the millennial generation.
Even though things like passivity and frustration go all the way back to the fall of man, there are ways we can rectify that. One of the best ways to address the destructive power of passivity is to believe in your father/spouse. Men need to be told that they are doing a good job. Not just by anyone, although that’s nice too. We want for the people closest to us to appreciate our work and believe that we can get the job done. When men feel emasculated and useless, they will likely never excel at anything but bitterness. You can celebrate Christian fathers by encouraging them and thanking them when they make decisions that are best for the family. Give them opportunities to lead and show them that you believe in them. This will lead to stronger men with more confidence who are eager to take up their roles as fathers and husbands.
Let Dad Make Choices Beyond Father’s Day
We all know that Dad often gets to choose what the family does on Father’s Day, but what happens every other day of the year? Is he basically forced to go along with everyone else the rest of the time?
There’s nothing wrong with Christian fathers sacrificing their wants and/or needs for their kids. In fact, it’s pretty much the name of the game. Just like we were saying on the last point, though, Dad needs to know that his opinion counts for something. There are many days where a father will be happy to do whatever his family wants to do. “If they’re happy, I’m happy,” he’ll say. That’s a wonderful, selfless idea for a father to have, but sometimes you need to be able to make your voice heard too. If we’re looking for ways to build up Christian fathers, why not let them have a win every now and then? Maybe that means letting Dad pick the movie or restaurant on family night, or perhaps the music in the car on the way to church. Let’s be real, a win for Dad sometimes might just be having an hour to himself. However you want to celebrate the man of the house after Father’s Day, be sure to consider his opinions.
Ask Christian Fathers for Advice
If we want to take that idea one step further, why not let Christian fathers know how important they are by seeking their counsel? We can learn so much from the previous generation. Depending on what interests your family has, you might need advice on hunting, automotives, landscaping, construction, or a dozen other topics. On top of hobbies and home improvement, we all need a little help when it comes to relationships, faith, discipleship, and family life.
Society used to think of the father as a protector and provider full of wisdom, but today the father is the goofball of the family who never knows what’s going on. There can be some truth from each of those extremes, but it’s fair to say that dads have been getting a lot of bad press for years. Ask fathers for advice and see what happens. Every interaction may not be a home run, but the worst case scenario is that each of you will get to know the other better. That’s not a bad consolation prize.
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