Dad Talk: Leading

336-FatherSonChurchPray_220w_tnIn the country song, Billy Currington sings, “Walk a little straighter Daddy, you’re leading me.” Dad is always leading. The choices he makes determine whether he leads in the Way or leads in another way. Either way, kids will follow.

In an article looking at the Importance of Fathers to Churchgoing, a Swiss survey is sited that documents the unique and powerful impact a father has on the faith of his children. If a father does not go to church, no matter how faithful his wife’s devotions, only one child in 50 will become a regular worshipper. If a father does go regularly, regardless of the practice of the mother, between two-thirds and three-quarters of their children will become churchgoers. If a father goes but irregularly to church, regardless of his wife’s devotion, between a half and two-thirds of their offspring will find themselves coming to church regularly or occasionally.

In summary, Mr. Robbie Low writes, “No father—no family—no faith. Winning and keeping men is essential to the community of faith and vital to the work of all mothers and the future salvation of our children.”

Lead spiritually by example. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.”– Romans 12:2. As with the frog in the pot, the temperature of conformance to the pattern of this world has increased and dads are getting cooked. Now is the time for dads to lead by example, to be transformed by the renewing of our minds through the word of God and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. God’s will is for dads to be engaged in raising a godly generation.

Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for the many gifts and blessings in my life, may I never take them for granted. Thank You for the opportunity to reflect Your triune nature as a faithful father – to be present physically, engaged emotionally and lead spiritually. Strengthen me to accept responsibility for the opportunity You offer as I pledge to be a faithful father – to be the father You expect me to be, the father my family needs. Amen.

A faithful father leads spiritually by example at home, work and church.

 

“A dad that prioritizes physical presence, is engaged emotionally, and leads spiritually by example.”

BHG, Rick Wertz

281.491.DADS(3237)

faithfulfathering.org

Prioritize physical presence

   Be engaged emotionally, and

      Lead spiritually by example.

2016 “Honor Your Father” Film Competition

HYFWe love to network at the Fatherhood CoMission; but we desire to reach fathers and families for God’s glory even more! As a result of some awesome collaboration at the Fatherhood CoMission Summit last month, the Christian Worldview Film Festival has opened a competition to coincide with the FCM “Honor Your Father” campaign (www.honoryourfathertoday.com). To learn more of how you can enter and help spread the word about the Biblical importance of honoring our earthly fathers, please click on the link below:

http://www.christianworldviewfilmfestival.com/fatherhood

We can’t wait to see your entries!

Living For, or Living From, A Blessing

Father blessing son

 

 

 

In December I had the privilege to witness a powerful event, a blessing. A father, who had MS and was unable to stand, blessed his son and bride at their wedding. I was amazed and inspired to hear the scriptural truths pour forth from this elderly saint’s heart and mind as he blessed these two newlyweds. Without a script, that godly man spoke truth over, and into, the lives of this devoted young couple for at least five minutes.

I felt as if I was on holy ground as I witnessed this event that was videotaped fifteen years earlier. I also had trouble processing what I had just witnessed. The words and evident love and affection between father and son impacted me at a deep level. It has now been several weeks since I watched this sacred utterance, and I am still trying to assimilate what I observed.

A little background. This grainy family wedding video was being shown to a group of ministry leaders at a conference where we were seeking to find out ways that we could teach and encourage fathers. As one man succinctly stated, all of the current social ills of our society stem from fatherlessness. Any yet here we were, observing a sacred example of a godly father affirming and blessing his son and his new daughter-in-law.

The father, who was the vehicle for this heavenly benediction, had not been raised in a godly Christian home. He desperately wanted his children to have every spiritual advantage that he had not received. To that end, he read books on raising godly children including The Blessing by John Trent and Gary Smalley.

When the video concluded, the son, who was the recipient of those inspired words, stood and addressed us with words of comfort and hope. Many of us were wishing we had received a similar blessing from our earthly father and he comforted us by pointing us to the word of God. In Ephesians 1:3 the Spirit informs us that “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing.” While we may not have received a blessing from our earthly Dads, in Christ, we have been given, “every spiritual blessing”.

Then this man, who I will identify later, imparted a vision and hope for the next generation, as he told us what it was like being the recipient of such an anointed blessing. He said that many children live FOR the blessing of their father, while he lives FROM the blessing of his father.

I think about what motivates me and other men. Many of my friends and I are looking for approval and acceptance from our Dad. I could tell you many examples but one sticks out to me. I was watching the US Open, on Father’s Day, with my brother and my dad. Ken Venturi, who had one major championships, bared his soul and told how he longed to have his father say “well done son”. For him, golf had been the vehicle to earn this praise. But regardless of how well he did, his father never affirmed him, until one day, when he despaired of life, his dad told him “he had always been number one in his book.” Those simple words changed his life.

I am one of many who would dearly love to have a written or verbal blessing from my earthly dad. He did the best he could, with the resources that he had, and I rise up and honor his memory. But deep down I crave the affirmation that only a dad can bequeath. In the past few years, the Spirit of God has satisfied this longing by making me know in my heart that I am an adopted son of my Heavenly Father.

Now I am a father, and it is my earnest hope and desire that my sons will experience life not looking FOR my blessing, but living FROM my blessing. For you and I are living in troubled times, but also wonderful times. For Spirit of God is turning the hearts of fathers to their children, children’s hearts to their father, and all of our hearts to our Heavenly Dad.

Thankful for my earthly dad and eternally grateful for my Heavenly Dad,

Steve

 

P.S.  The man who received the blessing was Stephen Kendrick. He related that his frail father had also pronounced similar blessings at his brother’s weddings. Part of the blessing was that his sons would be fruitful in reaching thousands with the gospel. If the name is not familiar, these Kendrick brothers have produced several inspiring movies pointing thousands of people to Christ, including Fireproof, Courageous, and War Room.

 

Steve Demme is a husband and father. He is the founder of Building Faith Families.

http://www.buildingfaithfamilies.org

Messages on Mirrors: Fathers to Daughters

 

girl-looking-in-mirror

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I forget what age I was when I heard my first nursery rhyme, but there is one in particular that is burrowed deep into my memory bank like a steel nail into softened wood: “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”

This quote, as you probably remember, comes from the fairy tale Snow White. Every day Snow White’s stepmother would ask the mirror this infamous question. And though at first glance it might seem like a benign inquiry, I believe it powerfully illustrates the way a woman often determines whether or not she feels beautiful or adequate. She tends toward asking this power-packed question of inanimate objects, as if they were the judge and jury, be it a mirror on the wall or the number on a scale or the size marked on the back of her jeans. No human interaction necessary.

Even more concerning is the way this story demonstrates how easily an influential woman (the queen) gives away her own opinion and succumbs to feedback from a mirror over that of herself or another human being with whom she has a positive connection. In modern terminology, this translates to a woman “listening” to the definitive messages from magazines, television, and movies (a.k.a. mainstream culture) as the ultimate determiner of beauty. Inanimate objects are at the helm once again, not so different from the fairy tale your daughter may have once heard as a little girl.

The truth is your daughter is asking the same question every single day of her life: Am I beautiful? She longs to be told she is beautiful, and she will keep asking and looking until someone tells her that she is.

She needs you, dad, to answer her question. If she doesn’t hear it from you, she will find another “mirror” on another wall who will tell her that she is beautiful. Sadly, some of those mirrors have a hidden agenda, and will express what she wants to hear in order to get or take something from her.

Include your observations about her outer and her inner beauty. Think of them as two sides of the same coin, adding value while serving as complimentary counterparts. She needs to hear you address the entirety of how you see her.

What about her eyes are breathtaking?
What about the way she did her make-up today is pretty?
What about the color she is wearing looks stunning on her?
What about her personality is creatively being expressed in her outfit or activities today?
What about her character was reflected by her positive response to meeting someone’s need?

 

Here’s your practical battle plan:

Write messages with erasable marker directly onto her mirrors (in her bathroom or bedroom, or on the rearview or overhead mirror in her car), or on sticky notes that you attach to any or all of her mirrors, with truth about her from your point of view.

And if using the word “beautiful” is new or uncomfortable for you, try writing it to her first until it becomes a part of your vocabulary.

Dad, stand up as a warrior and fight for your daughter. It’s brutal out there and she needs you to do battle for her so she can see and believe the positive truth about herself.

(You can watch a video of a couple dads who used Michelle’s wisdom and the effect it had on their children here.)

 

Dr. Michelle Watson has a clinical counseling practice in Portland, Oregon and has served in that role for the past 18 years. She is founder of The Abba Project, a 9-month group forum that is designed to equip dads with daughters ages 13 to 30 to dial in with more intention and consistency, and has recently released her first book entitled, Dad, Here’s What I Really Need from You: A Guide for Connecting with Your Daughter’s Heart. She invites you to visit www.drmichellewatson.com for more information and to sign up for her weekly Dad-Daughter Friday blogs where she provides practical tools so that every dad in America can become the action hero they want to be and their daughters need them to be. You can also follow or send feedback on Facebook at www.facebook.com/drmichellewatson and Twitter @mwatsonphd.