Find several helpful FamilyLife articles on fatherhood with tips from folks like Dennis Rainey and Jim Mitchell:

Fanning the Flames of Faith (Dennis Rainey)

Building a simple fire pit in the backyard was key in building up the spiritual condition of our children. Barbara and I have been blessed with six children. Sitting in the auditorium the afternoon that our youngest, Laura, graduated from high school, my heart swelled with a mixture of delight and sadness. Sure, I was thrilled at her accomplishment. But my mind couldn’t let go of the fact that it was just yesterday when I, the proud daddy, held Laura in my arms for the first time. As she walked across the stage to receive her diploma, I remembered when she took her first steps. As she adjusted her cap and gown, I recalled her first day she played dress-up.

Talk about a bittersweet moment.

Sometime later I was thinking about the implications of her graduation. A school official had handed Laura a diploma certifying she had completed her studies. She had learned her lessons well. She was ready to move on. Or was she?

Read the full post at FamilyLife on fatherhood called Fanning the Flames of Faith.

Where are the Fathers (Dave Boehi)

We face an unprecedented crisis in America today—the physical and emotional absence of fathers. You see it in the sad eyes of a Cub Scout leader when he asks the fathers of the boys in his troop to help at a special event, and only two dads show up. You see it in the awe-struck eyes of young boys in the inner city who look up to local gang members as their only role models. You see it in the weary eyes of a mother trying to put her three young children to bed while her husband watches ESPN in the family room. You see it in the downhearted eyes of a single mom whose former husband found another woman and moved across the country, leaving her with two angry teenage boys. And you see it proud eyes of young men who feel they prove their manhood by impregnating teenage girls.

Read the full post on FamilyLife at Where are the Fathers

The Choices Father’s Make (Jim Mitchell)

“Daddy, you wanna hear me count to 10 million?”

Not a question I expected or necessarily even wanted to hear from my 5-year-old.

“Um… well… no, not really,” I was tempted to say (lovingly, of course).

Maybe you’re a mom and for you …  a question like this is precious! But I’m a dad, and after a long workday it’s most definitely not precious. “Let’s see, what’s the best way to waste time tonight? Ooh, I know, let’s count to 10 million.”

I’m pretty sure my 5-year-old can’t even count to 10 million, much less do it fast enough to fit the jammed schedule I had planned for the evening:

  • Put on comfortable clothes? Yep.
  • Eat dinner? Uh-huh.
  • Watch playoff basketball game? Now you’re talking!

Count to 10 million? Negative. I could hear it already. “One, two, three, four, five, um… wait, I’m starting over.”

Oh sure, you’re probably more spiritual than me. Cast the first stone if you must. But most of you with young kids can relate. They’re growing fast and learning about things too big for them. So they look to you for help sorting it all out. You want to be a great parent, but time and energy run short.

Read the full post at FamilyLife called The choices father’s make

Did You Do Something of Value Today (Dennis Rainey)

Driving home one night after work I switched on the radio to catch the news. In an uncharacteristic moment of sincerity, the disc jockey made a statement that sliced through the fog of fatigue I felt from the day: “I hope you did something of value today. You wasted a whole day if you didn’t.”

His statement struck me abruptly. Maybe it was because I had just spent most of the day solving some of the problems of a growing ministry. Fortunately that day, I felt pretty good about how I had invested my time.

Read the full post at FamilyLife called Did you do something of value today.

Becoming a Real Father (Dennis Rainey)

Are you making memories with your children? Those moments may be the best times of their lives.

The Encyclopedia Britannica gives a half page to the accomplishments of Charles Francis Adams, the son of President John Adams. Adams followed the political trail of his father and became a U.S. diplomat to Great Britain. The encyclopedia makes no mention of Charles’ family, but Charles’ diary does.

An entry one day read: “Went fishing with my son today—a day wasted.”

Another diary, that of his son Brook, gives us a different perspective: “Went fishing with my father—the most wonderful day of my life.”

Interesting, isn’t it, how a little boy’s perspective could be so different from his dad’s?

Read the full post at FamilyLife called Becoming a real father

25 Ways to Spiritually Lead Your Family (Dennis Rainey)

Psalm 78 tells us that we are in a spiritual relay race. You and I are taking the baton, and the type of hand-off we make will determine how the next generation follows Jesus Christ, and our assignment is to teach our children to have faith in Jesus Christ.

When you read about a man’s responsibility to lead his family spiritually, the normal suggestions include organizing family devotions, leading spiritual discussions with children, and helping kids understand a biblical worldview. Those are all crucial, but this list is a bit different!  I’ve found that there are many other ways—some less formal—to influence your wife and children spiritually. So here are 25 coaching tips for men who want to step up to spiritual leadership with their families.

Read the full post at FamilyLife called 25 Ways to Spiritually Lead Your Family.

What Does Your Child Really Need (Rob Flood)

In 1979, my father, Larry, was the manager of computer operations for a major oil company. It was the dawn of the computer age and, at that time, computers were just beginning to change from luxuries to necessities. In an industry of high competition, time was just as valuable as money. Then, it happened.

For no apparent reason, the computer room (at that time, computers took up rooms, not laps or desktops) shut down—dead. The computer operators were not able to reboot the computer and could not find any reason for the problem. In an effort to get up and running, Larry called in the A-Team of technicians … no success. They called in the regional technicians … no success. The room was full of operators, managers, and junior and senior technicians all scratching their heads.

Read the full post at FamilyLife called What Does Your Child Really Need.

40 Lessons We Sought to Teach Our Children (Dennis and Barbara Rainey)

We will never forget that incredible moment when our daughter Ashley was born. The doctor cleaned her up and handed her to us. Dennis recalls that he wanted to blurt out, “Thanks for the gift, but where are the instructions?”

When we started out, we had a few ideas of what it meant to be parents and raise children. Two years later we added a son, and we realized we needed to get intentional about what we wanted to do as parents and what we wanted to teach our children.

Read the full post at FamilyLife called 40 Lessons We Sought to Teach Our Children.

The Power of a Parent (Dennis Rainey)

The Great Wall of China is one of the great wonders of the world, a true masterpiece of engineering. I’m told that six horses could trot side by side on top of it. I’ve walked on it, and I was amazed to see this massive structure snake its way through the mountains.

China built the wall to protect it from invasion. But in the first 100 years after the wall was completed, enemies invaded the country three times. Do you know how?

Read the full post at FamilyLife called The Power of a Parent.

Caught in a Tug of War (Dennis Rainey)

When you were growing up did you ever get into a real tug of war? You know, the kind with a thick, scratchy rope with a knot at both ends? Two groups pulling against each other … and, in between, a murky mud hole the size of Lake Erie. It wasn’t the mud you feared—it was the humiliation of losing the war while others jeered.

There’s another tug of war taking place today. It’s a tug of war between a parent and a host of worldly influences.

Read the full post at FamilyLife called Caught in a Tug of War.