Godly Dads, Part 6

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Godly fathers are called to discipline in such a way that honors and actually models God. It is the toughest assignment in life, but it is also one that rewards more than any others.

Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. Hebrews 12:9-10 NIV

A Godly father has his children ready to meet the Lord. That’s essentially what discipleship is, making Christians disciples; training them to be like Christ; and that is essentially the chief role of a Godly father.

In my baby producing Sunday School class of young adults, I have the occasion to pray for newborns often. I will usually ask God for something like “Lord, I pray they choose to make you their personal God, through a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, very early in life.” I pray this for two reasons. One, I truly desire this for the children. Two, I truly desire this for the parents.

I am firmly convicted that if Christ is modeled and lived out in the home everyday that the children will very likely make a natural decision to accept Christ. They want have to be talked into it, or bargained with, or even wrestled with in prayer, because their will be a desire already planted in their heart to follow God.

Discipline is not to be confused with punishment. Punishment is the result of doing something wrong. Discipline is a sincere, planned out approach to train someone towards an end goal. Jesus’ closest followers were called His disciples. They weren’t being punished, they were being molded into an end result of being like their Teacher, Jesus Christ. As fathers, we need goals of who we want our children to be and then we need real plans to get them there.

Part of my ministry has involved teaching others how to be a better parent. I must admit that this is often a tough calling, because it puts the boys and I in the spotlight. And, I must be honest, many times I fail at the task of parenting. One thing I have done that I believe has made me more successful is that I have really studied the issue of fathering. I have read book after book and attended class after class all designed to make me a better father.

In addition, I have spent a great deal of time studying my children. I want to know what makes them tick. In order to discipline them in the way they should go I have to know how God has created their heart. I want to know their personality, the way they think and feel about certain issues, and I want to learn what gives them pleasure. What works for one child in the area of discipline will often not work with the other, for instance. I wouldn’t know this without spending time studying who they are.

Godly fathers are called to discipline in such a way that honors and actually models God. It is the toughest assignment in life, but it is also one that rewards more than any others. Men, may we all strive to be more Godly, Christ honoring fathers!

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