An epidemic of epic proportions is occurring right before our eyes. An epidemic we have the power to do something about.
Fathers are not only abandoning their families – 17.4 million children grow up in fatherless homes – they are also abandoning their God-given responsibility as the spiritual leader in their homes. As a result, millions of boys are growing up unprepared to lead their families.
What we need, then, is for fathers to man up and lead their families. But how? How can we lead our families.
6 Practical Ways Fathers Can Man Up
(1) When at home, be at home
After a long days work, it is easy to retire to the work bench, study, den, or lose yourself in social media or the TV, but we have to resist that temptation. We have to engage our children in some meaningful way when we are home. We have to actually be at home, when we are home.
(2) Eat dinner together
When I say eat dinner together, I don’t mean for us to sit in the living room watching TV together with dinner plates in hand. When we do that, we might be eating dinner at the same time and in the same room, but we aren’t eating together.
No, what I am talking about is actually turning off the TV, setting our phones aside, and sitting around the dinner table together talking with one another.
For those of you with teenagers, this might be the only time you have their undivided attention. It might be the only time you have to build into them. Don’t waste that opportunity because your favorite TV show is on.
Watching TV together does not have the same impact as talking together.
(3) Read the Bible together
I know what you are thinking, we don’t have the time for that. How am I ever going to get everyone in my family together at the same time? If that is you, you might need to cut some activities out of your schedule, so you will have the time. What’s more important: That your child participate in yet another extra-curricular activity, or you read God’s Word together?
In all reality, you may not even need to cut your schedule because I am not talking about an extensive hour long devotional every night. I am instead talking about devoting 5-10 minutes to reading the Word and praying together.
5-10 minutes is not a lot of time, and it is something we can all do. Just take the time you spend scrolling through your Facebook feed and watching cat videos, and devote it to your family.
While 5-10 minutes is not a lot of time, it does take discipline. It does take a little planning and motivation. It does take putting down the remote, turning off the game, and setting your phone or tablet aside for a few minutes.
If you want to know the secret to accomplishing a family devotional each day, make it apart of your routine. It has worked for our family. Reading God’s Word as a family happens every night after we brush our son’s teeth and before we put him to bed. Since it is apart of our routine, we do it. If we don’t do it, it feels like something is missing.
Surely, there is some place you can add a 5 minute devotional to your daily routine.
(4) Play together
Carving out fun time is important because it’s one way to build a relationship with your kids. Relationships are key if we are going to lead our children.
Don’t think play time is all fun and games. Even during play time, questions and opportunities to talk about God come up. It may only be for a minute or two while resting, but those couple of minutes over the years add up. Who knows, maybe that conversation will be replayed over and over in your child’s mind for the next couple of days.
(5) Memorize Scripture together
Not too long ago my Sunday School teacher challenged the class to memorize Scripture together as a family. What a novel idea!
Memorizing Scripture together not only motivates the parents to hide God’s Word in their heart, but it also motivates the child to do the same. As well as it’s another way to stimulate conversation around God’s Word.
(6) Don’t quit ministering
That’s true even after your kids have left home. Things are going to look different, but keep at it. Share with them what you are learning in God’s Word. Send them a blog post or sermon you liked. Give them a book. Tell them you are praying for them. Encourage them to train their kids. Whatever it may be, keep at it. Don’t stop ministering!
I can’t stress how important it is for our society and churches that fathers lead their families in a biblical way. If we want to turn our country around, fathers have to train their children. If we want to raise up another generation of leaders in the church, fathers have to train their children. If we want to kill the current epidemic happening in our country, fathers have to train their children.
Fathers, it’s time we man up! It’s time we take God’s Word seriously. It’s time we be involved in our kids lives, training them, instructing them, and teaching them to be future spiritual leaders.
Question for Reflection
- Fathers, are you manning up?
Post developed from the sermon: Fathers, Man Up!