I am greatly reminded of the verse in the Bible that says, “He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.” (Malachi 4:6a). Friends, God is really interested in restoring families! He desires families to be lovingly together.
However, some of you may be saying, how is that going to happen? It may be fine for some fathers as they have had a great heritage from their own fathers and grandfathers, but it is not in our case! Yet, I believe God can transform fathers, no matter what your heritage may have looked like. Your past does not have to have the last word on the future of your family. With God’s help, you can reverse the fathering deficit that seems so prevalent in our current society. With God’s transforming work in you, you can turn whatever heritage you have received into a positive legacy for your children and grandchildren. Wow, isn’t that wonderful!!
Well then, how can we get started? Here’s a couple of simple thoughts for your consideration.
Start with being a Dad. Your past failures cannot erase the fact, and any future failures do not mean that you cannot do your best. Accept the truth that you are the father of your children, despite not knowing where your kids are right now (spiritually, emotionally etc). Begin by being a Dad, despite all your shortcomings. God will grant you the strength and grace to carry through. But he needs us to have that desire and to act upon what is God’s heart for us.
Begin to establish and maintain a pattern for responsible fathering. It is a long term discipline, not something that can be learnt overnight. Seek out some really good , solid Christian books on parenting like those written by Dr James Dobson. Keep at it and believe God for victory, friends! Our children deserve from us a pattern of consistency. Our children will thank us for being Dads who are committed to championship fathering. You will hear that, perhaps not now but surely in the years to come.
Be persistent in seeking out strong father figures in your local church. Choose those who are godly and have a sound proven record. Let’s not be shy to ask them questions, be honest to share where we are at as dads and where we desire to get to. Learn from their life examples and observe how they treat their children. Is there something that we could apply for ourselves in our own respective families?
Last but not least, let’s not forget to have fun with our children. Sometimes, we might need to be like a big kid! Let our children see how we laugh, relax, joke with them, in addition to the times when we have those serious talks with them.
As one author puts it succinctly; loving, coaching and modelling are the foundations of understanding and practising what our children need from parents. Loving parents usually practise coaching and modelling. Parents that excel in coaching are also those who actively love their kids and model it for them. Parents, you cannot help being outstanding models when you are loving and coaching.
May I encourage all Mums and Dads to love, coach and model your values to your children and may your homes be filled with God’s love and great joy!!
Praying with and for you,
Ps Lai Ling Lim
Our upcoming events..
Vision Sunday on 26 February
Come and join us for a time of envisioning
as Ps Wilson shares our direction as a church for 2012.