Tag Archives: Growing Families

The Father’s Mandate: Fathers You Are Needed!

27 Jun

Fathers you are neededThroughout The Father’s Mandate series we’ve discussed how fathers need to take responsibility as the leaders in their family. The roles that dads play are critical in raising children who are confident, independent, loving, kind and secure. If you haven’t  followed the series, then please do yourself (and your kids) a favour and follow the links below to find out more about the 6 things that dads must do:

  1. Create a family identity
  2. Love your wife
  3. Accept invitations into your child’s private world
  4. Support your child
  5. Encourage your child
  6. Build trust in God’s Word.

Today we’re concluding the series by reminding you fathers why your presence and interest in your children is so important.

Fathers:  You are Needed! 

Dr. David Blankenhorn, author of The Good Family Man, did a study of male prisoners and found that the one thing that many of them had in common was the absence of a father. When it came to Mother’s Day, most of the prisoners asked for a card to send to their moms. But none of them asked to send a card to their fathers when it came to Father’s Day. Dr. Blankenhorn concluded that not only do children need their fathers, but society needs fathers as well.  HE says, “Neighbourhoods without fathers are neighbourhoods without men able and willing to confront errant youth, chase threatening gangs, and reproach delinquent fathers…The absence of fathers deprives the community of those little platoons that informally but effectively control boys on the street” (Raising Faithful Kids in a Fast-Paced World, Dr. Paul Faulkner, pp. 118). 

It’s not rocket science. Fathers have a very significant impact on their children, especially their sons. One place this influence is clear is church attendance. If both mother and father go to church, 72 percent of the children will go when they’re grown. If only the father goes, that percentage doesn’t drop too much:  55 percent of the children will go to church when they’re grown. But if only the mother goes to church, only 15 percent of those children will go when they’re grown. So while the mother has a greater influence on children in some respects, church attendance is one area where the father has the big influence” (Faulkner pp. 123-124).  I think that many men just assume that their wives have more power and influence when it comes to spiritual things than they do. Too many men seem to think that the faithful spiritual example of their wives will make up for their failure to be a spiritual leader. They are wrong and they need to fix this immediately.

God teaches us the same thing in the Bible (Ephesians 6:4).  “Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not conceal them from their children, but tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength and His wondrous works that He has done” (Psalm 78:3-4).  On this point one family noted, “The father must be the moral standard, the moral head of the home – not the mother, not school, not church, not grandparents”.  I fully agree!

Not only do children need their fathers, fathers need their children. 

Dr. David Blankenhorn, says, ‘Children endow a man’s life with a larger meaning. They confer a special blessing on his worldly endeavors, endeavors that might otherwise seem small and unworthy. Children make it possible for a man to believe that he has lived a good and purposeful life’” (Faulkner pp. 117-118).   

Judith Wallerstein has studied the effects of divorce on children and families. When she began her studies she thought that children were strong enough to adjust to their parent’s divorces. But she found that children have much tougher problems with adjustment than had first been recognized. She discovered something else too. Young, divorced fathers who were separated from their children also suffered developmentally. She found that some fathers never recover a sense of purpose or direction; they cannot grow up into fully mature men outside the structure of the family.

So what does a good father look like?

Here’s an example of what one young man had to say about his father, “My dad just has a way about him.  He can help us keep things straight. Dad had the uncanny way of keeping things in perspective”.  To illustrate what he meant, he described his very last high school football game. It was the last game, the last play, and the last quarter. There was time for only one last play, and he had to throw the ball. If the pass was good, he’d be a hero; if the pass was bad, he’d be a goat. He threw the pass and the pass was intercepted.  He was the goat and he came home late and hurting. His dad was waiting up for him. “Son I’m sorry the game was lost tonight, but let me ask you a question. You know Brice?  (his little nephew). If we could reverse the outcome of the game by cutting off just the very tip of one of Brice’s little bitty fingers, would you be willing to do it?” The son replied, “Oh, no, Dad!  I would never do that”. And then the dad said, “I didn’t think you would. So I guess winning the game wouldn’t have been worth even the tip of Brice’s little finger then, would it?” And the young man said that when his dad said that, he felt like a tremendous weight had been lifted off his shoulders. This is the power of a father.

In conclusion

Dads, you hold a tremendous amount of power and influence when it comes to your children. You need to take this responsibility seriously and get involved with your children. If you know you haven’t been the best father, then we dare you to make the necessary changes before it’s too late! There are plenty of wonderful resources available to help you along your way. We also recommend parents to try a parenting course. There are many on offer – from birth to teens. You can find The Father’s Mandate in the Growing Kids God’s Way course, one of the many Growing Kids International curriculums.

Baby Guardian Vaccination Clinic offers parenting courses in the Midrand/Centurion area in Gauteng, South Africa.

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