DADS – Direction, Availability, Discipline, Spirituality
D – DIRECTION
- Proverbs 1:8-9 (ESV) 8 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, 9 for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.
- Proverbs 4:1-2 (ESV) 1 Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, 2 for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching.
- Proverbs 6:20-22 (ESV) 20 My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. 21 Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck. 22 When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you.
- Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (ESV) 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
These verses assume that the Father is instructing and teaching the children. That the Father has something to say. Truth is: you are teaching them something. They are learning what’s important from you. They are learning how to react from you. Why not be intentional about passing on God’s word.
A – AVAILABILITY
Some say this is THE biggest problem in society these days: Dad’s are unavailable.
Stats on Fathering:
- Children living without Fathers: 24 million.
- 40% of children.
- Fatherless children are 100 to 200% more likely to have emotional & behavioral problems.
- 2x more likely to use drugs or alcohol.
- 3x more likely to commit a violent crime.
- 300% more likely to become incarcerated in juvenile detention centers.
- Daughters: 164% more likely to have children out of wedlock.
- 92% higher divorce rates.
- 80% of children admitted to psychiatric hospitals are from fatherless homes.
Former US Attorney General William Barr – “If you look at the one factor that most closely correlates with crime, it’s not poverty, it’s not employment, it’s not education; it’s the absence of the father in the family.”
Unavailable Fathers leave children at high risk.
Proverbs 17:6 (ESV) 6 Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers.
The glory, honor, beauty, pride, praise of children is to have a father available to them.
Why? My two boys, Jackson (8) and Hudson (4) ask me this one question dozens of times per week – “Dad, watch this!” You say, that’s not a question. Yes it it – He asking, “Dad, do you think I’m tough? Do you think I’m a man? Dad, do you respect me? Dad, do you think I will be something one day?” He needs to be admired. Fatherless children say, “Dad, watch this!” & when no one is there, they go somewhere else to become a man – to violence, to the world, to promiscuity. Many adult are still saying today: Dad, watch this. Trying to prove to themselves and to others that they can make it.
What about Daughters? “Dad, am I pretty? Do you want me? Will you protect me?” Fatherless daughters will have this question answered and many times they turn to relationships that create problems for their lives.
What does it mean to be available as parents? – Having as your top priority the rearing of your children. Taking ownership and responsibility for what they are becoming.
One of my favorite books on Fathering is King Me by Steve Farrar. He studies the failures of the Old Testament Kings in rearing their children. Over a few hundred years unavailable Fathers who were building there real estate and their bank accounts, but neglecting their families brought devastation to a nation. Some say, it’s doing the same today.
D – DISCIPLINE
Part of being engaged in the lives of your children is taking time to discipline them and to teach them discipline.
Three Questions parents ask today are all answered by DISCIPLINE.
1. How do I show my love to my children?
- Proverbs 3:12 (ESV) 12 for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.
- Proverbs 13:24 (ESV) 24 Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
2. How do I assure the success of my children?
- Proverbs 19:18 (ESV) 18 Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death.
- Proverbs 22:15 (ESV) 15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
3. How do I assure a peaceful relationship with my children?
- Proverbs 29:17 (ESV) 17 Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.
Godly discipline is a gift that a DAD can give to his kids. Being engaged enough to notice good and bad behavior and provide correction and training.
S – SPIRITUALITY
We give so much to our children these days. Are we giving them spiritual life? It’s our duty to pass on a spiritual legacy.
Your walk with God or lack there of will have a profound impact upon their lives. They are learning what’s important from you. Dad, you can have the greatest impact upon their eternal destiny.
- Proverbs 8:20-21 (ESV) 20 I walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice, 21 granting an inheritance to those who love me, and filling their treasuries.
- Proverbs 11:21 (ESV) 21 Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished, but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered.
- Proverbs 14:26 (ESV) 26 In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.
- Proverbs 20:7 (ESV) 7 The righteous who walks in his integrity— blessed are his children after him!
Dad, not your work, but your walk will leave them an inheritance.
How can I pass on Spirituality:
MODELING – three quotes that scare me as a parent:
- No matter what you teach children, they insists on behaving like their parents.
- We teach what we know, but we reproduce what we are.
- Kids may sometimes doubt what you say, but they will always believe what you do.
What is your desire for your children? “To work hard, to be a Christian, to make a difference.” Dad, they may only be confined by you. You can’t lead someone further than you’ve gone yourself.
EVANGELIZING AT HOME –
- Talk about the Gospel with them at every opportunity
- Pray with them.
- Be sensitive to every spiritual question.
- Read spiritual books.
- Pray for them to come to know Christ at an early age.