Father's Day is a punch in the gut for most families. As I was preparing for this year's Father's Day message, the stats on family breakdowns and its effect on children rocked me. I know so many dads, myself included, want to do this really well. So at the HP campus, we looked at the design, the failure, and the remedy this past weekend, and left with lots of dads inspired to win, hopeful for the future, and ready to serve their kids. (Listen to "The First Man" at Bethel's Media page.)
The one book on fathering that dads need to buy
Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker.
If you're a dad of a daughter, this book is a MUST READ, and a great Father's Day present to yourself. The insight included in Dr. Meeker's book will help dads strengthen their resolve to fight for their family, to be their daughter's hero, and to know how to navigate those awkward moments.
A Few Thoughts on Fathering
A Culture of Convention
We live in a world of convention, that how most people generally accept a thing is how that thing should be. For the first time, though, the conventional family is no longer mom and dad living together raising kids . 46% of kids raised today in America will be raised in homes where Mom and Dad are together living in the same house. Which means more kids will be raised in families where relational pain is the backdrop, and a good majority of that pain stems from Dad. Dads, we can't just look around at what the other guys are doing with their families, because more of them are doing it poorly than we realize. It's time to get a better playbook.
A Humility to Repent
I was so encouraged by the dads that stopped me on Sunday to say, "Pray for me, I need a restart." We ought to be fair to dads and realize that growing up in our society today is a complicated mess of a thing, and it doesn't all rise and fall on dad. But when dads live in humility and actively model repentance and living according to your convictions, it gives power to your life example. Dads, we are setting up our kids for success when we teach them how to handle failure.
A Drive to Succeed
William Carey's words are convicting here - "I’m not afraid of failure. I’m afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.” Too many dads are working towards things that are of no real value. A lower golf handicap, a louder exhaust on the bike, perfectly aerated lawns, an encyclopedic knowledge of the NFL depth charts. What happens if you succeed at those things all the while your kids struggle.
Recently I was told a story of A.W. Tozer. He was a prolific author and marvelous preacher who ministered not too far from where I serve today. One day after A.W. Tozer had died, a man met one of Tozer's six sons and began to tell him about how wonderful and inspiring his dad was to him. The son looked to the ground as this stranger recounted all the successful things Tozer had done in life and in the church and how very influential Tozer was in this particular man's life. The son stopped the man, saying, "Don't tell me about my father. I never had a father. His work was his kids."
That's the type of statement that drives dads to succeed at the things that matter - at being dad.