- Are you helping your children know how they can follow Christ?
- What kind of legacy will you leave to your children and their children? What will they say you believed about fatherhood?
- What would your children say is most important to you in your life? What would they say are your values and priorities?
- How is the way your children relate to you preparing them to relate to their Heavenly Father?
- Do you place the same value on fatherhood that God does, or does your view of fatherhood come from culture or media?
- Does your work life leave you with enough time and energy to give to your wife and children? Do your career goals include working toward increasing the time you spend with your family?
- Are you involved in activities outside the home that compromise your ability to fulfill your God‐given role within your family?
- What is your understanding of a father’s role from your childhood?
- Do you spend time with each of your children and look for ways to build into each child’s individual gifts and strengths?
- Do you pray for and with your children regularly?
- Are you relying on God and His power to enable you to train your children and to love each one unconditionally?
- What is one step you can take in the right direction and how can I help you do that?
A Tale of Two Dads, a thought-provoking video about what is really important.
Please refer to the Mentor Guide, Fatherhood, for help in encouraging men in their role as a dad.
by Branden DesCarpentrie
Last night I sat down to dinner across the table from my beautiful wife Julia. To my right sat my daughter Ashlyn whose bright blue eyes witness to her mom’s genes. Devon, my son, was seated to my left. As usual, he was acting a little goofy. A trait Julia blames on me. A loving wife, a daughter, and a son . . . it is what I always wanted.
But there were two more chairs filled at my dinner table, filled in ways not entirely expected when I got married. My youngest son Kilyan was there. He has narrow brown eyes, an infectious smile, and hands built for assembling Lego spaces ships. He joined our family from Xining, China six years ago through the blessing of adoption. Next to Julia sat a toddler we call Sweet Pea. Her huge brown eyes, silliness, and ornery attitude have charmed us for almost two years. She is my daughter in every way but legally. Fostered in our home since she was about nine weeks old and, we’re praying she can join our family permanently.
When I think of being a father, I am grateful to a God whose blueprints for family are crafted with more creativity and forethought than my own small mind. Being a dad to biological children, through adoption, and foster care, all at the same time, was not part of the plan in my younger years. But what God designed is a far richer experience. Ashlyn and Devon have deepened my understanding of God’s love for His creation. Kilyan has brought crystal clarity to the truth of our spiritual adoption into His family. Sweet Pea has taught me how to die to self and do good, even when it’s risky to my heart.
This Father’s Day I will celebrate at my dinner table surrounded by my family, thankful He uses me to build His kingdom as a dad, and grateful that He is the architect.
Taking it One-to-One:
- Take a look at the makeup of your unique family. Despite any imperfections, give thanks to God for His design and creative love.
- As a father, how are you modeling sacrificial love for the family God has given you?
- Are you willing to take a risk and ask God if His plan for you includes adoption or fostering?
by Jim Mitchell
Recently I was sitting with my 6-year-old son looking at his baseball cards… or more accurately, I was looking at him while he looked at his baseball cards… and I experienced a pride I’ve not felt before.
Surely I’ve been a proud dad since the birth of both my kids. But this was different. As I looked down and listened to my son carefully examining each card, I noticed myself taking pride in watching him ask questions and learn about the teams and the players.
Being a baseball history fan myself, normally I would have dived into the stats with him, comparing the great players with the not-so-great ones, talking about the history of each team.
But as my son grows older, I’ve grown more mature with him. This time I caught myself much more interested in the boy than the stats. I know it sounds simple, but I can’t describe the joy I took in this discovery about myself. I’ve seen my own dad do this with me. I remember time and again telling my dad lengthy details about projects I’ve been working on, only to look up and notice a cheesy grin on his face. He hadn’t heard a word I’d said, but just stood there taking pride in his boy.
I also can’t help but think about the pride God must take in us His children. My mind travels to Ephesians 2:10: “For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them.” (NET)
I am God’s workmanship—His masterpiece! Yet I too am created for good works. As I work, He works in me. And as I take pride in my good works, He takes pride in me.
This is the pride of a father.
Taking it One-to-One:
- What discoveries have you made about yourself lately as a parent?
- What new things are you seeing in your kids that give you pride?
- Do you believe that God takes pride in working on you as His masterpiece, and in your good works?
- What are you currently working on for God’s kingdom that He would take pride in?