Fathers, Be Happy in the Lord

Hangout out at my local Bojangle’s today, I noticed a father alternately chiding and scowling at his children.  The children seemed to wish him gone.  They would rather have left their food at the table to be rid of their unhappy father.

I wondered, “How did this happen?” Probably because the father is regularly unhappy.
Today, I offer a few pointers for me (me first!) and you to be happier fathers, mothers, children, brothers, sisters, local church members, neighbors, and employees.  Mostly, though, they’re for fathers:
  1. Fathers, be happy in the Lord.  Don’t think this is optional.  It is essential.  Don’t for a moment believe that you can treat your wife or your kids or your neighbors or your job or your church the way you should without first knowing and loving and enjoying Christ Jesus.  It won’t happen.  Get your priorities straight – loving Jesus always comes first.
  2. Fathers, enjoy God’s grace. Too often fathers are too concerned about getting everything “right” while we forget that with God we’ve gotten everything “wrong.”  We think we’re the enforcers when we need to remember we’re only just children.  Don’t forget that, if you are in Christ, you are God’s child, gazing at God with your own children, praying that they’ll grow to enjoy God with you.
  3. Fathers, love your wives. Children can tell the difference.  The watching world can tell the difference between a dad who loves his kids slightly less than he loves his wife and a dad who loves his children at the expense of his wife.  Your children should know when daddy is putting mommy first, and they will grow to respect that.
  4. Fathers, love your children. That’s why you’re a “father.”  It’s not to berate or correct or discipline them.  It’s to love them as their daddy.  Remember this when you’re tempted to yell, grab, spank too quickly, or do the other stupid things that you and I do as dads.  Loving them means playing with them, laughing with them, holding them, teaching them, letting them follow you around, and whatever else it looks like in your family.
  5. Fathers, spend time with your children. Dads, get down on your knees and play with them while they’re little before they don’t care for you when they’re big.  Earn their respect and love now.  Understand that time invested with them now will pay untold benefits for you and them, now and in the future.  There’s just no measuring what your presence in the Lord can produce.
  6. Fathers, tell your children you were wrong. Whenever you’ve wrong them or someone else in front of them, neglected personal or family worship, or sinned grievously in a way they need to know about, tell your children.  They’re not stupid, and they need to understand that Daddy is a sinner who repents and needs Jesus.  If you wronged them, ask their forgiveness in Christ.
  7. Fathers, love your church. Your kids need to see that Daddy doesn’t only love his own family, but the family of God.  This goes a long way in seeding a love for God and His church in their hearts, too.  Let them know that you care for other church members like your own family members.
  8. Fathers, love your neighbors and coworkers. Your kids need to see you loving not just your family and God’s people, but everyone you’re around.  They need to see the joy of God written on your life as you work at home and in the world.  They need to know that Daddy’s joy doesn’t just come from his family, but from God.  That’s why it’s everywhere in his life.
  9. Fathers, love your enemies. All of the other ones might seem easy, but for some of us this is where it hurts.  We like loving all those other folks, just not our enemies.  Let your children know you have enemies and that you pray for them and love them biblically.  When you haven’t, repent.  Tell them you were wrong and ask their forgiveness here.
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About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

One Response to Fathers, Be Happy in the Lord

  1. Pingback: New Series! « Your Cross on My Back

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