It seems like more and more our society is discounting the importance of the role fathers play in their children’s lives. Whether it is the promotion of single parenting or the feminist movement, fathers have lost their status as the foundation of the family. This shift has had tremendous ramifications for today’s youth. Countless studies show that when the Father is absent from the home, children are more likely to live in poverty, have lower self-esteem and perform worse in school.
With divorce rates at an all-time high, even 50% in the churches, many fathers have been ushered out of the home. It is no wonder our youth are experiencing a moral crisis today. I know how important my father is in my life. My dad is the glue that holds my family together. He is the pillar of strength and wisdom, the example of unconditional love and zeal for the ways of the Lord. Too often though, even in Christian homes, fathers neglect to be the leaders God requires of them.
Spend quality time with your family and get to know their lives intimately. When you have a close personal relationship with your family, they will honor your guidance because they cannot bear to disappoint you. Also, for at least one meal per day, let’s eat together as a family. This is the perfect time to catch up on what is going on in each other’s lives, and can set the framework for further one-on-one time. Discipline with Love; Never in Anger. My son, do not despise the Lords discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in (Proverbs 3:11-12). Discipline can be as difficult to implement as it is to receive, but we need guidance and correction. Work with us to establish boundaries and appropriate punishments for crossing the line. Consistency is essential in this process; we should know in advance the consequences for breaking the rules. Discipline us with consistency, wisdom, and love. See Hebrews 12:5-11, No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
God holds parents accountable to teach their children His ways. Fathers, as heads of the family, it is your responsibility to ensure that your family is God-centered. We need to learn to apply godly principles in our lives from an early age, not just in church-related matters, but also to every aspect of our lives. A Father must Honor His Children’s Mother. It is through your relationship with your wife that the children first learn about relationships between men and women. When your son sees the love and respect you show to his mother, he will learn to treat women the same way when he is older. And your daughters will hold high standards in romantic relationships because we will not settle for anyone who does not treat us as well as our father treated our mother. Do not fight in front of your children. Even teenage children will personalize parental disputes that may have nothing to do with them. Show your wife love and respect and they will emulate this behavior.
Hugs and I love you are not just for your wife; we need to feel in our hearts that Dad loves us, so do not be afraid to show your daughters and sons plenty of affection. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him (Luke 15:17-24). Be Patient and Forgiving Despite your love and guidance, we will make mistakes, and when we do, we need to know that you will be patient and forgiving (Luke 15:17-24). The mark of a loving parent is the willingness to forgive. Let’s switch gears a little to how you can minister to many or mentor many.
One of the first things Christians need to know is you don’t have to be an ordained Minister to minister! To minister means to attend to the needs and comfort of another. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings (1 Corinthians 9:22-23). Paul gave us some very important principles for ministering to others. For one thing, we must do our best to find common ground with those we come in contact with. It is a big mistake to display a know-it-all-attitude.
We must do our best to make others feel accepted. We need to be sensitive to the needs and concerns of others and look for opportunities to tell them about Christ. Paul chose to find common ground with everyone and those with weak consciences in order that some might be saved. However, Paul never compromised the gospel truth, the Laws of God, or his own conscience. Paul was always willing to go the extra mile to meet people where they were. He always kept his eyes focused on the goal of spreading the Good News. Paul’s life focused on taking the gospel to an unbelieving world. These principles should be a part of our personal ministry, for they are just as valid for us today as they were for Paul in his day.
Paul explained to the church at Corinth that no one person should do everything. Paul’s gift was preaching, and that’s what he did. He was emphasizing the need for Christian ministry to be a team effort. No preacher or teacher is a complete link between God and His people. Likewise, no individual can do all that the apostles did. Each Christian should be content with the gift or contribution God has given him/her to make, and he/she should carry it out with a whole heart. I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought (1 Corinthians 1:10).
Paul was pleading to the believers to allow real harmony to exist among them and to be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. Of course, Paul was not saying they had to be exactly the same to be perfectly united. Instead, he wanted them to set aside their arguments and focus on Jesus Christ as Lord, and their mission to take the light of the gospel into a dark world.
And how does one be a successful Mentor? Webster says, A Mentor is a wise adviser, a trusted teacher and counselor. This description tells us that not just anyone will be capable of fulfilling the duties of a mentor. Usually, wisdom rides on the head of an older person. Trusting in someone comes with communication over a long period of time. When you find someone who has wisdom, who is trustworthy, and also has the ability to teach good things, you will have found much more than a friend for life, you will have found a Mentor. A mentor should be a best friend. A mentor, preferably, should not be a person your own age, but older and wiser when it comes to life. Real friendships involve face-to-face honesty. Real friendships also involve loyalty.
What kind of a mentoring friend would you be, if you had the chance? There is a vast difference between knowing someone well and being a true mentoring friend. The greatest evidence of a genuine mentoring friendship is loyalty, which loves at all times. In 1 Corinthians 13:7 one reads the importance of being available to help in times of distress or personal struggles. Too many people are fair-weather friends.
They stick around when the friendship helps them and leave when they’re not getting anything out of the relationship. Think of your friends and appraise your loyalty to them. Be the kind of true mentoring friend the Bible encourages. Jesus Christ is our Lord and master, yet He calls us His friends. How comforting and reassuring to be chosen as Christ’s friends. Real mentoring involves a loving relationship. We are to love each other as Jesus loved us. Sometimes being a mentor involves the simple practice of listening, helping, encouraging and giving.