This is the fourth post in the Biblical Masculinity series. Post One: What is Biblical Masculinity?, Post Two: Biblical Masculinity in Marriage, Post Three: Biblical Masculinity in Fatherhood Pt.1.
In part one of Masculine Fatherhood we discussed what God expects of us as Christian dads. We also covered a few key areas of development that you should be working into your child’s life. In this post we will talk about some practical ideas that may help you as you decide what it looks like in your home to raise your children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Keep in mind that these are suggestions, not an exhaustive list. Don’t feel that if you aren’t doing everything on this list that you’re not a good dad. These come and go in seasons at our house – except for worship, catechism, Bible, etc. If God does convict you in an area, don’t beat yourself up. Run to Him, repent, and start doing right.
So here are a few ideas, in no certain order.
- Seek Christ personally, daily, diligently. You can’t lead well if you don’t know where you are going.
- Be there. Just be around. Your children want and need you even if they don’t communicate that.
- Be attentive. Spend time with them. Don’t just be there physically and mentally be somewhere else all the time.
- Daddy dates or Daddy time if you have boys. Take them out – just you and them. Do it collectively and individually. Especially date your daughters. Show her how a real man should treat her. In this way they will know what to look for in a husband. Special Christmas & Valentine’s dates are a good idea.
- If work allows, take them with you to do a few things. This way your son gets to know how real men act and interact with the world.
- Take them to run errands with you.
- Family Worship time.
- Maybe short Bible times in the morning.
- Family worship or devotions at night. These don’t have to be long, just be consistent.
- Discussion at the dinner table.
- If you don’t own or know how to play an instrument find some good worship songs to sing along with on CD or computer.
- Catechism. I know this is a lost word and concept in our culture, but this is a great way to teach your children the basics of our faith. A catechism is a scripted set of questions and answers designed to drill information into the mind. Find a good catechism and stick with it.
- Make time to eat together. Try to eat at least one meal together each day. This is increasingly difficult in our over-busy culture, but sharing meals is extrenely important and beneficial.
- Share prayer requests. Pray for and with them. Ask them to pray for you. Share when God answers those requests.
- Family game night. Whether it’s board games, video games, or whatever, have fun as a family.
- Family movie night. Watch a movie together. Laugh, have fun, talk about it.
- Family reading night. You and your wife or older kids can take turns reading through a good fiction book. Let them use their imagination.
- Make God and His gospel central, normal parts of every day talk and life. Continuously point to the Lordship of Christ over all things. It doesn’t always have to be a deep, spiritual conversation, just talk about His greatness a lot.
- Memorize Scripture together. They will most likely be better at it than you anyway.
- Talk to them while you play with them. Not all talks have to be serious, sit-down conversations.
- Family service projects. Serve your church, neighborhood, or community together in some way.
- Tell them you love them… a lot! Hug and kiss them tons. Remind them that they have a heavenly Father who is perfect and loves them more than you ever could.
A Few Reources
- Here is a previous post I wrote to give people an idea of “What Leadership Looks Like in my House”.
- And another one I wrote showing the difficulty of being consistent in Family Worship.
- Practical Tips for Leading Your Family – Mark Driscoll
- Written Material. You’ll find catechisms at the bottom of this page.
I would love to hear your practical ideas on how we can love and lead our families well.