I’ve been formulating my own little list of the tasks or missions that are attached with the mantle “Father”. I’ve been tweeting them for the past week and so I thought I’d elaborate on my weeks’ tweets and then add them to a page on the site which I will call The purpose of a Father, so here we go.
Fathering is hard, for us anyway, and the job description exhaustive. I only need to look at my week and I come up with the following job titles that I held:
- Guidance counsellor
- Personal trainer etc
The list seems to never end, but then again neither does the joy I feel when my son looks at me and asks for a hug, a few minutes of my time to read him a book or to play cars with him. This past week I looked at 7 purposes which for me are real necessities in my life as a Dad. The 7 purposes from this week were:
- To validate masculinity and manhood.
- To instill a sense of value.
- To build up.
- To create boundaries within which his children have enough freedom to explore, but also enough safety so that the consequences are learning experiences and not death sentences.
- To provide emotionally, educationally and financially.
- To be the first to praise and the last to criticise.
- To be a gate-keeper.
Lets look at some of these that I find need more focus today.
Well, here we go, part 2.
I think its important to note that as much as our children will need grace from both God and ourselves, we will need grace from them. We are not perfect, we will get it wrong, sometimes horribly. But I believe that so long as the driving force behind your actions is a Godly love for you child, a deep desire to see them grow into all that God has planned and to not let anything get in the way of seeing Gods plan for their lives unfold before them, even if it is themselves, then we will be able to correct any miscalculations in our course as parents.
My Dad didn’t hit us as children, or at least I can’t remember, but he had a look that stopped us dead. The mere thought or warning of this look made us behave, well it made me behave, I can’t speak for my brother. But, even that is not enough as it is an external motivator. We need to train our children to be internally motivated to what is right, so that even when everything around them is saying do this or do that, their default setting, their point of reference is an internal compass informed by what they have learnt.
A few weeks ago I wrote a blog entitled “Stop naffhousing the kids!” I had some questions regarding where is correction dealt with in the bible, so here we go.
I have been reading a book by Larry Tomczak called God, the Rod and your child’s bod, and I have been greatly encouraged and stretched and educated and, and and and…
I believe in smacking, but have been enlightened and encouraged by the fact that, it’s not really about smacking at all, it’s about biblical correction in the context of a loving relationship between parent and child. All who see and have experienced “smacking” and have become resentful, angry, disillusioned, frustrated, hurt, abused etc, must understand that their experience is not biblical correction but being at the receiving end of someone who had authority over you, expressing their idea of correction, not in love, but in hurt, retaliation and anger.
So, let’s get into it. I have taken many of the ideas below from Larry’s book, so get hold of one!
“IT’S BETTER TO BUILD CHILDREN THAN TO REPAIR MEN!”