As we continue Part II of our series on The Impact of Prayer and The Family –we want to highlight the important role that fathers have on their children and our need to keep them lifted in prayer! This segment will focus on the fathers’ influence over their children and starting the tradition of praying as a family.
Last week, many of us saluted fathers everywhere on Father’s Day with nice gestures, congratulatory words, extra hugs, special meals, and gifts of gratitude. Now that the hoopla has died down – and we’re settling back into our regular routines – we want to round out this month of June by continuing our emphasis on fathers.
As a matter of fact, we want to highlight the influence that fathers have on molding their kids’ young minds. This is true even at a young age. For example, although they can’t comprehend, babies watch us – and mimic gestures like smiling, sticking out tongue, clapping, etc. By the time kids are toddlers, they can “feel” the love of their parents, and, many begin to develop a “strong sense of self” (good or bad) based on instructions and direction. In most instances, children can understand directions and respond based on cues from their parents. By the pre-teen years, children can fully comprehend age-appropriate conversations and make independent decisions. The foundation of it all is what they learn at home from their parents - their most important influencers in their lives.
Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.
Special Bonds With Dads are an Understated Truth
Being a father is more than just fathering a child! Being a good father requires loving your children unconditionally, taking care of their physical needs, spending quality time with them, being emotionally and physically present, protecting them, directing them, and imparting practical and spiritual wisdom into them. God has entrusted earthly fathers to love their children and teach them the way of the Lord through being good examples and living a life of integrity and honor according to his Word.
It goes without saying that moms have a special bond with their children. That is a truth that no one can dispute. But fathers, too, have special - dare we say - understated - relationships and bonds that are not easily broken. How many stories have we heard about little girls looking up to their fathers – for love, validation and protection – and how the presence of, or lack thereof, a father impacted her self-esteem as she developed into womanhood? Or, similarly, stories about the positive roles that dads played in guiding their sons down the right path by doing simple things like attending sporting events when they were young and being there to ask advice of – or, conversely, the negative impacts when dads were absent. Fathers – know that your children NEED YOU and WANT YOU in their lives. Your presence will make all the difference in the day-to-day choices they make, the way they think, and who they ultimately become as adults!
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Prayer Is a Gift That Keeps On Giving!
We pray that dads everywhere will take your journey seriously and recognize the blessing that is your children! Take your direction from the Lord as to how you raise your children! While it’s nice to give them material possessions, the greatest thing you can give them is yourself.
Fathers, we encourage you to be living examples for your children ~ and show them AND teach them through your your lives about God! Teach them how to pray. Pray with them. Pray for them. Pray over them. Pray that they continue to grow in their relationship with God. Pray that they make good decisions based on what you’ve instilled in them. And, pray that God gives YOU everything you need to be a successful father.
Fatherhood is a tough job – but you can do it! Remember, you have a special role. God never gives us more than we can handle! We salute you and we pray for fathers everywhere.
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