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It doesn’t take lots of money, or superpowers to be a great dad.  With God’s help, any ordinary man can be a great dad. 

We are blessed with some amazing Dads at Ordinary Faith. Today we have asked a few, who have “been there” to share some of their wisdom. Their faith journeys are a great source of needed courage for all of us.

The First Thing To Get Right Is That A Good Dad Loves His Wife – Johnnie Dillman

Ephesians 5:28 (NLT) In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself.

The Best Dads Deeply Love Their Children’s Mother. It takes a good husband to be a good dad. Make sure that you take the time to do things as a couple. Enjoy dinner together. Talk about everything. Remember that you were married to be a couple, not two singles. Spending time with the guys is one thing, but never at the expense of your marriage.

Let Your Children See Your Love For Her. Those dinners with the entire family are a great way to show your children you love for their mother. As you talk about things, these are opportunities to teach sons how a woman is to be honored and respected. It is a chance for daughters to learn that women are honorable and treasured.

And remember, loving your wife often looks like work. It’s serving her, protecting her, and treasuring her. Of course, sometimes that looks like washing dishes or clothes and vacuuming carpets.

1 Peter 3:7 (NLT) In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.

Keep Together With Jesus. Every successful couple is really a party of three, a husband, a wife, and Jesus. Keep Him at the center and things will be much better.

You Won’t Always Get It Right, But You Can Always Get Back Up. – Allen Smith

Something we often say at Ordinary Faith is that “The Bible Is Our Guide”. So, if we are to learn to be good dads we need to start with the Dads we see in the Bible. Even though Jesus was not a Father, He had a Father.

Matthew 3:17 (NLT) And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”

Jesus spent a lot of time with His Father before He came to earth, but He also spent time with Him here. There are many examples but Luke 6:12 captures the idea well.

Luke 6:12 (NLT) One day soon afterward Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night. 

Dads, You Have To Spend Time With Your Children. Teach them, let them see how you do things, let them see how you relate with other people, and make memories with them. Let them see you representing Christ in the world and in their lives. You might not always get it right! After all, we are sinners, even dads. When we go our own way we need to repent, ask for God’s forgiveness, and if appropriate, talk to our children about our failures.

The Second Father Is The Father Of The Prodigal Son. (Luke 15:11-24) The story is of a son that wants his portion of his father’s estate before the father dies. The young man’s choices led him to a very low place. There he remembered his father and came up with a plan to repent and ask for forgiveness. He realized it was not just against his father he sinned but against God. His father’s reaction to the son’s return is incredible.

Luke 15:23-24 (NLT) We must celebrate with a feast, 24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.

So Dads, No Matter What Your Child Does Never Quit Loving Them. You don’t have to approve of everything your children are doing. You can tell them in a loving way, if possible. But, never end the conversation or relationship with your children. If you, or they, get angry, try to remember that God never gives up on us and never stops loving us. Paul’s advice was…

Ephesians 6:4 (NLT) Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.

Remember that God gave each of us a free will, and that includes our children. They might not live their lives the way we want them to, or the way God wants them to. But, their actions don’t change ours. Love them, pray for them, and in Jesus’ power, be the best example you can.

The Heart of the Matter May Be a Matter of the Heart – John Orr

Why do our children, young or adult, refuse our help or advice? Is it because they are: prideful, resentful, untrusting, don’t care, don’t listen, don’t understand, or they actually have a better idea? These are outward, visible attitudes but are hard to deal with if you don’t know the underlying cause. The heart of the matter may be the matter of the heart.

We fathers and mothers need desperately to connect to the hearts of our children the same way that God connects with our hearts.  They are sinners and are disobedient just like we were and still are at times.  They need the same tender saving grace that we received. God disciplines us with tender loving care, not with a fear based approach.  

Colossians 3:21 (NASB) Fathers do not exasperate your children, so they will not lose heart”.             

Grace is key. A grace based approach will allow them to have the freedom to be vulnerable, to be candid, to make mistakes and to be different. You want them to confide in you without fear.  God allows us to approach Him in His throne without terrifying fear. 

Hebrews 4:16 (NASB) Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

They will open up to you with their underlying troubles if they trust you.        

What makes your children tick? To find out the underlying issues of our children we need to be curious about their heart condition, their thoughts and ideas:  What do they love to do?  What are they afraid of, etc?  Who do they spend time with and who do they avoid? How do they relate to God?  Know their heart.       

We need to show them we appreciate them for who they are. Honor them, spend time with them, play with them, hug them, cry with them, coach them, lead them.  We also need to teach them God’s precepts and commandments.

Ephesians 6:4 (AMPC) “Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger, but rear them tenderly in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord”.

Talk About It… 

  • How could a husband honor and treasure his wife in the presence of their children? 
  • How could a wife help her husband with this?
  • What are some simple ways a couple could prioritize their relationship above all others? 
  • What are some simple ways a couple could keep Jesus “in the center” of their marriage?
  • Share a story of a good time spent with your father? Brainstorm some ideas for quality father time with children.
  • Discuss some healthy ways to hold on to our relationship with our children. Share the challenges of relationships with adult children. Pray for each other’s children for a time.
  • Are there ways that we frustrate our children? How do we do that? How could we fix that?
  • What are some simple things we can do to get to know our children better?
  • What are some things you could do with this message? What are some things you could share with someone from this message? 

For The Kids

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    • There are activity sheets in the teacher pack.