Parenting is a demanding job. Even though most people are a parent at some time in their life, they are not pre-qualified or trained beforehand. Most parents only get on-the-job training.
New moms and dads are fortunate if they have strong relationships with parents who can guide them, or if they are part of a church that offers parenting guidance. I am going to write some articles this year to help parents. First, help for dads.
Dads have a unique role to play in the lives of their children. If he shirks this responsibility his children pay a price and if he accepts the opportunity his children are blessed. Dads can bless their children in many ways, but one of the most significant is in giving them spiritual training.
The highest priority is to set an example as a spiritual person. If children see their dads reading their Bible, worshiping Christ, and serving in their church, they learn that he is serious about his faith. Too often, moms end up taking children to church on their own and dads attend only occasionally, or not at all. It is not enough to say that the Bible is important, it must be demonstrated with action. Though children can be fooled for a while, eventually they will realize what is important to their father.
Even being spiritual is not enough. While dads should want to help their children be successful adults, it is more important for them to be Christ-followers. We only have this lifetime to believe in Christ so that we will be able to spend eternity with Him. We cannot force our children to follow Christ, so dads must both teach them the Bible and live in a way that compels them to follow Him. The only way to do this is to follow Christ ourselves. Peter wrote, “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps” (1 Peter 2:21).