THE IMPORTANCE OF A FATHER
Have you ever noticed that Mother can say something again and again but the kids seem to blow it off? However, if Dad says the same thing, they hop-to-it and get it done! Hmmmm...why is that? When a father speaks there is a natural, God given authority that goes with it and children sub-consciously respond accordingly. That is why it is so very important for a father to be present in a family and to focus on building a strong heart tie with each child.
A father gives strength to protective boundaries. And mothers you should not fight this if you think he is not up to date with modern fashion. You do not know the temptations that may attack your child through our clever Enemy but God does and He gave your child the father they need with that in mind.
However, fathers, there are some important issues you must address if you want to raise successful children who are an honor to your name. So let's talk about Honor. Yes, you must expect and require that your children honor you. It brings the promise of long life to them (Exodus 20:12) but you must also show honor to your children in order to keep their hearts. Let them know you honor their maturity as they become teens and you look forward to the time when you can send them out on their own and call them friends. Honor and compliment any evidences of good character such as honesty, dependability, compassion, protection of the weak or aged, hard work and endurance in tough times etc.
You must teach them the blessing and great responsibility of Headship. That is, making decisions that benefit all whom I am called to lead, not just myself and my interests. You must be an example of one who disciples them and others by coming along side them and training and encouraging them in their development.
This all requires an acute focus on timing and rhythm. Break big jobs into pieces so as not to bring discouragement, frustration and bitter anger as Ephesians 6:4 tells fathers to do. Watch for tiredness or hormonal issues and back off a little at that time. Remember, teen boys have hormonal highs and lows as well as girls. Watch to catch their attention or curiosity before dealing with important issues.
Just move them even one step off of square one and praise their movement, attitudes or accomplishment. One step will be followed by another and another if they believe there is reward in the movement. One percent positive change per day times one hundred days equals one hundred percent change. Peace and warmth of fellowship is the greatest reward we all look for. So make that very evident whatever it costs you at the time.
Teens especially need the strength and investment of a father but little ones may act out if Daddy hasn't invested much time or heart connection as well. If you have a child at any age who is acting out then evaluate if there is too much emotional or time distance between you and that child. Stepfathers can do this just as well as birth fathers if they will put out the effort. And Moms, if you have a problem with what a stepfather is doing with your child, if you feel he is too strict or too stand-offish, take him aside and discuss it where the kids can't hear until you work out a plan you are both comfortable with. Remember you and your children may need more structure than you think so give "Dad" a chance to prove that his input in his way is valuable. And show a solidarity of plan and purpose between you to the children.