Highlights from the 6 Basics

1. PROVIDE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AND AFFECTION

  • This is the starting point because there is where God begins with us: He loves us no matter what we have done – no matter how badly we screw up.
  • Children have a deep desire to hear from their dad that he loves them – to know this in their heart of hearts.
  • A lack of unconditional parental love is the #1 cause of low self image for teenagers and low self image is the common root of every tragic teen problem.
    How teens form self image: Two most powerful factors: #1 close relationship with father #2 spending a lot of time with dad.
  • SO you can really help keep your kids out of trouble by providing them your unconditional love and spend time with them.

2. SPEND T-I-M-E

  • What dads cite as their #1 obstacle to being a Great Dad.
  • 1500 school children asked: What makes a happy family? “doing things together”.
  • 37 and 35 seconds is average time dads spent with preschoolers one on one each day – kids spend at least 30 hours with video images of dads and males – Thus, children spend at least 10 times as much time with these video images as their own dad.
  • Practical tip: 5 second drill – When a child wants your attention, before answering yes or no, just look into their eyes for 5 seconds and then answer.
  • Fun activities: traditions, birthday parties, reading time, get into child’s interest area, give them a half day – and say to them, “you choose”.
  • Balancing work and family: follow your heart.

3. COMMUNICATE CONSTANTLY AND CREATIVELY

  • Send your kids “love notes” – brief notes expressing your love and concern for them and just showing them you are thinking about them.
  • Ask them what they are doing, how they are doing, what their interests are, friends, etc – in short, be interested in their world.
  • Share yourself – what’s on you heart, lessons you have learned from mistakes of the past, your dreams for the future.
  • Hold family meetings – can be Sunday afternoon or early evening – close with each family member praying.

4. PARTNER WITH MOM

  • If married, stay married – this is what God wants and it is what children want.
  • If you are divorced or separated, partner with your former spouse – always set aside your personal differences to keep the well being of the children first and foremost.
  • Always view marriage as a three way partnership: picture you and your wife at each corner of the base of a triangle and God at the top. Now as you and your wife draw closer to God, he will be drawing the two of you closer together.

5. INSTILL MORAL AND SPIRITUAL VALUES

  • Kids need solid values to live by and they desire to have them as a guide.
  • State of values: postmodern relativism – no standard of absolute truth despite the fact that the Bible is truth and in the Bible, Jesus says “I am the truth” (John 14:6). 80% or more of youth buy into this. Real world difference? These children are 2 times more likely to be angry with life, resentful, lack purpose, and steal, 3 times more likely to use drugs, and 6 times more likely to commit suicide.
  • Challenge as dads: child learns right from wrong from father .
  • 4 facets to each person: physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual. As dad, should be concerned with their development in each area. Beware of building an intellectual mansion on spiritual quicksand. Child can go to best college but when first real crisis hits, come crashing down because of weak spiritual foundation.
  • Commit personally to instill moral and spiritual values into your child.
  • Pray FOR your kids and pray WITH your kids.
  • Forgiveness was emphasized by Jesus – see the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15. Consider whether you need to forgive or to seek forgiveness.
  • If you suffer from a father wound, begin the healing process by forgiving yourfather.
  • Seek forgiveness from your wife and/or children for a serious past wrong – go to them with a broken heart “Without forgiveness, life is governed by an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation.” Kill this cycle now, by asking for your child’s,or your wife’s, forgiveness.

6. ESTABLISH YOUR FATHERING LEGACY

  • You can make a really positive difference in this world through the positive fathering legacy you can leave.
  • This will seriously impact the lives of not only your children, but your grandchildren and down through the generations as they reflect the values you have left them through your legacy.
  • Children say they want four basic things in a fathering legacy: values and faith, love and affection, good communication, a lifestyle worthy of emulation.
  • Begin establishing the legacy you want to leave NOW – you do not know how much time either you or your child has on this earth.
  • Dad, invest your life in that which will last. Only two things are eternal: the Wordof God and people, so invest in your children.
  • You will be well rewarded when someday you look into the eyes of your Savior and hear him say, “Well done good and faithful servant. I call many people to different tasks, but I called you to be a father and gave you these children and you raised them wonderfully”.
  • Write down the fathering legacy you want to leave right now – and then LIVE IT with all that you have for the rest of your fathering journey.