A Father Foundation
Fathers often get a bad rap in our culture. We hear things like deadbeat dad and papa was a rolling stone. There are some who question the necessity of fathers beyond fertilization. But the truth is that fathers have a great impact on their children. Researchers have found that father-child contact is associated with better social, emotional, and academic functioning. The results indicated that children with more involved fathers experienced fewer behavioral problems and scored higher on reading achievement. Fathers help to advance vocabulary development, cognitive development and positive social skills. Spiritually, the faithfulness of fathers to the church is a great predictor of the faithfulness of children. Greater than even the faithfulness of the mother.
In Ephesians 6 and Colossians 3, fathers are instructed not to interact with our children in a way where anger becomes their habit or prevailing attitude. In Ephesians 6:1, children are told to obey their parents and honor their father and mother. To honor is to ascribe value to and to treat someone based on the value that you give to them. As fathers, we have an impact on the ease in which our children obey and honor us. How we treat our children should motivate them to honor us and make it easy for them to obey us.
Fathers should be encouragers of our children. Whenever possible, encouragement should follow prohibition. Instead of leaving it at what our children can’t do, let’s open their eyes to what all they can do. Expand their thinking by showing them the possibilities. Our instructions to our children must be consistent with the word of God.
Learning Christ and being instructed in the truth that is in Jesus occur not only within the church as a whole, but also and particularly within the family, coming from fathers whose lives are being shaped by Christ and the Word of God. Fathers need a relationship with God if they are going to be in a position to encourage their children to have a relationship with God.
Fathers, bring up your children. Give them a biblical value system. Bring them up by instilling sound principles of the Christian life in them, training them to have good habits, cautioning them and protecting against moral dangers, encouraging prayer, Bible-reading, attending worship. Deal with them prayerfully so that they will become devoted followers of Jesus.
 O’Brien, P. T. (1999). The letter to the Ephesians (pp. 446–447). Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
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Minister Ross' creativity, wisdom, and insight have inspired community, church and corporate audiences throughout the United States.