Week 10 | Winning the Game
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This week 6 Pax met at Adventure Park to continue our latest book study: Fathering Like the Father. All Pax are invited and encouraged to attend. While we are now about two-thirds of the way through the book, there is no pre-requisite to jump in. Read this backblast and the attached homework and come join us next Saturday at 6:15am for Chapter 11. Next week we will be discussing faithfulness. This week we discussed:
Chapter 10 – Winning the Game
It’s easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them. — Alfred Adler
Eli’s personal life and ministry seemed beyond reproach, but he could not handle parenting, and his weakest dimension in the family arena was his failure to discipline.
1 Samuel 3:13: “For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible, and he failed to restrain them.”
Coach the Team
- In the Christian family, God ordains parental captains. Failure to understand and exercise biblical roles and responsibilities in the family creates havoc with any disciplinary structure.
- In the family, all the players may get a voice (depending on their ages), but the final decisions belong to the co-captains, the parents.
- “Do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged” (Col. 3:21).
- If a child is not required to follow the rules, he or she actually does not feel a part of the family team. In truth, the parents have withheld love by refusing to enforce their guidelines.
Be Conscious of the Fans
- As parents we need to remember that people—neighbors, friends at church, relatives, teachers, and even strangers we meet in public places—are watching our little family team.
- Discipline is a necessary component of love (Heb. 12:5–6).
- Discipline by human parents is never perfect (Heb. 12:9–10).
- Discipline always seems painful at the time but produces fruit in the end (Heb. 12:11).
- Discipline does not always mean doing things to or for our children. At times it can mean requiring them to do essential things for themselves.
Control Practice Sessions
- The difference between discipline and punishment
- Discipline Precedes Punishment
- Discipline Presupposes Punishment
- Discipline Prepares for Punishment
Making It Work
Several practical fathering behaviors flow out of our study of Hebrews 12:
- Never lose sight of sin as the ultimate culprit in a child’s negative behavior.
- Remember that the key is not perpetual success but faithful effort.
- Expect pain at the moment of punishment and look for righteousness and peace later.
- Map out a straight road for your family and get a grip on those feeble arms and weak knees (v. 12).
- Don’t give up on spiritually lame children (v. 13).
Questions for Discussion
- In what specific ways can Christian parents develop orderly disciplined patterns with young children? With young teens? With older teens??
- Do you believe in physical punishment? What forms are most helpful? How do you handle the various biblical texts (notably Proverbs) that seem to affirm the value of physical punishment?
- Why is it important for husband and wife to present a united front in dealing with the matters of discipline and punishment? How can they best do that?
- Dad, tell your kids about the disciplinary measures your parents used and why they were effective or ineffective. Be sure to do it without putting Grandma and Grandpa in a bad light.
- Kids, think about one way your dad disciplines you. Tell him how that discipline helps you obey.
Homework for 8/24
- Chapter 11 | Find us Faithful
- Father / Child Dialogue
Thoughts for the week:
- In which of the three areas (leading, loving, learning) do you feel your faithfulness is the strongest? How about the weakest?
- Make a list of the areas in your life in which you might be (or have been) tempted to be unfaithful?
- What might you need to change in your life to more effectively teach your wife and children?