Fathering Like the Father | Week 10

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

  1. In what specific ways can Christian parents develop orderly disciplined patterns with young children? With young teens? With older teens??
  2. 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?
  3. 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?

Father/Child Dialogue

  1. 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.
  2. Kids, think about one way your dad disciplines you. Tell him how that discipline helps you obey.

Homework for 8/24

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?