Fathering Like the Father | Week 2

Week 2 | Make ‘Em Laugh

Weather | 87° F | Humidity 69% | Wind: 6mph W

This week 7 Pax met at Adventure Park to continue our latest book study: Fathering Like the Father. All Pax are invited and encouraged to attend. We have only read the first chapter. The first 2 chapters are included in the backblasts so you can catch up easily. The reading assignment was Chapter 1 – Make ‘Em Laugh.

A man with a sense of humor doesn’t make jokes out of life; he merely recognizes the ones that are there. — Nuggets

Even the most serious moments in parenting can erupt in laughter when kids are involved. God wants us to have fun fathering, because he has always fathered his children with a sense of humor and with a desire to see their lives filled with his joy.

God’s Sense of Humor

  • Abraham
    • “You will be the father of many nations” (Gen. 17:4)
    • ‘Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?’ (v. 17)
    • God said “call him Isaac” (v. 19), a name that means “he laughs.”
  • Manna
    • Shortly after the amazing Red Sea miracle, the people complained about the lack of food (Exodus 16).
    • God responded creatively. He rained the bread down on them!
    • “Some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell” (v. 20)
  • Balaam and his donkey (Num. 22:21–33)
    • God opened the donkey’s mouth, and she spoke to Balaam.
    • What’s even more outrageous is that Balaam talked back!

God’s Joyful Family

  • God does not always act in humorous ways, but he does want his children to experience joy and happiness in living with him.
  • “May the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful” (Ps. 68:3).
  • If God acts to fill his spiritual family with laughter and joy, shouldn’t earthly fathers plan and purpose to bring such qualities to their physical families?

Jacob’s Sad Story

  • “Now Israel (Jacob) loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made a richly ornamented robe for him” (Gen. 37:3)
  • Jacob showed favoritism. That sin bred a household filled with bitterness and hate.
  • They sold him as a slave to a caravan of Ishmaelites on their way to Egypt.
  • A deep fog of sadness and bitterness descended on this household, and father Jacob wrapped himself in it and would not let go.
  • Thankfully, God restored joy to this family by reuniting them in Egypt.

Our Humorous Home Life

How can we fathers inject a healthy measure of humor and joy into our family life?

  • Be with Your Kids
    • Intentionally enter their world.
    • Try joining them in even the simple and mundane tasks of life
    • Vacations can provide some of the best opportunities for us to be with our kids.
  • Play with Your Kids
    • Many adults lose the art of play in the hustle and bustle of adulthood
    • It begins with the most simple games like peek-a-boo and hide-and-seek.
    • Crawling-on-the-floor games usually progress to safer on-the-table games as kids grow up.
    • As our children grow, we often add sports to the games. Children appreciate any sincere effort to join them in their sports world.
  • Laugh with Your Kids
    • It doesn’t take much effort to make most children laugh.
    • A funny face, a silly song, a crazy story, or a wacky voice can paint a wide smile on any child.
    • Don’t wait for joy to come knocking on your family’s door; bring it home with you and give it to those who love you most.

Making It Work

  • If your joy has disappeared and you find yourself in a state of deep discouragement or depression, please seek godly counsel from a pastor or Christian counselor.
  • If the smiles and laughter of God’s joy have just fallen prey to the tyranny of busyness and work, then reevaluate your priorities and ask God to restore your sense of humor.
  • If you appreciate the value of humor in the home but have simply neglected to jump-start that joy, then go home and wrestle with your kids or find a funny story to read to them.
  • If you regularly inject your children with a strong dose of loving laughter, then thank God for his joy and pass it on to another family that may need the encouragement.

Questions for Discussion

  1. Can you think of any other times in the Bible when God dealt humorously with his children?
  2. How might you interject some joy and humor into the training and discipline of your children?
  3. Why did Jacob’s family have so little joy?
  4. Discuss some specific ways you play and laugh with your children.

Father/Child Dialogue

  1. Dad, tell your kids some funny stories from your childhood. What made you laugh back then? What gives you the most joy now?
  2. Kids, tell your dad what makes you laugh. Talk about the most fun you’ve had with your dad. Is there something fun you would like to do with your dad? Tell him!

Homework for 6/29

Thoughts for the week:

  • What are some examples of God’s mercy and grace in his relationship with the children of Israel?
  • What factors/issues in Saul’s life squelched his ability to show mercy and grace?
  • When does legalism most often rear its ugly head in our fathering?
  • When does license most often become the easy way out for fathers?