Fathering Like the Father | Week 6

Week 6 | Truth or Consequences

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This week 8 Pax met at Adventure Park and 1 HIM called in remotely (while going through TSA at the airport, talk about commitment!) to continue our latest book study: Fathering Like the Father. All Pax are invited and encouraged to attend. While we are now about 40% 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 7. Next week we will be discussing friendship and its characteristics. This week we discussed Chapter 6 – Truth or Consequences.

Truth is always strong, no matter how weak it looks, and falsehood is always weak, no matter how strong it looks. — Phillips Brooks

We heard a story about a guy who showed his buddy the beautiful diamond ring he had bought his girlfriend for her birthday. The friend looked shocked and asked, “I thought she wanted a four-wheel-drive vehicle.”

“That’s right,” he said, “but where am I going to find a fake jeep?”

The covenant of marriage is the very bedrock of family life.

Friend and Fabricator

  • The Bible calls Abram a friend of God (Isa. 41:8; James 2:23).
  • We learn from this great man that even godly people whose faith seems to radiate from their behavior are often tempted to tell less than the truth.
  • Someone has argued that the best evidence for Christianity is Christians themselves—imperfect, sinful, broken people into whose lives God has brought forgiveness and restoration.
  • Our authenticity begins at home but carries over into our tasks at church.

Combating the Culture

  • We live in a society whose people say whatever seems appropriate at the time.
  • Complete carelessness in speaking and writing mark our culture.
  • Careless Headlines:
    • British Study Finds Less Traffic When Roads Close
    • New Electric Car Would Run on Gasoline
    • Suicide Bomber Strikes Again
    • Retirement Will Be Cheaper If You Spend Less
    • Psychics Predict World Didn’t End Yesterday
    • Queen Mary Having Bottom Scraped
  • God needs men who will stand up and tell the truth—clearly, consistently, courageously—even when it may be harmful to them.
  • Television is a prime source of truth decay.
  • Our culture radiates a shabby understanding of and commitment to core values.
  • If television and marketing determine our kids’ values and behavior, the battle for truth has ended and we have lost.

Triumphing through Truth

  • Winning the battle for your family requires three things: truth-learning, truth-living, and truth-teaching.
  • Truth Learning: Your careful and consistent involvement at church, your personal Bible study, your practice of spiritual disciplines such as prayer and meditation form the process of truth-learning in your life.
  • Truth Living: Authenticity. Your family should be able to see and experience truth through you.
  • Truth Teaching: Reflecting God’s truth in your family.
    • Even a child of four knows the difference between lies and truth, and breaking the vase becomes a minor incident compared to the lie.
    • Dads who teach God’s Word to children must have adequate preparation.
    • Dads who do not know God’s Word and do not prepare for truth-teaching will find themselves inadequate and frustrated when trying to carry out their God-given commands and responsibilities.

Making It Work

  • Make a commitment to always tell the truth to your wife and your children. Voice that commitment to them.
  • In your family discipline patterns, lay down some serious consequences for lying. Make a clear distinction between childish mistakes and intentional lies.
  • Communicate with your kids so that you can contradict errors your children may collect in the general business of living—the science teacher at school who mocks the idea of creation; a friend who brags about how much he gets away with because his parents don’t know; the temptation to cheat on a test to keep up with the academic pressures at school. These are teachable moments for godly parents who want to become triumphant truth-teachers.
  • Don’t get discouraged. Every parent fails with discouraging regularity. Urban Hilger, president of the Dalmo-Victor division of the Singer Company, tells about his first day on the ski slopes. He skied all day long and didn’t fall once, so he proudly announced that achievement to his instructor at the end of the day. The instructor’s response shocked Hilger: “Personally, Urban, I think you had a lousy day. If you’re not falling, you’re not learning.”

Questions for Discussion

  1. Think about a “wooden hanger” incident in your life. How did your parents teach you that lying is unacceptable?
  2. What issues are active in your children’s lives right now that could impinge on their ability to reflect God’s character of truth? How can you help them resolve those issues?
  3. Talk about some ways you can improve on your truth-learning. Could you do more serious Bible study, take notes during the pastor’s sermon, read about the truth distortion in contemporary culture?

Father/Child Dialogue

  1. Dad, during some peaceful family time when no discipline or punishment issues appear on the agenda, talk to your children about truth and how important it is to God and to you.
  2. Kids, think about any dishonesty that may be going on in your life right now, not necessarily a lie that you’ve told but perhaps something hidden from your parents that you know they really should hear about. Sometimes we call this “lying by just keeping quiet.”

Homework for 7/27

Thoughts for the week:

  • Why do you think God initiated a friendship with Abraham? Why did Jesus initiate a friendship with his disciples?
  • In your opinion, why are there not more Bible characters called friends of God?
  • Of the four characteristics of friendship presented in this chapter (attitude, presence, togetherness, love), which one needs your greatest attention?
  • Does your relationship (friendship) with your children need to be repaired in any way or tuned up just a bit? What can you do about it?