Fathering Like the Father | Week 8

Week 8 | The Child Whisperer

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This week 5 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 53% 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 9. Next week we will be discussing holiness. This week we discussed Chapter 8 – The Child Whisperer.

We can communicate an idea around the world in seventy seconds, but it sometimes takes years for an idea to get through one-fourth inch of human skull. — Charles Kettering

Communication is not word exchange (people hurling verbs and nouns at each other) but meaning[ful] exchange. Many of the problems we face in Christian families today result in a breakdown of communication.

God says what he means and means what he says. If we as fathers want to do the same, we need three things—purpose, content, and results.

Communicate with Purpose

  • How can we communicate encouragement, comfort, and truth to our children? One way is to make sure we do not portray a distant and angry God.
  • Reflect the heavenly Father by making sure we do not squelch the unfailing love he wants to show others through us.
  • Never let present struggles detract from future blessings.

Communicate Important Content

  • Too many parents today show a tendency to worship at academic altars. We see education as the way to obtain economic power and too often we place it ahead of character development and a healthy spiritual life.
  • In Christian families, authority wraps itself in the content handed down from grandparents to parents to children.
  • When parents communicate, their children don’t have to guess what they hold true and valuable.
  • Do we communicate to our children that God is unloving, uncaring, and capricious or that God has a history of redemptive activity toward those he loves and to whom he has committed himself?

Communicate for Results

Christian dads must work to produce biblical qualities, which, like all Christian standards, tend to be counter-cultural.

Making It Work

In relation to our wives and children, there are essentially six messages in every communication:

  • what you intend to say
  • what you actually say
  • what you think you said
  • what your child (wife) wants to hear
  • what your child (wife) hears
  • what your child (wife) thinks he or she heard

Let’s take a look at some simple ways to improve your communication in the family:

  • Be courteous and considerate
  • Cultivate the practice of listening.
  • Use positive words rather than negative words if possible.
  • Give praise whenever you can.
  • Clearly demonstrate your expectation of results.
  • Listen carefully to feedback.

Questions for Discussion

  1. Evaluate your nonverbal communication (tone of voice, facial expressions, body language, etc.). Are you communicating anything negative to your children? If you’re brave enough, ask your wife about it?
  2. In what ways do you communicate God’s Word to your children? Do you have family devotions together? Do you read and memorize the Bible together?
  3. Talk about the results of parenting that you anticipate. What end product do you desire? Have you ever told your children what you hope for them?
  4. How do you provide opportunities for feedback from your children?

Father/Child Dialogue

  1. Dad, fight the statistics. Don’t be a father who spends a few shabby minutes each day with his children. Set aside a specific time (evening meal, bedtime, weekend) to talk with your kids. Ask them to give you a list of things that they would like to talk about.
  2. Kids, remember Dad is not an expert. Probably no one ever taught him to be a dad. When he makes the effort to communicate with you, try to give him more than a one-word answer. Just for fun, try asking him about his day.

Homework for 8/10

Thoughts for the week:

  • What could possibly have happened in Samuel’s adult life to cause him to reproduce Eli’s horrendous blunder with his own sons?
  • In what areas can you begin to work immediately on personal holiness?
  • Since holiness is a rather abstract concept, what things might you do differently in your life to show your children you’re trying to be holy as a reflection of
    God’s character?