Monthly Archives: April 2011

A Band of Brother Week 7

The Battle for Your Kids (Eph 6)

Statistics: Godly Fathers are an Endangered Species

  • More than half (59%) of all children born in the 1990’s will spend part or all of their childhood in a single-parent home.
  • 33% of all children born in 2000 were born to unmarried mothers.  This figure was just 4% in 1940.  This represents a 776% increase in just 60 years.
  • 57% of teens say that they are emotionally close to their mothers, while only 39% say that they are emotionally close to their fathers.
  • Half of all children who do not live with their fathers have never even stepped foot in their father’s home.
  • On the average, America’s fathers give their children three minutes of undivided attention each day.

Statistics: Fathers Make a Difference

  • Kids raised in single parent homes complete fewer years of schooling, are more likely to commit criminal acts, and are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs than kids from traditional families.
  • 72% of adolescent murderers grew up without fathers.
  • 66% of all High School dropouts grew up without fathers.
  • Girls without fathers are 111% more likely to become pregnant as teenagers and 92% more likely to get a divorce.
  • 75% of all teen suicides are from broken families.          
  • Children between the ages of 5 and 13 have a 32% probability of accepting Jesus Christ as their savior; the probability of accepting Christ drops to 4% for those who are between the ages of 14 and 18; those older than 18 have a 6% probability of accepting Jesus Christ as their savior.

Introduction:

  • We have moved from Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best to My Two Dads and The Simpsons.
  • The problem is that happiness in Hollywood last about as long as the flavor of the gum at the center of a Tootsie role Tootsie pop.
  • Many do not understand God as Father because they only know an absent or bad father.
  • Eph 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
  • Duet 6:7-9 provides additional instruction for Fathers. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
  1. Godly Fathers are Responsible

Thoughts from the Text:

  • Paul has changed his wording from “parents” in verse 1 to “father and mother” in verse 2 and then here he moves to addressing the “father” who is ultimately responsible.
  • We must teach our children what God has done lest they forsake Him.
  • Teaching about God must be part of who we are and a conscious effort daily.

Application to your life:

  • What have or can you use in everyday life to teach your children about God?
  • Do your house decorations, artwork, clothing, or other visible items keep God before your family?
  • If you don’t have kids or are passed that stage, could you be a father figure for someone who does not have that role model?

2. Godly Fathers are Reasonable

Thoughts from the Text:

  • We can provoke our children by being absent. Perhaps David’s neglect of Absalom by not seeing him for two years let to his rebellion (2 Sam 14:28).
  • We can provoke our children by inconsistency or legalism when enforcing the rules.
  • We can provoke our children by not keeping our word or by lying to them.
  • We can provoke our children by being angry or by being discouraging.
  • We can provoke our children by refusing to let them go.
  • We can provoke our children through favoritism. Remember Jacob and Esau; and also Joseph.

Application to your life:

  • Do you make a conscious effort to spend quality time with your kids? Have you planned some memorable trips instead of just giving gifts?
  • Do you show favoritism or discourage your kids rather than encouraging them to do great things for God?
  • As this relationship changes over time, have you changed to allow your children to flourish on their own?

3. Godly Fathers are Reliable

Thoughts from the Text:

  • We are to rear our children in discipline, and it is the Father’s job to discipline.
  • Discipline teaches a child that actions have consequences and that we will all one day stand judgment.
  • We are to rear our children with instruction.
  • Instruction teaches a child who God is and how to love and obey Him.

Application to your life:

  • Are you clear with your rules and consistent in enforcing discipline with your children?
  • Do you discipline out of anger or with the bigger picture in mind?
  • Do you take every opportunity to teach your kids about God? What are some natural occurrences that you can use to have spiritual conversations?

 

Dear God, my little boy of three

Has said his nightly prayer to Thee.

Before his eyes were closed in sleep

He asked that Thou his soul would keep.

And I still kneeling at his bed,

My hand upon his tousled head,

Do ask with deep humility

That thou, dear Lord, remember me.

Make me kind, Lord, a worthy dad,

That I may lead this little lad

In pathways ever fair and bright

That I may keep his steps aright.

Oh, God, his trust must never be

Destroyed or ever marred by me.

So, for the simple things I prayed,

With childish voice so unafraid.

I trembling ask

The same from thee

            Dear Lord, kind Lord,

Remember me.

 (“A Father’ s Prayer,” anonymous)

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