Session 4: The Father’s Mandate
In this all-important session, fathers are shown what their God-given role is in the family. We learnt that the only legitimate benchmark measuring the relationship with our children is the quality and quantity of TRUST our children have in us. Spending quality and quantity time with our children is not the primary goal; it is only the means to take us to our goal of developing a trusting relationship with our children.
A total of 8 non-negotiable imperatives for the father are identified:
- Cultivating a sense of family identity: We need to form a family identity so strong that it not only shows who you are in your family. More importantly, the world will see God through our family (as God put us together for the purpose of representing Him to the world).
- Loving your wife: The best gift a father can give to their children is to love the wife (as loving your wife is a prerequisite to building trust with your children).
- Understanding and respecting your children’s private world, an inner world that is constantly developing and changing. Grasp the “open window” as you listen with your heart and mind should they invite you into their private world.
- Giving your child the freedom to fail: Look at failures as the first steps to success. The child who fears failing actually fears disappointing Dad and Mom. Assure your children failure is acceptable, as it teaches us to learn from our mistakes. They need to know that we too have failed and can share in their feelings of hurt and disappointment.
- Encouraging your child: An encouraging remark vs. An encouraging father. Real encouragement flows out of a relationship built on trust. Write letters and notes to them.
- Guarding your tongue and tone: Learn to measure your response against the excitement on their faces. If we fail our kids in their moments of discovery, we not only lose the moment, we lose our children’s sense of security and trust in knowing that they can share life with Dad and Mom.
- Embracing your children frequently: Neither time, age nor gender should limit a father’s touch. Do not starve your children from affection. Mom’s hands are comforting, but Dad’s hands translates security.
- Building trust on God’s Word: Trust cannot be separated from truth. Without biblical truth, the family has no ultimate meaning or direction.
In conclusion, what is the father’s mandate? To rightly reflect the truth of God, to develop a relationship of trust with his children based on that truth, and to communicate with his children the biblical message of salvation through Jesus Christ.
I came out of the conference room at the end of the meaningful session, went in search for my little one, and found her sitting on a bench in the Fellowship Hall, enjoying a birthday brownie. She had chocolate fudge smeared on parts of her flawless beautiful face. I looked at her and can’t wait to embrace her, and tell her how much I love her… for she is one precious gift from God, who entrusts her care to J and me. I take delight in how wonderful J is as a father to our little one. We shared and talked through this chapter together and prayed for God’s leading and guidance.
May we be worthy parents to Little E, as we partner with God in the parenting care and guidance of our precious little one.