Posted by: Joe Palmer | June 25, 2009

A Father Changes Everything


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A Father Changes Everything

By Joe Palmer

Being a father can be discouraging. When you see a football player on T.V. he always says, “Hi Mom.” He doesn’t usually mention dad. Father’s day was,and is such an afterthought that when it was originally conceived it was laughed at. Compared to our other holidays, Father’s day is one of the least significant holidays, in regards to the attention we give it.

We might begin to think that our role isn’t important but consider this.

Children from a fatherless home are:
-5 times more likely to commit suicide
-32 times more likely to run away
-20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders
-14 times more likely to commit rape
-9 times more likely to drop out of school
-10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances
-9 times more likely to end up in a state operated institution
-20 times more likely to end up in prison

Tonight, 40% of all American children will go to sleep in a house in which their fathers do not live. Before the age of eighteen, more than 50% of our children will spend a significant portion of their childhood living apart from their fathers. A generation ago, an American child could reasonably expect to grow up with a dad. Today, an American child can reasonably expect not to. Being Fatherless is the most harmful demographic trend in this generation. David Blankenhorn, Fatherless America: Confronting Our Most Urgent Social Problem (New York, New York: BasicBooks, 1995) pp.1-2.

Abilene Christian University researchers, Dr. David Lewis and Dr. Carley Dodd have recently concluded a cross-generational study (six different tests) to measure fathers’ positive and negative influences upon teens’ spirituality. They found that every time the father’s role as teacher came out be the most important predictor.” Among other top predictors of adolescent spiritual maturity, as related to dad, were his: commitment to Christ, spiritual well-being, prayer life, boldness in discussing issues of faith, genuineness and emotional closeness.

Let’s review that again. Fathers you change everything by your spiritual influence. According to Dodd and Lewis the things that you can do to impact your kids are.

• Teach them
• Display commitment to Christ in your own life.
• Take care of your own Spiritual well-being.
• Keep a strong prayer life.
• Be bold in talking about issues of faith.
• Display genuineness and emotional closeness.

This research backs up other research done in churches and what we all know: kids respond to what they hear, and see lived out before them. This is also exactly what God tells us to do to be good fathers.

God chose Abraham to start a nation. Interestingly God tells us why he chose him over all other men. God says in Gen 18:19 “For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”

God chose him to be a spiritual leader of his family. He wants you to be the spiritual leader of your family. But how do we do that. Most people think they have to come up with some great plan, program, or tool to help them train their children. Interestingly God instructed the Hebrew fathers in the law how to train their children. He said, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

The Israelites took these words and made them into a prayer called the Shema. They recited it twice a day along with other verses. This was their daily way of worshiping God. Consider what this scripture that was engrained into the mind of every faithful Hebrew father said. It taught him how to be a good father and lead his children to serve God. Not by some program or system of study, but by teaching their children to remember God and honor him throughout the day.

When did God want them to talk about him? When they were sitting at home or walking down a road. He wanted them to get up in the morning teaching the children about God and to go to bed at night teaching children about God. He wanted the word of God to be a part of their home and life in a visible way. You see God knew that children learn at teachable moments. They needed to see that having a relationship with God is a daily thing, not just for special worship times.

God told these fathers in regards to the law to “Impress them on your children.” Impress means to stamp. It comes from repeatedly being taught a lesson. In the New Testament we as fathers are told, “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4

Fathers remember you change everything for your child. You are the one that God expects to make a difference in their life. God wants you stand between them and the world’s influence.

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Responses

  1. Great article.

  2. Great post Bro!..Eye opening info. Our task as Fathers is not to be taken lighty. Thanks for the challenge..

    Trent

  3. Hi there Joe! Great Post! Say, I attended Crowley’s Ridge Academy in the 3rd and 4th grade, that is, from the fall of 1958 to the spring of 1960. My 4th grade teacher was Miss Della Ozee. She began teaching in the year 1898, if memory serves me correctly. My sister went to Crowley’s Ridge College for a while in the mid 70’s.

  4. […] A Father Changes Everything By Joe Palmer Being a father can be discouraging. When you see a football player on T.V. he always says, “Hi Mom.” He doesn’t usually mention dad. Father’s day was,and is such an afterthought that when it was originally conceived it was laughed at. Compared to our other holidays, Father’s day is one of the least significant holidays, in regards to the attention we give it. We might begin to think that our role isn’t im … Read More […]


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