The Expository Files


Practical Ways Fathers Can Connect With Their Children

"Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it" (Prov. 22:6).

Taking Home Leadership Seriously According To The Teaching Of The Scripture Will: -- "turn the hearts of the fathers to the children" (Lk. 1:17). Busy dads, who want to be the spiritual leader with their children, as God requires, (Eph. 6:4), are always looking for ways to grow closer to their families. "Give me your heart, my son, and let your eyes delight in my ways" (Prov. 23:26). We want to lovingly connect to their heart, so we can leave a legacy to positively influence their lives, even when we are gone. Let us note five ways that fathers can "connect" with their kids:

1. Daily Life Conversation: -- In Deut. 6, Moses commanded fathers to lay God's Word on their heart and talk with their children "when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way" (vs. 7). When you spend time with your kids, whether it is driving to church, at the dinner table, playing catch or shooting hoops, along the way ask questions like: "What's going on in your Bible class?" "What's the best thing (and worst thing) about school these days?" "What would your dream vacation with the family be like?" Time together offers just enough distraction for kids to open up about issues on their mind.

2. Be A "Mail Man": -- In the Old Testament, Jewish fathers, before death, would lovingly lay their hands on their child and given a "blessing." This was pronouncing a vision of the child's future hope and promise (Gen. 27,48,49). Write some letters to put in a child's "memory book" that express your hopes and dreams for what kind of person you pray they will become.

3. Serve Up Love: -- Moses said that fathers should talk to their children about Biblical principles, "when you lie down and when you rise up" (Deut. 6:7). Bedtime rituals like discussing the day's activities or reading together and praying together, give fathers a chance to connect with each child. Ask a simple question like, "How did things go today?" Tell them one good thing you appreciate that they did that day. It might extend bedtime by a few minutes, but like dimes adding up to dollars, investing in these moments can create a lifetime of closer connection.

4. Team Up: -- Young people need to learn the value of work. "Go to the ant, O sluggard; watch what they do and be wise" (Prov. 6:9). Pick chores around the house to do together with your child. The work gets done faster and, more importantly, your children will learn your work ethic.

5. Keep Watch: -- Pray with your children, as well as pray regularly for them. Christians are admonished to be "steadfast in prayer" (Rom. 12:12). Samson's father, Menoah, prayed, "Lord...teach us what we should do for the child" (Jdgs. 13:8) Prayers said at breakfast or supper table, or before they go to school or to bed, shows we rely on God foremost and that our children are special.

Frank Walton in Biblical Insights, Vol. 7, No. 12, December 2007. Edited for EF.


By Frank Walton
From Expository Files 15.7; July 2008