A. W. Tozer said in his book Knowledge of the Holy “What comes into your mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you.” What comes into your mind when you think about God will determine how you view the scriptures, grace, love, justice, holiness, what’s required to get into heaven, and a vast array of other perspectives which we carry about subconsciously every day of our lives. It has often been said that our view of God the Father is a reflection of our view of our earthly fathers. This places a huge responsibility on fathers.
As fathers, we have a responsibility to help our families develop a balanced biblical view of God and what relationship with Him really means. By balanced I mean that our perspective needs to be supported by the totality of scripture rather than accentuating one verse or taking statements out of context. How we participate in the home, how we demonstrate love in the home to our wives and our children, how and when we administer grace, forgiveness and discipline will give them earthly examples of heavenly principles.
I’ve just returned from a 3-day Father Son Retreat with Compass Ministries. While my two sons-in-law led the retreat, my role was to drive the “water buffalo” loaded with drinks for the dads and their sons, and then to be the “wise old owl” (well maybe just the old owl) available for just listening and chatting with fathers who needed to talk. There were a couple of key points that I took away from the retreat. First, it was evident to me that all the men had a deep desire to do a better job of being fathers. Secondly, many of them have little opportunity for peer relationships focused on being better leaders in their homes. Lastly, a significant number of these men recognize the need for sharing their loads and hearing affirmation and / or ideas on others ways to handle situations and welcome the opportunity to learn from other dads.
We simply must find ways to motivate fathers to engage in peer to peer or mentoring relationships that will help them improve their practice of the art of fathering. This is an art and not a science. There is no textbook. The Bible provides many principles and some direction but leaves a great deal of the actual day to day particulars up to the fathers who must find ways to improve our leadership skills and delivery.