Faith - Fathers, Turn Your Hearts Toward Your Children
Fathers, Turn Your Hearts Toward Your Children
By Kevin Probst
“He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children…” Malachi 4:6
We who are fathers are the windows through which a child sees God. God’s primary purpose for a father is that He would pattern godliness and holy living before his children so they might know who the Heavenly Father is. Let me share four ways a father’s heart is turned to his children.
1. Fathers, know when to lay down the law and when to give grace to your children. Why is it we are often convinced that more is better? We are admonished to do everything in moderation, and should apply these same laws when disciplining our children. Too much or too little can be destructive. Trust me, he/she doesn’t want total freedom. Laying parameters gives your child a sense of security they desperately need. But know this; your children will learn the grace of God when grace is demonstrated by their fathers. Ask God for wisdom to know when to show grace.
Fathers, your children were born in sin. Your mission in life should be to teach your children how they might be freed from the bondage of sin. A strict set of rules in your home will not deliver your children from sin. Rules never transform the heart, relationship transforms the heart. The relationship you have with your children is far more important than a set of ‘do’s and don’ts’.
2. Fathers, learn to talk with your children. Step out of your world and into theirs. You may hate their music, tattoos and may be confused by their desire for body piercings. Ask them what they like about the music or why they want a tattoo. You can refuse them permission to participate in certain things as long as they live under your roof, but let them know you are interested in them. The worst thing you can do to a child is ignore them. Moms are much better with communication skills than dads are but it is crucial for us to talk to our children.
A large number of youth were asked: “Who can you go to when you are experiencing difficulty in your life?” Dad was number 48 on the list. A child who doesn’t feel comfortable talking to his father is a child whose heart is turned away from his father.
3. Fathers teach your children. “For He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their children.” (Psa. 78:5)
Some fathers never seem to grasp the scriptural concept that it is the father’s responsibility to teach his children. We are so trusting when we hand the souls of our children off to others. Fathers, you send your kids off to school for 1,260 hours every year. A teacher you probably don’t know has seven hours daily with your child. How many hours a day does your child get you? It’s our God-given responsibility to know what others are teaching our children. A child’s character and set of values has already been formed by age seven or eight. It’s a father’s responsibility to teach his children and he must do it while they are young.
4. Fathers must protect their children. Jesus said, “A certain man planted a vineyard, and set a hedge about it…” A father must set a hedge about his family to protect them from drugs and sexual immorality. Talk to your children about the dangers of these sins.
Fathers, it’s your job to filter the internet in your home so your children are not accessing filth that may corrupt their minds and destroy their souls.
Fathers, it’s your job to know what kind of music is saturating the grey matter between their ears. Music is extremely powerful and it will mold their minds and pattern their souls.
Some fathers can’t act as spiritual guardians of their home because they lack spiritual power. They have unconfessed sin in their lives. The first step to becoming a good father is becoming a good son. The key to a good relationship with your children is having a good relationship with your Heavenly Father.
One day we will stand accountable for our children before God. It is fearful considering how imperfect we all are. I want to rear my children in the fear of the Lord and hear “well done, good and faithful servant.”