In short, if a father does not go to church, no matter how faithful his wife's devotions, only one child in 50 will become a regular worshipper. If a father does go regularly, regardless of the practice of the mother, between two-thirds and three-quarters of their children will become churchgoers (regular and irregular).

This confirms the role of father as spiritual leader which I would argue is exactly what fatherhood itself is, to love our wives as Christ loves the Church, to model Christ-like love for our children in our most important earthly relationship, to care for our children as our Father in heaven cares for each of us and finally, that we diligently teach our children the truth about reality. This means that we instruct them in their understanding of life and the world and everything in it using God's revelation as the basis by which they analyze and assess life's challenges and opportunities. It means that we send them forth with a biblical view of the world and a faith in Jesus Christ that is rooted in solid understanding and not merely blind tradition.

Dear brothers I pray that as we lead our children to Church this Father's Day that we will reflect deeply on the vital role of spiritually mentoring our children in the faith of our Lord Jesus and put into practice the admonition of the Lord to teach our children 'when they sit at home, when they walk along the road, when they lie down and when they wake up' (Deut 6:7). Happy Father's Day!

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S. Michael Craven is the Founding Director of the Center for Christ & Culture, a ministry of the National Coalition for the Protection of Children & Families. The Center for Christ & Culture is dedicated to renewal within the Church and works to equip Christians with an intelligent and thoroughly Christian approach to matters of culture in order to recapture and demonstrate the relevance of Christianity to all of life. For more information on the Center for Christ & Culture, additional resources and other works by S. Michael Craven visit:
Michael lives in the Dallas area with his wife Carol and their three children.

© 2007 S. Michael Craven