Other Thoughts On Instilling Morals as Dads - Part 1
- David and Laurie Callihan Authors
- 2002 12 Jan
Let us now go on and discuss other ways that dads should be involved at home as moral educators, as well as just being good, old, plain fathers.
Dads, rethink your priorities so you can spend time with your children. The very last words of the Old Testament reflect the importance of this action. God instructs His people to turn "the hearts of the fathers . . . to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse."
As fathers, we have the opportunity to instill spiritual values in our children even before they begin their formal education. In the very early primary years, we can give them numerous opportunities to learn about God, His beautiful and wonderful world, and your child's place in it.
If your child has a question about a math problem, do you find time to stop what you are doing to help him figure out the answer? Can you be flexible enough to be there when your child is under pressure, going through personal issues, or just needing dad? Its not always easy. But we must find the time. There is no alternative.
Do you give your children a positive example of a loving marriage? Are you faithful to your wife? Do you demand respect for your wife by each of your children? Do you teach your boys to treat girls as the Lord would demand? This lesson will last long after the boys leave the home. In this day when politically correct attitudes toward women contradict clear biblical standards, do you take a stand to make sure they know that you value womanhood?
What about your use of language? Do you control your tongue? What kind of words do your children hear from your mouth? When things go wrong, do you still find ways to speak with grace? What attitudes do you convey with your words? Do you praise your children when they may not "produce?" Are you more concerned about your children's character than their performance?
Do you take the lead in the spiritual growth of your family? Do you lead in family devotions? Are you willing to step up and be there for your kids?
It is so important to make sure our children understand the difference between right and wrong both intellectually and experientially. Hebrews 6 indicates that a mature Christian is one who "has his senses trained to discern the difference between good and evil." It makes sense to begin this training by providing our young ones with a firm understanding of truth, right, good, virtue, etc. We live in a society that blurs the lines of morality continually; it is your responsibility to teach your children that there is a right and wrong.
Our head was meant to be more than a hat rack (Yes, you can know right from wrong).
Once we reach the secondary school grades, our children should have a clear picture that there is a right and wrong, good and evil, true and false; there are absolutes. Now, it is critical that your children not only know that there is a right and wrong, but to be able to discern which is which, and why.
Teaching our children discernment is not ever easy. As your child enters secondary school, it is even more difficult because of the additional influences that confront this age level. The effects of puberty are taking their toll. Hormones are engaging while we are trying to teach our young ones to become discerning. It is a double challenge. Learning wisdom in and of itself can be a challenge at any age, and even that much more when emotions get out of balance.
We have a real opportunity as parents to be involved with our teenagers as they learn how to discern things. On the other hand, anyone who has ever tried to motivate a teenager whose hormones are just starting to kick in knows it is a challenge. Teens can want to sleep until noon, become quite obnoxious on a regular basis, and develop hearing impairments (at least they have a hard time listening to instructions even though we clearly know they heard them). The way Laurie explains it, a teenage boy in puberty is experiencing PMS every day! Think about it, parents. It might help to explain a lot!
To learn more about how to help your child grow to maturity, check our book, The Guidance Manual for the Christian Home School: A Parents Guide for Preparing Home School Students for College or Career or visit our Web site, www.davidandlaurie.com.