Dads, you should not only attend church as a family, you should be involved there.

Here are some reasons.

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Dads, consider – what can I do to increase the joy level in our home?
(Hint: It probably has something to do with God.)

I don’t remember much about Dave B, an older kid in my church youth group (decent guy), but I remember him saying something like this:

I hate it when my mom tells me to do something I was about to do on my own. It makes me not want to do it!

So: Dads, be careful not to do this.

Dads, is there something that you are picky about (food prepared in a special way, don’t like a certain kind of [whatever])? Resist the urge to tell your kids about this.

Benefits:
You won’t encourage this form of pickiness in your kids.
You won’t encourage overall pickiness in your kids.
You will force yourself to not be picky in this way (at least when your kids are around).

Dads, here is my new verse for getting the kids out of bed:

The hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime. Romans 13:11–13

(The next section is less kid friendly)

Dads, are there areas in your family life where you are getting your way, despite the wishes of your wife and children? These should be fairly rare, or non-existent.

Dads, encourage your kids to let you know if you ever tell them to do something that they consider sinful.

Two reasons:
1. You don’t ever want it to be the case that your child thinks obedience to you is disobedience to God.
2. This will help remind them that they can almost never use this a reasonable excuse for disobedience, with you or other authorities God has put over them.

Dads, give yourself and your wife permission to not spend a lot on Christmas presents for your children.

christmas-presents1_thumb

Dads, have you ever experienced the situation where you weren’t aware of an annoyance until someone complained about it, and then it started bothering you?

Is it possible that complaining you’re doing around your family has the same effect?

Be aware of the potential consequences of your negative words.

thanksgiving-getaways
A number of years ago I saw an advertisement in a magazine (perhaps for a kitchen appliance? I searched, but couldn’t find it) that showed a woman leaving a kitchen carrying a baked turkey, walking into a dining room filled with happy people. It was a wonderful, ideal holiday scene and what I noticed was this: The kitchen (in the foreground) was sparkling, clean and unfilled with dishes and dirty cookware.

And what I thought was this: No way.

Because every cook makes a mess (and the more lavish the meal the more complete the mess), this is impossible.

Lately, however, I’ve been changing my mind about this. Because there are other people besides the cook. So here’s the tip:

Dads, take an active roll in cleaning up the kitchen*, even before the meal is served.

Do you see the ingredients that have already been used? Put them away**.
Do you see the utensils that were used to create the pie? Wash them.
Do you see the extra food particles on the counter? Clean them up.

And then you can eat joyfully without all of it hanging over your head as you eat. And then clean-up will be less hopeless after your meal.

*Dads, if you are a cook for the hosted meal, or if there is no room for a cleaner-upper, or if your wife forbids you to do this, you may disregard this tip.

** Making sure that the cook is done with them, certainly.

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