Faith for Fathers strives to empower dads to lead their families, live out their faith and leave a legacy that honors God. Our goal is to help dads leave a Godly legacy by creating opportunities for fathers to intentionally lead their children to be the young men and young women God created them to become.
Say This: There is a movie called “Wonder” about a little boy (“Auggie”) born with a rare disease that made him look very different. Most of his life, he wore a space helmet to hide his face from other people. In fact, his parents home-schooled him so that he would not have to be around other kids.
Ask This: Why do think his parents did this?
Say This: The movie is about “Auggie” going to school for the first time and the challenges of being different.
Ask This: If you were like “Auggie” and going to school knowing you looked very different from everyone else, what would you be thinking about the most? (Listen for, “Would I have friends?”)
Say This: Let’s watch a clip that will show us what he looked like and learn how he became very good friends with another little boy.
Wonder (2017) - My First Friend Scene (3/9) | Movieclips - YouTube
Say This: What did you see happen that shows us how these two boys became such good friends? (talking, laughing, playing, time, trust, honesty) If you had to create a Friend Test, what are the three to five checkmarks you would want to have? (Consider letting the work alone for few minutes, then work as a family to create this list. Take your time and talk through each one and work the list down to three to five.)
Say This: Did you know the Bible talks about our friendships? Let’s read a few verses and discover what it takes to be a good friend.
Do This: Grab three napkins. On one napkin, write “Does not talk bad about each other.” On the second napkin, write “Forgives us when we hurt their feelings.” On the third napkin, write: “Tells the truth even when it’s hard.” Place all three napkins where everyone can see them. Tell them you’re going to read three verses. See if they can match the napkin with the verse. Open your Bible and read these verses: (Your kids need to see and hear you read scripture.)
Proverbs 16:28 – This tells us friends don’t gossip or talk bad about each other. (As a follow-up to this, read Proverbs 18:21. Our words can build up or tear down.)
Proverbs 17:9 – A friend will conceal, cover or forgive us when we hurt their feelings.
Proverbs 27:6 – Friends will tell us the truth even when it’s hard, but they know we need to hear it.
Ask This: Who is a friend you trust the most? Which of these qualities do they have? Which of these qualities do you have? Have you ever been a friend to someone like “Auggie” who was different? Tell us about him or her.
Say This: The Bible helps us find the right friends by telling us what to look for and it tells us how WE can be the right friend for someone else. Let’s ask God to help us make good choices and to work on being a friend who makes a difference in others.
Pray This: Dear Jesus, thank You for showing us what real friends look like. Please bring those kinds of friends into our lives who will help us grow into the person You want us to become. And help us to be that kind of friend to those around us so they might see You living in us. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
This plan is pretty basic and assumes that you don’t run at all yet. It has been designed to get you round your first 3.1 mile race, probably with a few short walking breaks. The schedule will take you through six weeks, starting with short runs with walk breaks.
Mon: Run 1 min, walk 1 min. Repeat 10 times.
Wed: Run 2 mins, walk 4 mins. Repeat 5 times.
Sat: Run 2 mins, walk 4 mins. Repeat 5 times.
Mon: Run 3 mins, walk 3 mins. Repeat 4 times.
Wed: Run 3 mins, walk 3 mins. Repeat 4 times.
Sat: Run 5 mins, walk 3 mins. Repeat 3 times.
Mon: Run 7 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat 3 times.
Wed: Run 8 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat 3 times.
Sat: Run 8 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat 3 times.
Mon: Run 8 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat 3 times.
Wed: Run 10 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat twice, then run for 5 mins.
Sat: Run 8 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat 3 times.
Mon: Run 9 mins, walk 1 min. Repeat 3 times.
Wed: Run 12 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat twice, then run for 5 mins.
Sat: Run 8 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat 3 times.
Mon: Run 15 mins, walk 1 min. Repeat twice.
Wed: Run 8 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat 3 times.
Sat: 5K Race!
Sun: Happy Father’s Day!
On race day: You will probably find that you can run at least 20 minutes before you need a break, but whatever your plan, start slowly and don’t wait until you are exhausted before taking some one-minute walk breaks.
I Want It Now - Veruca Salt (Willy Wonka) (FULL) - YouTube
Ask This: What does it mean to content? (allow time to respond – you may have to explain to younger children) Share a time when you saw someone who was NOT content. What words describe the girl in the video? Whether it’s toys, friends, cars, houses, or our jobs, the Bible teaches that the path to true joy and fulfillment is learning to be content. We saw the dangers of living a life of selfishness and greed in the video.
Say This: Although this may be a bit of an exaggeration, the truth is that one of the first words most babies learn to say is “mine.” Because we live in a sinful world, we are naturally selfish and are rarely content. Let’s read what God’s word has to say about contentment.
Read This: 1 Timothy 6:6-10, 17-19
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. // 17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
Say This: Paul reminds us that we come into this world with nothing, and we take nothing with us when we leave. It is God that provides our basic needs of life (food, clothing, shelter), and we should find contentment in His provision. Anything beyond that (family, friends, vacations, toys, hobbies, etc.) are additional blessings from God that we should be thankful for. When we are grateful for God’s gifts, we will be able to live lives of joy, generosity, and contentment.
What are the things that our family truly need to survive?
How has God blessed our family in ways that are not “necessities?”
What is an area of your life that you sometimes struggle to find contentment?
What is a step that each of us could take to work towards being more content? What are some ways we can hold each other accountable in this area?
Pray This: Dear God, thank you for all of the ways you love and care for our family. You provide us a place to live, clothes to wear, and food to eat. You also bless us with the beauty of your creation, and a family to love and enjoy. Teach us to focus less on the things we don’t have, and more on the blessings you have provided. We ask that you help us find contentment in all circumstances. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Do you love a good story? How about a story about you? We all love to hear fun things others say about us. Ask your kids to tell you one of their favorite stories about you. Let them tell it without interrupting them and be sure to engage and affirm their confidence in telling the story. Make it a fun time of sharing and laughing.
That’s one thing my dad (dm) didn’t do a lot of…he didn’t laugh much; smile occasionally, laugh seldom. After he suddenly passed away, we found a photo of him crawling under the dinner table with the biggest expression of happiness I ever saw. I never knew that dad. In fact, I never heard much about my dad’s past. I’m not sure how much of that is on me for not asking or him for not telling. But I am sure of this, I want my kids to know about me, how I grew up and my defining moments. *
One of the most critical defining moments in my life is the day I recognized my separation from God and embraced Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for my sin. It’s the moment I began my personal relationship with Him. (Have you made this discovery?) Our children need to know that story and need to know it well.
Do your kids know the story of how you made this discovery?
We sat down with Dennis Nunn from Atlanta, GA, who leads Every Believer a Witness. It’s a program designed to help people of all ages learn how to tell their life-changing story. Take some time and listen to Dennis’ powerful story and then listen in on our conversation on how important it is for dads to make their faith evident to their family.
DL Dennis Nunn Interview - YouTube
* We have a great tool called, Dad, I Want to Know You written by former Clemson Tiger, Perry Tuttle. Learn more here…
Ask This: What’s your favorite kind of Easter candy?
Say This: For many families, Easter is about the Easter Bunny, candy, good food, and spending time with family. While all these things are great, for Christians, Easter is about so much more. Let’s watch this humorous kids version of the Easter story.
Easter According to Kids - YouTube
Say This: This version of the Easter story may not be 100% accurate, but it does give us some idea of the amazing events surrounding the resurrection of Jesus. Let’s learn more about it by reading John chapter 20.
Read This: John 20:1-18
Say This: In the final days of Jesus’ life, three dramatic events occurred: the trial of Jesus, the death of Jesus, and the resurrection of Jesus. God allowed Jesus to face six illegal trials because it was the only way His perfect Son could be sentenced to die on a cross. Jesus’ death was necessary because He alone could pay the price for our sins. We each deserve death, but Jesus willingly took our place. In John 20, we read about the empty tomb which proved that Jesus had defeated sin and death forever.
In a sense, Jesus is still on trial today. He is on trial in the heart and mind of every person who has not recognized Him as God’s Son, and the savior of the world. Have you made that decision? Have you received His free gift of salvation? I can’t think of a better time than during the Easter season to invite Jesus to be your savior. Here’s how you can do that…
How to Give Your Life To Christ
Admit you are a sinner who needs forgiveness (Romans 3:23, 6:23). Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the Cross and rose from the grave (Romans 5:8). Confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, and is the only way to know God. Ask Jesus to come into your heart and forgive your sin (John 14:6, Romans 10:9).
Ask This: Why is Easter so important? Why does it matter whether or not Jesus Christ rose from dead?
Pray This: Dear God, we thank you for the miracle of Easter. The life, death and resurrection of your son Jesus is the most important event in all of human history. When Jesus rose from the grave he defeated sin and death forever. We are grateful that through him we can have a personal relationship with you. We pray that our family will never forget the hope and forgiveness that is found at the cross. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Have you ever been to a circus and had the privilege to see a clown act with dowel rods and spinning plates? The performer attempts to get eight to ten plates spinning at one time. It’s quite amusing. It’s also a great analogy for how some people attempt to live their lives. Unfortunately for them, it’s not “amusing.” The stress and consequences of trying to cover work, family, friends, health, and a relationship with God without any structure can lead us to a place where life can be outright miserable.
Here’s a great concept developed by Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram called 5 Gears. It’s a simple plan to help us be aware of where we are in our “crazy cycle,” and then be intentional about switching from one “gear” to the next.
5th Gear – Focused Mode
When we’re here, it’s “head down, eyes forward” kind of work. This is where you close your door at work or block off your calendar to avoid meetings. When you’re in 5th gear and people know it, they leave you alone and let you get your work done. As fathers, we need to let our kids know when we’re in 5th gear. Whether it is a handyman job at the house or a special work project we’re working on after hours, we can’t expect them to recognize when we need to be focused. We need to let them know we need to get something finished before we can play, etc. However, we can’t be there for long before we break and give them some dad-time.
4th Gear – Tasks Mode
A little less intense than 5th gear, 4th gear is where we find ourselves most often. We call it “multitasking.” We think we’re making progress on several tasks, but all we’ve done is opened ourselves up for distractions. Studies consistently teach us how ineffective multitasking is in completing tasks.
“Multitasking reduces your efficiency and performance because your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. When you try to do two things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully.” (forbes.com)
We’re not saying avoid “4th Gear” altogether. We need to recognize that we are not as efficient as we think we are and spend as little time here as we can.
3rd Gear – Social Time
This is a fun gear. This is where we engage with others and learn what’s going on in their lives. We ask questions, tell stories, laugh, and learn about each other. Some people love 3rd gear time while others would rather keep walking or working. We need to slow down and engage with the people in our lives. In relation to our families, we need to ask questions beyond, “How was your day?” This takes a little work. Ask questions that will give you a snapshot into your kids’ minds:
“If we could instantly go back to one place we’ve been as a family, where would you go?”
“What’s one thing you think you do very well?”
“If you could have breakfast with any famous person from the past, who would it be?”
* You can find lists like these on the web. Here’s a good one…
2nd Gear – Connect
This is where we get to know people and share life experiences. This is family. This is our kids. This is not so much about quantity of time, but quality of time. It is important to be present when we are spending time with them. They will feel more loved if you spend 15 minutes chasing them around the playground than if you sit on a nearby bench checking your phone for scores and social media posts. A great way to do this is to put your kids to bed at night rather than send them to bed. No matter how old they are, capture a few minutes with them and listen as they start to unwind. If you have teens, you may need to catch a short power nap early in the evening, then get up and engage while they do homework.
1st Gear – Recharge
This is “You Time.” We all need time alone to recharge and refocus. This might be early mornings with coffee and your Bible, out in the woods for walk or in a hunting blind, or maybe just on your drive home from work. Here’s a tip: find a landmark on your journey home and use it as a trigger to turn off the radio and just talk with the Lord. Talk about your wife and kids. Begin thinking about the evening agenda. Just capture some time to be reflective.
R – Repair Relationships
There are times in our lives when we are so consumed with “shifting gears” that we neglect key relationships. Sometimes this occurs to the point that we need to put life in “reverse” and repair damage we have created. This means getting to the end of ourselves and putting the needs and feelings of others before our own.
Just like driving, we have to shift gears to get the most out of our cars. As leaders in our homes, we need to be aware of the gears we are in and shift in order to get the most and give the most of our lives. Teach this to your family and the next time you’re on your phone when the kids are trying to talk to you, tell them to say, “Hey dad!”, and hold up three fingers. (3rd Gear)
It’s been said that children spell “love,” T-I-M-E. Would you agree? It’s how they measure your commitment to them over the other things in your life. We read in Ephesians 5:16 that we are to make the most of our time. Here are a few thoughts on showing your kids how much you love them by spending time with them.
If left to ourselves, most people drift to the path of least resistance. To show your kids how much you love them, you have to be alert to opportunities as they happen. Many times, we know what those opportunities are or we see them unfolding, but we just don’t capture them. We justify all the reasons NOT to do something: “I don’t have time”, “They are busy doing something else”, etc. These are just excuses. I like to say excuses are lies we tell ourselves to avoid the truth. Do what you have to make sure you spend one-on-one time with your kids.
Invest Where it Counts
We don’t need to break the bank in order to spend time with our kids, but when deciding what to do becomes a financial matter, the investment into your family yields great returns. It creates a memory that money can’t buy. Sometimes you just need to rearrange the budget (not go into debt) and do things your kids will cherish for a lifetime. And not every moment requires money. Bottom line: any investment of money into time with your kids is worth it!
Make the Most of Minor Things
Spending time with our kids is all about the time and less about the event. Time with them is not limited to vacations and special events. It’s celebrating a good grade, theme nights at the dinner table, or late-night ice cream runs. The list is limitless. Our kids just want our attention and devotion. [Great tip: make a point to spend one-on-one time with each child on the day of their birthday, each month. If they were born on August 12, then the 12th of each month is “Fun Time with Dad.”] Here’s a list of ideas.
Embrace the Hard Times
Time spent with our kids is not limited to “fun times.” Sometimes it’s being there when their day gets sideways that makes an impression. And we don’t have to fix the problem. Many times, we just need to be with them, hold them, let them talk and – the best move – pray with them. Your children need to hear you pray for them and over them.
Say This: What do you think of when you hear the word discipline (Let them respond)? You might think of someone being punished, an athlete training for a sport, or a student dedicated to their school work. Does the word “love” instantly come to mind? Probably not, but love is precisely the purpose of discipline. Let’s watch this scene from an old show called the Andy Griffith show where discipline was badly needed.
Andy Tayler at his best We need more of this today. - YouTube
Say This: This father had to decide how handle this situation. Do you think his decision to discipline his son was a loving act, or should he have just allowed his son to continue to get his way? Let’s read a Bible verse that helps us better understand God’s purpose for discipline.
Read This: My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. Proverbs 3:11-12
Say This: Did you catch that? This passage tells us that we should not be resentful when the Lord disciplines us, because He only disciplines those that He loves. It is so important that we understand that no matter how badly we mess up, God never punishes us. God only disciplines us, and it is only because He loves us. We have the same goal as parents. When we discipline you, our purpose is not to make you suffer for a mistake you have made, but it is to correct you so that you can avoid making the same mistake in the future. We are not perfect parents, so we don’t always do a good job of this. It is important that you understand that the reason that God allows discipline in our lives is because He loves, and wants us to avoid pain and mistakes in the future.
1. When is a time that you have experienced discipline? What effect did that situation have on you?
2. Why do you think people have a hard time accepting discipline?
3. Has there been a time that we disciplined you in a way that you thought was unfair?
4. How does our discipline show our love for you?
Pray This: Dear Lord, help our family understand that you only discipline those that you love. As parents, we ask for wisdom to know how and when to discipline our kids. I also pray that you help our kids accept discipline when needed, and remind them that it is always done in love. In Jesus name, Amen.
Say This: Why do we celebrate Mother’s Day? Well partly because it has become big business. A 2014 survey showed that Americans spent an average of $168 on mom for a total of 20 billion dollars. (That’s a lot of greeting cards and flowers). In spite of this, the Bible has made it clear that a Godly mother is priceless, and is truly something to be celebrated. Many of us are familiar with the virtuous women described in Proverbs 31, but take a moment to read this modern translation written by Darrell Creswell:
It is hard to find the perfect wife. She is worth far more TV, sports or an I-pad. A husband depends on his wife. With her by his side, he will never be poor. She cares for him all her life. She never causes him pain and heartache. Her duties are both inside and outside the home, she is a wife, mother, and business woman. She shops for the best bargains, even outside her neighborhood. She delights in saving money for her family. She wakes up early in the morning. She makes breakfast for her family and takes care of the pets. She is sensible with her money, and contributes financially, if needed. She invests in her family’s future spiritually. She works very hard to be an example of godliness. She is strong in character and able to do all that is required of her. She is industrious, finishing what she starts, ensuring that all the needs of her household are taken care of. She is kind and giving to those less fortunate than herself, she reaches out to help those in need. The seasons may change, but she does not. She always provides for the physical needs of her family. Her inner strength from God brings her respect, she trusts in God for her future. Her words are filled with insight. Her compassion moves others in kindness. Her home is where her heart is. She dutifully cares for it. Her children voice their appreciation. Her husband praises her, saying “There are many good women, But there is none like you.” Beauty can fool the eyes, but a woman who respects the Lord is to be praised. Her beauty comes from her relationship with God. The world will see God’s work of grace in her, and she will be honored.
What are some ways you see a Proverbs 31 women in your mom?
What is something specific that mom does for you that makes you feel loved?
What is one way we show our appreciation to mom on a daily basis?
Read This: Proverbs 31:25-31 (Let the kids read this if possible)
Dear God, we are thankful for many things today, but we are especially thankful for our mothers. Your Word makes it clear that you value a Godly woman, and that we should value them too. Thank you for allowing her to be part of our lives, and for uniquely creating her for our family. Please continue to bless her life, and help us express to her all that she means to our family. Show us ways to encourage and pray for her, as she seeks to faithfully serve our family. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Try This: Ask mom to share some specific ways the family could pray for her. Have mom sit in a chair, and allow the family to gather around her to pray. Have everyone in the family say a brief prayer expressing their appreciation for mom, and praying for her specific requests. Close the prayer time by reading the prayer above.