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: 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.
Lip Sync Battle Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton Sing The Time Of My Life Presidential Debate Full HD - YouTube
Say this: With the craziness and intensity of this year’s presidential election, sometimes we have to remind ourselves that it is okay to laugh a little as we consider this important decision. We are blessed to live in the greatest country in history, and the freedom to elect our leaders is one of our most important rights and privileges. Unfortunately, this election has reminded us that many candidates are often not worthy of the office they are seeking. It is important that Christians participate in our democratic process, but also have a Biblical understanding of it. Here are a few things to keep in mind as our nation prepares to vote.
(Read Daniel 2:20-22) God raises up and allows leaders to accomplish His ultimate purpose.
(Read Romans 13:1) God commands us to respect our leaders even if we don’t agree with them.
(Read 1 John 1:8-10) Leaders are human which means they are sinful and will make mistakes.
(Read Mark 16:15-16) Our hope is not found in political leaders, but in the Gospel of Christ.
Say This: As our culture seems to be moving further away from the things of God, it should not surprise us that our political candidates often do not reflect our Christian beliefs. We must do our best to understand their positions on the issues, and then should prayerfully choose the candidate that best reflects our values.
What do you think it would be like to be President? What would the best part of this job? What would be the worst part?
What good (or bad) things have you seen in this year’s presidential candidates?
As Christians, what issues should we focus on in order to choose our candidate?
Even though it can sometimes be discouraging, why should we continue to participate in the election process?
Pray This: Dear God, thank you for allowing us to live in this great country, and for the freedom we enjoy. We know that being able to vote for our leaders is an important right and responsibility. We ask that you would raise up Godly people to lead this nation, and that you would give us wisdom to choose the best candidates. Remind us that while leaders are human and will sometimes disappoint us, our hope is ultimately found in the salvation offered through your Son Jesus Christ. Amen
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Watch This: One man’s humorous experience with prayer…
Funny Prayer......... - YouTube
Say this: Have you ever heard someone say something like this: “Prayer is easy because all you’re doing is talking to God”? While this may be technically true, prayer can often be difficult. For most of us, we are easily distracted, don’t feel like we have the time, or just don’t know what to say. In spite of this, the Bible makes it clear that prayer is a critical part of our faith, and should not be neglected.
Read This: Ephesians 6:18
Say this: In this passage, Paul instructs believers to pray with “all kinds of prayers and requests.” Paul is telling us that we should live in a continual state of prayer. To do this, prayer should not just be an occasional activity, but should instead be a way of life. As believers, we should look for practical ways to add prayer to our daily lives.
How does our family do with prayer? (1 – 5)
What are some reasons why we don’t do a better job of praying together?
What is the hardest part of praying for you
What is a situation / person outside of our family that we could make a matter of prayer?
Name one specific way our family could pray for you this week?
Try This: Below are some “Best Practices” to help make family prayer time more practical, effective, and fun. Take a few minutes to discuss these as a family, and commit to adding 2 or 3 to your family’s prayer life.
Create a Family Prayer Journal (Keep a record of what you are praying for and how God answers)
Family Prayer Board (Great way to remind family of current prayer requests)
Use the family calendar as a prayer guide for the coming week (Will help you look ahead with a prayer focus)
Use the church bulletin as a way to pray for the church (Will help you pray specifically for church events)
Drive by prayer: Choose a school/church/neighbor. And pray each time you drive by.
Pray anytime you see an ambulance, fire truck, or police car that is responding to an emergency.
Start sending “I prayed for you today” texts as a follow-up to anyone you pray for.
Set reminders on your phone/tablet to pray for specific things at specific times each day.
Weekly Family Meeting (What did we do well? What do we do poorly? How can we pray this week?)
Pray This:Dear God, 1 John 5:14 tells us that if we ask for anything according to your will, you will hear us. We are so grateful for this promise, but we confess that sometimes prayer can be difficult. Help us find ways to be more effective in praying for our family, our church, our community, and our world. Thank you for loving us, and for forgiving our sins. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Say This: For most families, one of the highlights of the Christmas season is the annual tradition of gathering around the TV to watch the 1965 classic, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Many of us can practically quote the script from memory, and yet author Jason Soroski recently observed something many of us have never noticed. Let’s watch this scene, and see if we notice anything significant.
Watch This: Linus explains the real meaning of Christmas…
Charlie Brown Christmas - YouTube
Say This: Did you see it? Charlie Brown is best known for his uniquely striped shirt, and Linus is best known for his ever-present security blanket. Even when the Peanuts gang continually ridicules Linus and tries to take away his blanket, Linus simply refuses to ever give it up. That is until this moment…when he simply lays it down. In the climactic scene when Linus shares “what Christmas is all about,” he drops his security blanket. Most telling is the specific moment he drops it: when he utters the words, “fear not”. Looking at it now, it is pretty clear what Charles Schultz was saying, and it is brilliantly simple.
The birth of Jesus separates us from our fears. The birth of Jesus frees us from the habits we are unable (or unwilling) to break ourselves. The birth of Jesus allows us to simply drop the false security we grasp so tightly, and allows us to trust and cling to Him instead. The world of 2015 can be a scary place, and most of us find ourselves grasping to something temporal for security, whatever that thing may be. Essentially, 2015 is a world in which it is very difficult for us to “fear not.” But in the midst of fear and insecurity, this simple cartoon image from 1965 reminds us to seek true peace and security in the one place it has always been and can always still be found.
• What are some things that make you afraid?
• What is your “little blue blanket?” What do you hold on to try to overcome your fears?
• As Christians, how would we live differently if we truly understood that because of Christ’s love for us, we truly have no reason to ever be afraid?
Read This: Luke 2:1-20, 2 Timothy 1:7
Try This: Hand out a few slips of paper, and ask everyone to write down a few things that cause them to be afraid. Next ask everyone to write down things they tend to rely on for “security” (money, job, family). Spend a few minutes sharing these with one another. Lay these things down by burning them in the fireplace, and ask God to help you surrender these things to Him.
Pray This: Dear Lord, we are grateful for the Christmas season, and for all of the joy that it brings. We are especially thankful for Jesus, and for the freedom from fear and sin that you provided through your Son. Help our family to trust you, lean on you, and surrender to you all of our fears and our security blankets. Thank you for your love and forgiveness. Amen
Adapted from “Just Drop the Blanket: The Moment You Never Noticed in A Charlie Brown Christmas” by Jason Soroski.
Say This: In the movie, Inside Out, we see that a person’s personality and life is built upon their most important “core” memories. When you think about it, the same is true for a family. Our family is built on the things that are most important to us, and is held together by the memories we share together. Of all the things that are important to our family, nothing should be more important than our relationship with Jesus. In the Bible, God often instructed His people to build an altar as a way of remembering all that God had done for them. Let’s read about one of these instances found in the book of Joshua.
Read This: Joshua 4:1-7
Say This: God instructed Joshua to build an altar as a reminder of God’s faithfulness to future generations. It is important that our family also remembers all that God has done for us. Let’s take a few minutes to do this, and consider it our “State of the Family” address. (Begin by taking a moment to share one specific way each member of your family helps make your family great. This is a time to praise and celebrate each person.)
1) What are some recent victories our family has celebrated? (New job, achievement in school or a sport, moving to a new home, improved health/fitness, etc.)
2) What are some challenges our family has overcome? (Loss of a job, health issue with family member, struggle in school or with friends, death of a family member, etc.)
3) In both the victories and challenges, what are some ways we saw God’s faithfulness?
4) What are some potential victories/challenges we see in front of us in the coming months?
5) How can remembering God’s faithfulness in the past help us face the future?
Pray This: Dear God, thank you for your faithfulness to our family. Help us never forget all that you have done for us. Remind us that while we don’t know what the future holds, we can be confident knowing that you hold the future. Forgive us for when we fail you, and help us to live for you. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
Try This: Make a trip to your local hardware store or plant nursery and purchase some stones for your own family alter. Give each family member a stone, and ask them to decorate it with some of their most significant core memories. Find a place in your home or yard to display this altar as a reminder of God’s faithfulness.
Try This: Have your family write down a holiday season bucket list where everyone shares 1-2 things that they want to do between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Make sure everyone gets to participate. Some ideas could be going to look at Christmas lights, ice-skating, watching a Christmas movie as a family, Black-Friday shopping, decorating the house, going to the Christmas Eve service, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or going Christmas caroling.
Say This: Thanksgiving is only a few days away, and the holiday season will officially begin. It is such a fun time of year, but it is important that we not allow the excitement and busyness of the season to cause us to lose sight of what we are really celebrating. Let’s watch and read about this familiar part of the Christmas story.
Nativity Story: The Birth of Christ - The Visit of the Shepherds and the Magi - YouTube
Read This: Matthew 2:1-12
Say This: Not a lot is known about the wise men. We only know that they came from the east, and assume there were three of them because they offered three gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Scholars speculate that they may have traveled weeks, months, or even years in order to see the King. As we prepare for the holidays, there are three important things we can learn from their story.
They Were Looking for the King (v. 2) “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?”
They Kept Their Eyes on the Star (v. 2, 9-10) They did no allow anything (Distance, Herod) to distract them.
Their Only Goal Was to Worship the King (v. 2, 11)
Say This: As we prepare for “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” let’s commit as a family to keep our focus on the real reason for the season.
What are some parts of the holidays that can distract us from their true meaning?
What are some things our family does during the holidays that helps us keep our focus on Jesus?
What is one thing you can do differently this year to keep from being distracted this the holiday season?
Say This: Recently a controversy erupted in our country as some NFL players began kneeling during the National Anthem as a way of protesting what they see as racial inequality in our country. These players see this as a peaceful protest, allowing them to exercise their first amendment right of free speech. Others, including the President, have said that all Americans should stand to honor our flag, our anthem, and the brave men and women of the military who have sacrificed for the freedom we enjoy.
Ask This: How should Christians respond to matters that may not align with our beliefs?
Say This:Here are a few principles to keep in mind:
God expects us to submit to authority (Read Romans 13:1). This verse reminds us that God is ultimately in control over those who govern us. Although it is certainly not illegal to kneel during the National Anthem, standing during the anthem is a long standing tradition. It symbolizes our allegiance to our nation and our respect to those who have fought and died for our freedoms. Ask This: What are some ways we submit to authority everyday? Why is it important?
Watch This: Take a look at how Virginia Tech basketball coach, Buzz Williams, instilled this principle in his players.
Buzz Williams, Virginia Tech Basketball Team Honor Military Veterans - YouTube
We live in a sinful world (Read Romans 5:12). This verse explains that sin entered the world through one man (Adam), and spread like a virus to all of us. America is without question the most blessed country in the world. Although our nation is a place of unmatched freedom and opportunity, it is far from perfect. Because we live in a sinful world, awful things such as slavery are a part of our past, and the ugliness of racism is still a part of our present. As believers we should not be dismissive or insensitive to the pain of others. Each of us have been impacted by the sin of this world.
We should seek peace with others (Read Romans 12:18). While we can’t control what everyone else does or says, we can control our own words and actions. This verse reminds us that as believers, we should do everything in our power to avoid conflict and live peacefully with others. Ask This: How can we be peaceful with those who make us angry or make bad choices?
We must pray for our nation (Read 2 Chronicles 7:14). Sometimes the circumstances of this world make things seem hopeless. God promises us in this verse that if we will humbly seek Him in prayer, and if we turn from our sinful ways, that He can and will heal our land. When we don’t know what else do to, the greatest thing we can do is pray. Ask This: What are some specific things we can pray on behalf of our nation?
Pray This: Dear God, thank You for allowing us to live in this great country. Although our nation is not perfect, we are grateful for the freedom we have to peaceably disagree with one another. Help our family to show the love and compassion of Christ to anyone who encounters us. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Ask This: What did the guy mean when he said, “If you aren’t giving now, you won’t give when you’re rich”?
Ask This: What does it mean to be “rich?” Are we rich?
Just for Fun: Pull up this website: www.globalrichlist.com. Select US Dollar and enter some numbers and see what happens. You’ll need to explain it to your kids. Don’t spend too much time on this. Just use it to show them how “rich” they are and explain that there are a LOT of people who don’t have nearly the blessings your family has (food, shelter, clothes, clean water, etc.)
Say This: The man in the video is encouraging people to be “generous.” What does that mean? Has there ever been a time when you were generous to someone at school? Do you think our family is a generous family? Do you think our family can be more generous? How?
Say This: Let’s look at what the Bible says about being generous. Everybody take 30 seconds to go get your Bible and come back to the table. (If you’re not at home, you can look them up on your phone and take turns reading the verses.)
Do This: Assign verses to find and read. After each person reads their verse, see if your family can fill in the blanks. (Insider Tip: We have given you the answers. If you want, write the words down and let them pick from the list. Use these as talking points with your kids.)
2 Corinthians 9:6 and 9:7 v6: If we are generous to others, others will be ____________ to us. (generous) // v7: God loves it when we give with a _______________ attitude. (happy)
Proverbs 3:9,10 If we use our money for things that make God happy, He will __________________ for our family. (provide)
Psalm 41:1-3 We need to take care of people who are ____________________. (poor)
John 3:16 God was very generous when He gave us ______________ to come die for our sins. (Jesus)
Say This: Everything we have in our family came from God. It all belongs to Him. He blesses us so we can bless others who don’t have food, shelter or clothes. He also blesses us so that we can help people who are serving others. This would be people like missionaries, churches and organizations that work hard for people who need help. When we give them money, they can use it to make a difference for people we may never see. We get to be a small part of their work.
Pray This: Dear Jesus, we are so grateful for how you have blessed our family. We have a place to live, food to eat and clothes to wear. Please show us how we can be generous and help others who may not have those things. Also show us people and organizations we can partner with to make an impact in the areas where they serve. We are very grateful for your generosity to us when you sent Jesus to die for our sins. Thank you!