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Podcast Question: What does a good father actually do on a day-to-day basis? My husband does not practically get into the lives of our children and they feel distant from him.
The goal for all of Christians is to emulate God. Paul was clear in Ephesians 5:1: “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.” Ephesians is divided nicely and wisely into two parts: (1) How to be saved and (2) how to behave. He begins the “behave” half by saying imitate God.
In Philippians 4:9, Paul said, “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” You can make that verse practical by telling your child the following:
My dear child, this is what I want you to do.
- Everything you have learned from me.
- Everything you have received from me.
- Everything you have heard from me.
- Everything you have seen in me.
Regularly, daily, and practically practice the things you learned, received, heard, and seen. If you do, I will make this promise to you: The God of peace will be with you.
That is every parent’s marching orders, as well as the rest of us in every context of our lives.
Two anchor points: His transcendence and immanence:
A transcendent only dad is a “distant dad” that will teach the child about a distant God. An immanent only dad is a “buddy dad” who will not teach the child about respect, honor, discretion (self-control), fear, and sobriety.
Worst case scenarios:
God is both transcendent and immanent. In this podcast, I will speak to the practical immanence of God and how it relates to the father/child relationship. The saying is that the devil is in the details, and he will be in the details of a child’s life if the father is not.
We naturally gravitate toward our strengths. If a father is not getting into the details of a child’s life, then it probably is not his strength, his natural inclination, or comfort zone. You have to ask why is he that way. Slow down as you work through these questions:
Some have suggested that focusing on the children is child-centered rather than God-centered. That is possible.
You may have a child-centered home if…
The most effective way to create a child-centered home is by making your spouse second to the child. This is done several ways:
A God-centered home is when the Father is leading by being the authority (transcendence) and the friend (immanent). Here are ten ways to be an immanent father:
I’ll take 1-10 above and give some practical tips:
If he is not leading:
Rick Thomas leads a training network for Christians to assist them in becoming more effective soul care providers. RickThomas.Net reaches people around the world through consulting, training, podcasting, writing, counseling, and speaking.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology, and in 1991 he received a BS in Education. In 1993 he was ordained into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University in Santa Clarita, CA. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).