More on Fatherhood with Tim Bayly

Daddy_Tried-baseball.jpgQ: You readily acknowledge the fact that we’ve all had imperfect fathers. What would you say to those who are still blaming their fathers for their own failures?

A: Meditate on the judgement seat of God and try to imagine yourself standing there and complaining to God about the father He gave you. Since Adam, every man’s father has been a real sinner. Think of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Each was a sinner and their sins are recorded in Scripture. Think of King David. Think of the Apostle Peter.

Recognize that your life will soon be over and you will give an account to God for your stewardship of your fatherhood. On that day, you will not be able to excuse your own failures by pointing your finger at anyone else. Not your father. Not your mother. Not your son. Not your daughter. And certainly not your wife. God will not tolerate your complaining, but also, it’s not manly. Do you really want to spend your life whining?

Q: You make a connection between manhood, sonship and fatherhood. Explain to us why that connection is so important to being a successful father.

A: If I can change the question a little, I didn’t make the connection between manhood, sonship, and fatherhood. God did. He is the One who chose to write His own Fatherhood and Sonship on one half of the race of man and to write motherhood on the other half. Fatherhood and sonship flow from manhood just as motherhood and daughterhood flow from womanhood. Our sex is our destiny given us by God, and He will hold us accountable for our stewardship of that destiny in our sonship and fatherhood.

Q: What can wives do to help their husbands better fulfill their role as fathers? What about sons and daughters, how can they help?

A: Well, this is the million-dollar question, but here are some thoughts.

WIVES: Don’t nag, but pray. Don’t become bitter, but sweeten up. Don’t try to fill in the gaps in you and your children’s emotional lives by doubling down on your own intimacy with your children. Teach your children to honor their father, and honor and submit to him yourself without complaining or giving subtle looks that tell your children your resentment. Explain to your husband that you wonder if he loves you because real love between a man and his wife is as emotionally intimate as it is physically intimate. Ask your husband to go with you to meet with the pastor; tell him that there are some things you’d like the pastor’s help explaining to him. Don’t baby him. Ask questions that are open-ended. Study him. Learn his fears.

Pray for your husband. Neither parade nor hide his failures. Don’t use your emotional intelligence to show him up in front of your children. Let him make mistakes. Sometimes, you’ll be surprised to find out he was right. Many men learn fatherhood by watching their wife’s motherhood and doing what helps and strengthens and protects her.

SONS AND DAUGHTERS: Pray for your father. Each day, make sure you tell him you love him and give him a sincere smile. Both sons and daughters should do these things. Obey your father. Speak to him respectfully and don’t ever play your mother off against him. When he says no, don’t go to your mother and get a yes. Fatherhood is very hard work. God is the Pattern for that work so fathers never stop seeing their failures. Encourage them in their work.

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