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November 2010
Dad’s Time-In
by Lori Coeman

Last month we found Mom in a Time-Out. This month we hope to encourage Dad for a Time-In. The nature of homeschooling and the responsibilities of fathers as the primary providers in the family mean that dads are usually not that involved in the day-to-day training. For the most part, it is up to mothers to use their nurturing anointing to bring out what is best in their children and curb what is worst in their behavior. Dad may be called in to add “substance” to any disciplinary measures, but the bulk of the program falls to Mom.

Our theme this month is considering how God has fitly framed our family together. That includes you, Dad. Mothers may nurture, but dads model. And we’re not just talking about the latest and greatest tie received for Father’s Day. No, this outfit is much more important. It’s the outfit of God’s character. Like it or not, how your children relate to their Heavenly Father is based first and foremost on how they relate to their earthly father.

As the quote of the month implies, you are the first impression your children get of how authority and love work together. That’s why Ephesians 6:4 admonishes fathers to “provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Loving-kindness and mercy are just as much a part of God’s character as justice and judgment – if not more so (James 2:13).

“Provoking to wrath” doesn’t refer to your children getting upset when they are disciplined. Who likes to be disciplined? It means disciplining them and correcting them in such a way that it doesn’t break their spirit. As parents, our job is to identify how God has uniquely designed each of our children and train them accordingly (Proverbs 22:6).

Since most fathers are not involved in the daily homeschooling activities, you don’t get the chance to see how your children learn naturally. It’s easy to assume that if you explain something in a way that makes sense to you, that your children will automatically see it the same way. Have you ever heard these words come out of your mouth: “Why aren’t you getting this? It’s so straight-forward.” Maybe to your logical, sequential brain, but not to your abstract, creative child. Or vice versa.

Like our physical genes, our children typically have a little bit of both parents in their own design, including their spiritual genes, emotional genes, and thinking genes. It can be difficult to relate to the child that is less like you, but it can be the most rewarding.

Remember, God has placed you together for a reason. Be sure to take the time to find out why, and not just leave it all up to Mom. It’s been said that dads are the face of the Father while moms are His hands and feet. To be spiritually complete, our children need both.


A note to single parents: do not despair if your children are missing a parent. God, in His incredible mercy and grace, will either equip you with the necessary abilities and anointing or will provide a godly role model to fill that gap. He is faithful to provide what we need; all we need to do is ask.


Photo Credits:
© Murar Gianino Sorin - Fotolia.com
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