Becoming A Connected Father

Day 2 of 8 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Day 2: Leadership Strategy 1

Read Scripture  

Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Have you ever met a guy who was lights out at work, but an under-performer at home? At work, he was confident, capable, and respected. But, at home, he was disengaged, disregarded, and apathetic.

I’ve known guys like that.

Sadly, there have been times in my life, when I was that guy. I’d be flying high at work, but then I’d come home, and angrily rebuke my sons and yell at them harshly. I’ve actually had my finger in my boys’ faces, yelling, “We don’t scream at people when we’re angry!” True story. Isn’t that ridiculous?

I’d never treat a colleague like that! Why my own family?

Let’s look at the topic of Leadership, specifically in the context of being a father who leads his family well. I’ll share four specific strategies that can help you win in this area. Sure, there are more, but we think that’s enough to get your creative juices flowing.

Leadership is a common term. You and I already know many things about leadership – maybe you’re like me, and you’ve read books about leadership, heard sermons on the topic, maybe even attended seminars to grow as a leader. Odds are, you’re a skilled leader in at least some areas of your life.

But, how do we apply these leadership principles in our homes? How do we avoid being a winner at work but a loser at home? First, let’s address a few fatherhood leadership challenges.

One of those challenges is being intentional in our parenting. Not just “going with the flow,” but intentionally tackling meaningful tasks as a Dad. D.L. Moody said it like this, “Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at something that doesn't really matter.” As dads, we want to be intentional so that we’re succeeding in the areas that really matter with our families.

We need to balance our priorities, manage our time well, and have enough energy “after work” to pour into our families. Many of us must overcome feelings of failure and like we’re not doing enough. Often, we’re doing this while wrestling with regret over past choices.

If we’ve tackled all that, we need to control our anger and be more patient. Then, we get to battle outside influences and fight against culture – in particular – the impact of technology.

Oh, and don’t forget to set the right example, and make sure our kids own their faith.

Whew. It can be an exhausting, wide-ranging collection of challenges.

In the end – these are all connected, either directly, or indirectly, to our leadership. I love and hate how Tim Keller said it: “One of the problems with discipleship is you can’t hide…You have to be a godly person.”

Said another way, leading our families isn’t something we do – it’s someone we are.

Leadership strategies

Let me share two specific strategies today and tomorrow that you can employ to grow as a leader in your home. But, before I do, let me address the elephant in the room – your marriage.

Many guys want to be a great dad, but they’ve forgotten how to be a great husband. If you’re married, then the bedrock of your fathering is your husbanding.

That might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many guys I meet who think they can separate who they are as a husband from who they are as a father. It’s madness.

Your marriage is a picture of the gospel, and how you treat your wife will influence how your kids relate to you BIG TIME!

However, maybe you’re divorced. If you are, rest assured – these strategies we’re going to talk about will work for you – they just might be a bit tougher to pull off at times, given your situation.

But, if you’re like most of our dads, you’re married and striving to be a godly husband and father. Let’s just be sure we agree to keep it in that order.

The easiest fathering foundation to build on is a solid marriage. With that out of the way, let’s dive into Strategy #1.

Strategy #1: Read Scripture

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Tim 3:16-17 (NIV)

Do you see that term in there: “servant of God”? Is that how you see yourself? Do you realize, that as a father, you’re a servant of God to your family?

I have no idea how a man can effectively serve his family without regularly investing time in God’s Word. God says His word will not return void. He says that it can discern the thoughts and intentions of our hearts. It is our guide, counselor, shield, shelter.

If you’re trying to be a godly dad and you only crack open your Bible once a week at church… that’s like trying to run a marathon on an empty stomach, and without ever taking a breath. 

You’re running out of oxygen. You’re going to faint.

God’s word promises to nourish, feed, and sustain us – it promises to give us energy, insight, wisdom, courage and strength. God’s word is not just a “life manual” for us to learn from – it’s a “heart surgery” in written form.

Show me a godly dad, and I’ll show you a guy regularly in the Bible.

If you want to be a Connected Dad, first connect with God every day through His Word.