Becoming A Connected Father

Day 7 of 8 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Day 7 Training Strategy #2

Engage Hearts

Hebrews 4:12

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)

In his excellent book, Shepherding a Child’s Heart, Tedd Tripp explores this idea of caring more about our kids’ hearts and character development than just changing and controlling their behavior. He says, “All behavior is linked to attitudes of the heart. Therefore, discipline must address attitudes of the heart.”

So, taking this back to my young son’s disrespect of his mother: Do I want to “fix” that behavior just so we’re not embarrassed in public? Or, so that he appears to be a well-mannered little boy? Or, do I want to address it because one day he’ll have a wife of his own. He will need to cherish that lady and respect her above all others. A heart that does that first learned how to do it with his own mom!

As a dad, my job is not just to produce obedient children – that’s foundational – but my job is much more like a rabbi than a police warden. I’m supposed to be the chief disciple maker in my home.

I’m the guy who needs to help my children to love what God loves, and to hate what God hates.

Just recently, I was talking with one of my teen sons about his anger. I told him that he’ll know he’s fully mature when the things that anger him are those things that anger God, and nothing else.

This means that sometimes he’ll have to do extra chores because his brother’s working a job. That shouldn’t make him angry.

And just so this point is not lost – you are the chief disciple maker in your own home – it’s not someone else’s job to disciple your kids.

…not the youth pastor.

…not the school administrator or teacher.

…not the sports coach.

…not even your wife.

It’s a father’s primary job! When teamed up with a godly mom, there’s no stopping you!

If you want to be a Connected Father, focus on training your kids’ hearts more than just their behavior.