Friday, April 20, 2007

How To Be A Godly Dad - some advice for my expecting friend

I was thrilled to learn this week that my friend Timmy & his wife are expecting their first child. He asked a great question this morning:

Do you have any wisdom or advice you could give me and/or my wife during the next eight months? How have you prepared yourselves to be parents and embrace the call to be godly parents?
This is the kind of question that all parents should be asking. Not just when preparing for their first child but every short day that God gives us with our little ones. Here is my humble advice:

How To Be A Godly Dad
  1. Pray earnestly to God for grace - you will need it. We are fallen and failed men. Without God's grace you will abuse, neglect and damage your children. Accept that. Embrace your depravity. Then ask God for help. Only by the powerful working of the Holy Spirit can you ever hope to be a blessing in your child's life. "If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (Luke 11:13 ESV)
  2. Discipline yourself for godliness. The same spiritual growth that makes you a good husband, pastor and friend will make you a good dad. Godliness is great gain in all things. Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. (1 Timothy 4:7-8 ESV)
  3. Think of yourself as a pastor and spiritual overseer of your family. This is your primary and most essential field of ministry. Don't let your passion for all people replace your passion for your people.
  4. Be intense about loving and serving our wife. Pregnancy and the first year of parenting are incredibly difficult times - especially for the marriage. The dynamic of your relationship will change and grow into something more beautiful than you can imagine. But a lot of couples tragically distance themselves during these growing pains. Resolve now that you will love and serve and lay down your life for her with the same intensity that Jesus has for his church. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. (Ephesians 5:25 ESV)
Brother, I hope these words encourage you. I've fallen short on every point I've written about. But parenting is all about grace. None of us deserve the awesome blessing of procreating a God image bearer. I'll be praying for you.

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Timmy Brister said...

Thanks Tony! I am going to print this out and read over it. God knows my heart and how earnestly I desire to please Him as a father. By God's grace and by the love of a wonderful wife and mother, I hope to be such a godly dad.

Tony Kummer said...

Congratulations to you and your wife.