Ephesians 6:4 is a great reminder about the role of a father in his child's life.
It says, "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord."
If Fathers want to see their children grow up to love and follow Jesus, then it is crucial that they connect with their children and establish a great relationship with them.
We know if a father brings rules without first connecting with his child through relationship, that it can lead to rebellion. The verse is clear that a father must first treat his children with love and respect before trying to train and discipline them.
One reason we have so many children going astray is because we have fathers who walked away from their fatherly responsibilities, leaving the mother to raise the child alone. Like never before, we need men to step up and be the spiritual leader in their child's life.
Hear are some ways fathers can connect with their children.
Find common interests. What does your child enjoy doing? What is fun for them? Whatever it is, join them in it. It might be a hobby. It might be going to a movie. It might be playing with toys. It might be building something. Don't dictate what it will be. Give your child the opportunity to choose.
Ask questions and listen. Open-ended questions. Questions that will get your child talking and sharing with you.
Get on the floor and play with your child. Tickle. Wrestle. Give him or her a horseback ride. Be fun. Be silly.
Play games. Kids love it when their father plays a game with them. Hide and go seek. Board games. Puzzles.
Encourage your children. Fathers are naturally more inclined to push their children outside their comfort zone. They are the ones telling their child to swing faster, to ride their bike faster, to climb up higher.
Mothers first and foremost protect their children. Fathers tend to be more encouraging and help their children take risks and push the envelope.
Fathers teach justice, fairness and duty. Mothers tend more toward grace and sympathy. Together it creates a healthy balance.
Fathers can show their daughters what a healthy relationship with the opposite sex should look like when they get older. A girl whose dad has been a solid role model, greatly enhances the child's ability to have a healthy view of men.
Boys who grow up with a father who is a godly example are less likely to be violent. They also learn from their father how to channel their strength and courage in age-appropriate ways.
Recently, I saw a video that is such a great example of what a father and child relationship should look like.
Andrea Bocelli, is a famous Italian singer, songwriter and producer. Recently, he sang a duet with his son, Matteo. As you watch them sing together and interact, you will pick up on the great relationship they have as a father and son. You see Matteo's love, admiration and connection he has with his father.
I don't know a lot about Andrea Bocellis' story, but it is easy to see that he connected with his son, Matteo, over the years and invested in him.
Enjoy the video and think about how important it is to have a solid group of men in your ministry who are investing in the next generation. And fathers who step up and fill the role God has for them.