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    2010 - 06.11


    Are you a father?  Are you intimidated by the thought of teaching your children about God?

    The intent of this website is to encourage you in the task of teaching your children.  This will be done by pointing you to resources for your learning, as well as for your use in teaching.   Also you will find examples of different approaches to instructing your children about the Lord that you can use.   You can do this mission. 


    For new fathers or those just starting to teach their children at home I have prepared this introductory message, as an encouragement to you.  The message is acquaint you with the CIA  approach to teaching your children godly principles.   This  is summarized  by the phrases:

    Be Consistent

    Be Intentional

    Be Appropriate

     Why Men Don’t Plan A Teaching Program For Their Children.

    There are many details to the reasons why men avoid home teaching.  I will not attempt to explain them.  I think that merely listing them will be sufficient  impetus  for many men to supply the explanations to fit the reason.

    I’m not smart

     I don’t have religious training

    I don’t know how to teach.

    I don’t know what to teach.

    I’m  not very interesting.

    I might make a mistake.

    I’m not supported by my wife.

    My children are different ages.

    I don’t have much to say.

    I have a difficult work schedule.

    My children live in a shared custody arrangement.

    The Power of the Father

    Children’s children are the crown of old men; And the glory of children are their fathers. (  Proverbs 17:6 ASV)

    Did you know that the above verse was in scripture?  It should remind all men of the importance of their role in their children’s life.  The father’s absence or presence is felt in at least two generations.   Consider how your father affects your life for good or ill.  Consider how your father’s  glory or lack thereof affects your  own self view.

    Sometimes influence is not imposed on another, it simply exists because we exist.  Fathers are influential when it comes to children, because God made mankind that way.  The issue for fathers is not whether there will be  influence, but rather what kind of influence.   That is why you need to deliberately pass on your values to your children.  If you don’t you will past on values in a hap hazard manner or give unintended opportunities to others to teach your children values you don’t approve of.

    Church involvement is one of the areas where a father’s impact is felt.  The absence of men at church affects how involved their children will be involved as they grow up.    Studies indicate that a father’s church attendance has a significantly greater impact on children’s church involvement than the mothers.   It is likely that you will be the spiritual leader in your home, toward God or away from God.  [1].

    Although church attendance is not the same as deliberately instructing your children, it is certainly a first step and shows the influence of the father in the long term.  One of the interesting things to consider is that sometimes deep change in a society occurs quietly.  It occurred to me one day that if people who oppose abortion had emphasized  seeing children as a blessing the change they could have brought about a deep change in society.   As a result of this view they might have had more  than two or three children a family.   Imagine how the view point of society in American would change if these children were brought up to believe that abortion was wrong and children were blessings.  In one or two generation the opposition to abortion would be tremendous.   This approach might take 40 years to change the nation, but it could last 100 years.  Now what if godly men focused on passing godly values in a winsome manner to their children in other areas as well?

    The diagram below is intended to illustrate how a father’s impact can last well beyond his death.   The impact comes through his children and grandchildren as they live out their lives.  Their live their lives with or without values and information the Father did or did not pass on.  You can see that although the Father died at 80, his influence continued at least til he would have been 120.   In many cases it could be much longer.



    When you consider these things, I hope you see that it is critical that you put aside the excuses and  as a man teach your children.  It is true that the relationship of a father to his children has been known to have far reaching consequences.   “And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse.”

    ( Malachi  4:6  RSV) 

    Save your family by being a Godly man in your home.

    Teaching Your Children

    As pointed out above  there are many reasons men avoid teaching their children.   If you love your children and want your values passed onto your grandchildren, then you must teach your children.  The effort is critical even if the manner is modest.

    Not only is it important that you teach your children, it is important that you begin early and do it seriously.  Ken Ham in his book Already Gone   notes that although many children sit in the pews at church, due to a lack of serious and in depth teaching at home, and to some extent at church, they have already left the church mentally in elementary school. [2]

    Children have many and deep questions as they grow up.  Sometimes your willingness to walk through these questions  with them is what can keep them on track.   You don’t have to have all the answers, but you must be willing to deal in a significant, honest,  and meaningful way with the issues that face us all as we grow up.

    Ken Ham, notes that we need to present the answers of God as not stories but as historical fact. [3] I would go on to say that the standards of God need to be presented not as just another way to live, but as the only true way to live life.  That is to say it is the only way of living that takes into account all of life.  Faith is not punting because we don’t have the answer.  It is acknowledging the power of God and our dependence upon Him.  The Bible is not just another source of knowledge; it is the source of essential knowledge so that people have an objective guide in the conduct of their life.  Revelation from God is important because it is the end of the seeking, so that that which contradicts scripture is to be doubted and not scripture itself.  Finite man has changed his conclusions many times in the areas of science, philosophy, psychology, government, history, and fashion to rely on them for life.

    In presenting God’s way be aware that there are many ways of thinking that oppose God.  They would go so far as to accuse God of wrong.  It is important that we frankly admit that God’s way is not approved by all people.  What the Bible teaches is not correct because we like it, or because more people approve of it than not, or because smart people approve it.   It is true because it is God’s Word even when mankind opposes it.

    As a father you need to be a learner.  In furtherance of this let’s consider how we come to know things.  Sometimes we use the scientific method or discovery method.  This is a trial and error approach.  As with most trial and error approaches each success is often accompanied by many mistakes.   Other times we use the revelatory method.   As limited beings, man has neither the resources, time nor knowledge to explore all things.  Indeed there are things he could not know unless God had told him.  This is revelation.  We can actually measure whether we have understood something correctly by comparing what we think we have learned with what God has reveled about the issues that touch on what we think we have learned.  Sometimes we use the didactic method.   This is the idea that through exchange with others or considering seeming opposing facets of an issue we learn and our ideas are refined and clarified.  Other truths are learned through relationships of faith or trust, in which we walk along a path and see its truths.   This is often how people learn to trust God.   Fathers need to wrestle with issues, study God’s word, live under God,  and seek the input of Godly people.  This will help you to be ready to help your children learn the ways of God.

    C onstant  I ntentional  A ppropriate

    The goal of this web site is to encourage fathers to teach their children.  This should be done constantly as they are growing up.  It should be done with the intention of passing on certain information, values, and attitudes.  Thirdly, it should be accomplished in a manner appropriate to your family’s circumstances and the ages of the children you have been blessed with.

    This mission is a critical one, because as pointed out above it will impact people for generations.   To help you remember this mission lets use the letters C I A.

    Constant.  The most understood and remembered lessons generally come through repetition.  That is to say the point is made several times.   Read the book of Proverbs.  Notice how many times the same main point is made.  If you want your children to remember the things of God you need to bring them up again and again throughout their lives in various  settings, circumstances and ways.   Remember Deuteronomy 6: 6 -9

     6 And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart;

     7 and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

     8 And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

     9 And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.


    Intentional.  While instruction can occur in a haphazard way, that is not the best way.  The teacher needs to know what message they intend to deliver.   This means that some effort must go into preparing the message.  As a father don’t stop  learning the things of God.  Read and listen to the Word of God.  Look for the lessons of God in your own life as well as in the world around you.  Properly understood these lessons will not contradict the teachings in the Word of God.  They will reinforce them and provide examples for you to use.

    You need to determine to teach your child lessons about knowledge and wisdom,  faith and faithfulness, about considering decisions in the light of eternity,  about the value of integrity, about respect and reverence, and about kindness, mercy and love to name a few.  Although there may be planned times of teaching, you need to have in your heart things you want to teach your children.

    There are many voices your children will hear.   These voices will have an impact on their lives.   Yours voice should be one of the most important is.  Through being intentional you can help them appreciate your voice as a clear, and therefore valuable, reference in their life.   In my career as a public official I  learned an important lesson  about interviews.   I learned that although you should answer the reporter’s questions, you need to keep answering with a turn to the message you want to deliver to those hearing the interview.  You need to have the intention of delivering a certain message.   Remember that your children, in a multitude of ways, spoken and unspoken, are interviewing you about life.   What is your message?



    Appropriate.  Teaching a child of six is different than a child of sixteen.  It is even different when the child is a girl or boy.  Your teaching needs to be appropriate to your child.  Although some teaching methods may survive the full time the child is in your home,  most will not.  This means that although you need to be intentional in your teaching, you also need to be flexible.

    When I say flexible, I am referring not only to style but also to content.   As your child gets older you may need to answer questions with more detail, but in meaningful sound bites.  For instance, although for a child of four it may suffice to sing a song about the days of creation in answer to the question of how God made the world.  This will not do for an eleven year old who is hearing about evolution or different gods on television or at school.  The eleven year old may need to be introduced to  the concept of intelligent design, so that they understand that they world around them teaches creation as the way things happened, through inseparable dependencies found throughout our world.  Psalms 19:1 -4 is true. At age fourteen, you may need to explain the implications of creation and the entrance of sin into the world so that they can interpret their increasing awareness of the world outside their family in a mature godly framework.



    Being a father is at once a challenging and rewarding responsibility given by God.   If you have a child, whether they know you or not, you can’t avoid the responsibility.   While impressing you with the importance of the father task, my intent is to encourage you in it.  You don’t need to be a genius or a star.  What you  need to do is care enough about your child to give what you have to them and for them so that they will know that Godliness and your being their father are inseparably linked.   You can be an unsophisticated man or very refined man and succeed at this task, because no one has the secret ingredient for impacting their life like you do.   You are their father.

    [1] http://www.fisheaters.com/menandchurch.html

    [2] Ham, Ken  and Britt Beemer,  Already Gone ;  copyright 2009,  Master Books, Green Forest, AR; pages 31-32

    [3]  Ibid,  pg. 150 -151

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