A Vital Verse for Dads (How to Be a Good Dad)

Now, for those reading with older kids, this doesn’t mean that all of your child’s anger is caused by you. Each of our children is personally responsible for his or her own sin. But, the warning is clear. One of the ways our sin shows is by provoking others to anger. And the easiest place to do that is in our own home.

What are the most common ways we provoke our children to anger? That’s a logical next question. I won’t repeat every way in this post, but here’s a helpful list called 25 ways to raise an angry child.

Bring Them Up in the Discipline and Instruction of the Lord

So what does it mean to bring children up “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord”? It means that our goal is to raise our children to maturity, not just physically, but in such a way that we equip them to live as a godly, mature adults.

This is my goal as a dad. I think it should be your goal—to be intentional about discipling your kids. Ask yourself: Do your kids know what the Bible says about…

biblical truth
a biblical view of manhood and womanhood
biblical leadership
work, mission and purpose in life
how to face temptation
biblical stewardship

Think about it: Children do not automatically grow up to be what God wants them to be. Proverbs 22:15 says, “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.” Your child needs you to disciple him intentionally. This is not one of many options for raising your kids—it’s the only option for the Christian dad. There is no time of day or night that is “off-limits” for carrying out your responsibility. There is no room for being disengaged when you’re a disciple-making dad.

So what’s the goal for the disciple-making dad? The goal is not success, ivy league education or money. The goal is higher—to lead your child to love Christ, obey His Word and function as an adult who thinks and acts biblically.

Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship, used to say “faithfulness not success.” When I consider this, my rushed mornings and tired nights will be seen as disciple-making time, not disengaged-time or barking-orders time. Excuse me while I remove the pitchfork from my Amazon wishlist.

This article about how to be a good dad originally appeared here.

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Ryan Sanders is the Director of Outreach at Manhood Journey, the fatherhood ministry helping dads build godly men. Ryan is married to Tonia and they have three children. He serves as Lay Pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. and is a diehard Redskins fan. Learn more about Ryan here and find him on Twitter @RyanSanders.