In his book Shepherding a Child’s Heart, author Tedd Tripp defines the parent-child relationship as sheep-shepherd and the central focus of parenting as the gospel. In the sheep-shepherd connection, the parent serves as “guide” and “helps the child understand themselves and the world in which they live.” The guide emphasizes what is caught over what is taught. It sounds a little like mentoring.
According to Tripp, if the central focus of parenting is the gospel, then parents need to emphasize the child’s heart as much as their behavior. Luke 6:45 reminds us, “the good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.” As a father of two boys ages 15 and 12, I can relate to the tension this creates. In the moment, I respond to the behavior (sometimes in anger) and can create a more tense environment at home, and I am working hard to slow down enough to talk with them about the “why” of their actions.
As Andy Andrews says, “Remember, the goal is not to raise great kids; it’s to raise kids who become great adults.” If you’re mentoring young fathers, they need to be reminded that relationships are more important than rules. Relationships with others are important, but a relationship with their Heavenly Father matters most.
Every son aches for their dad to guide them through the challenging teenage years into manhood. The Primal Path is a practical course from pastor Jon Tyson to help overwhelmed, but determined fathers create an intentional process for walking their sons from adolescence into manhood.
Mentoring is around a goal; fathering isn’t specific. It offers opportunity and duty. It’s about all aspects of life. And if you’re not careful, it’s easy to relax into a routine, blindly replicating what your dad did. Regi Campbell reminds us of the importance of intentionality as dads.
On this episode of the dadAWESOME podcast, pastor Edrin Williams encourages dads they don’t have to be perfect dads, just dads who show up. He also covers the importance of having older men speaking into young father’s lives. Great listen if you mentor young fathers.
Since most men feel unprepared to be fathers, it’s essential to seek guidance from Scripture and from other dads. This reading plan combines principles and wisdom from Scripture with the experience of an older, wiser dad who’s learned from his mistakes.
ACTIVATE THE MEN IN YOUR CHURCH
Small group mentoring can help you engage your men, build your core group of leaders, and transform your church. Our free resources equip you with all the tools you need to launch a sustainable mentoring program.