Confession #1: I can’t build anything without the instruction manual. Whenever I bring home something requiring assembly, I lay out all the pieces on the floor and open the manual to Step 1. Sometimes, I even check the instructions in Spanish to make sure I’ve covered my bases. And countless times, I’ll still knock over a pile of bolts and end up on my knees, praying for God to shine a light on the missing piece.
Confession #2: I have looked long and hard for the instruction manual on how to raise my two boys. They must have forgotten to give it to me at the hospital. Fortunately, there are many great books and resources to help, but on many occasions, I still find myself in the same position I mentioned above…on my knees, praying for God to help me find the missing piece. The main difference here is that more times than not, He helps me find it…by pointing me back to Him.
As we talk about constantly, just about every mentee you encounter deals with a father wound from their childhood. I think this is why the topic of parenting creates so much angst for them, often even more so than marriage. Young dads don’t always know they need help being better husbands, but they almost always feel inadequate when raising kids.
As a dad of two teenage boys, I get it. Culture is throwing the kitchen sink at our children, so today’s parents are desperate for wisdom from those who have gone before them. And you’re in the unique position as a mentor to serve them well by listening to their stories and their concerns, sharing what you did as dad and what you wish you’d done. And most importantly, pointing them back to their perfect Heavenly Father…our best resource for fathering with grace and love.
Below are some practical resources to help you. Let them inform how you guide your mentees on the topic of parenting or pass them directly on to those in your group.
This new book from pastor Jon Tyson is an excellent guide specifically for dads of sons. It lays out a clear path filled with practical steps and specific activities to help us raise sons of consequence, young men who know what they believe and who they are.
In this post, mentor Mark Butler reminds us that the days are long, but the years are short. There are only 940 Saturdays between your kid’s birth and when they leave for college, and if we want a family legacy built on love, sacrifice, and Jesus, we must make the most of that precious time.
Pastor Adam Griffin on the dadAWESOME podcast discussing the importance of family discipleship and providing some great insight on how to be dads who lead. Listen for nuggets you can share with your mentees or a resource you can pass along to them.
As parents, our energy and attitude will be mirrored through our kids. So, if the day is taking an emotional nosedive, it’s up to us to right it. This article shares eight ways to do just that. Pair this with a story about one of your bad parenting days and how you’d do it differently.
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