“You did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father”. Romans 8:15
‘Abba’ is a Chaldee word found three times in the New Testament and in each case is followed by its Greek equivalent, which is translated “father.” It is a term expressing warm affection and filial confidence. I want to be this kind of father. I want my children to remember me with “warm affection and filial confidence”, expressing a close relationship.
What kind of father are you? Most men can physically ‘father’ a child – but does that make one a real father? What memories do you have of your father? Do you want to be like him – or do you want to be different? Are you involved with your children – or are your children fatherless?
The Bible talks about ‘fatherless’ children and the special care we must give to these children. In the Bible, the cause of this tragic condition was usually death. Today, it is divorce or abandonment. America is rife with fatherless children.
There is no question that our children need both parents actively involved in their lives. Research tells us that children growing up without a father present in their homes:
- Are more likely to be incarcerated for crimes against humanity
- Are 63% more likely to commit suicide
- Are 85% more likely to have behavioral problems
- Are 71% more likely to ‘dropout’ of school
- Are more likely to have children during teenage years
- Are more likely to become ‘underachievers’ and have problems holding a job
- Are more likely to have confused gender identities
‘Daddy’ comes as close to the meaning of ‘Abba’ as I can find in our language. Daddy, to me, expresses warm affection – yet respect. A daddy is not a buddy.
I have known of fathers going to the other extreme and trying to be a buddy to their children. Fathers that do not have custody of their children sometime try to be a ‘buddy’ or a ‘Santa Clause’. They believe that discipline will destroy their relationship with their children – thus they spoil them by giving them things and refuse to curb bad behavior. Children do not need a buddy – they need a daddy.
How can a father become a balanced ‘Daddy’? Wayne Parker, a blog writer on ‘Fatherhood’ gives the following good advice, which I will summarize:
- Build up an “Emotional Bank Account” for your children This bank account must have regular deposits of trust and faith. You can do this by showing love, loyalty and integrity over the life of the child.
- Give your child your time – not things. There is no such thing as “Quality Time”. Time is time. Schedule time with your family.
- Teach responsibility. Teach by example, the value of work. Give and monitor chores.
- Keep your commitments.
- Give children standards and hold them responsible.
- Walk the walk. Walk your talk.
- Express your love. Say it in words, and say it often.
- Respect your children and their mother. Expect respect in return.
- Teach by example good behavior. Above behavior -teach values.
… And let me add one more – Teach them to love and respect their God. Show them daily, by your actions, your love and respect for God, His Word, and His Ministers.
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