Monday, July 25, 2016

3 Steps to Being a Better Dad

1 Thessalonians 2:11-12
 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.

Things to think about:

  • The metaphor of fatherhood is pervasive in the Bible.  Abraham is the father of a nation, earthly fathers are regularly referenced, and of course God the Father is front and center.
    • Here, Paul says that he has dealt with the believers in Thessalonica as a father deals with his children
  • Many struggle to conjure up a positive image of God because of our past and our earthly fathers.  For others, they were blessed with a very positive model.
    • What characteristics or traits would you use to describe your father?
  • In our passage, we see three qualities that Paul highlights as those of a good father - encouraging, comforting, and urging to live lives worthy of God. Let’s look at each one in a bit more detail.
  • Encouraging 
    • A child is always encountering new challenges, new things they’ve never tried, as well as the occasional stumble. Encouraging means to “give heart”. Oftentimes we don’t believe we can do something because it seems too hard or daunting. When we encourage our children it tells them that we believe in them so they can believe in themselves.
      • can you think of a time when your father (or other significant man in your life) encouraged you? How did it help you rise to the occasion?
      • How does your Heavenly Father encourage you?
  • Comfort
    • We all need to be comforted because life is hard and comes with its share of hurts and disappointments. While a mother’s touch is gentle and soft, a father’s strong hand helps revive and strengthen.
      • can you think of a time when your father (or other significant man in your life) comforted you? How did it rebuild your strength to carry on?
      • How does your Heavenly Father comfort you?
  • Urging to live a life worthy of God
    • A few verses before our passage, Paul says in verse 6 that he wasn’t trying to please man but God. He goes on to say he wasn’t seeking the praise of anyone. We all urge our children to do well in school, “stay out of trouble”, to be kind to others.   And these are good things. Yet are we urging them to aspire to please God? Our salvation came at the highest price. Moreover, we have been adopted as sons of the King and need to live lives that reflect accordingly on our Heavenly Father.
      • can you think of a time when your father (or other significant man in your life) urged you to live a life worthy of God?
      • How is your Heavenly Father urging you to live a life worth of Him?
  • What takeaway do you have from today’s lesson that you want to bring to your children?

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