Psalm 127:3-5 “Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.”
Psalm 91 – God protects His children and provides intervention when necessary NT – The Father’s protection through the Spirit’s presence, guidance, prohibitions and consequences “Father’s can provide a shield of protection, either by physical presence or by giving advice, by toughness in applying consequences, or by denying permission when a child is about to engage in an activity which will be dangerous or potentially harmful.” (David Wickstrom – Raising Resilient MKs)
Small group discussion: How realistic is it for fathers to protect their children? What are the key areas of need as it relates to “protection”? What can a missionary father do to protect his children: physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually? What can we do to encourage those we serve to protect their children? What areas may we need to address with fathers?
“Having this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant…” Philippians 2:5-7 Incarnational Fathering – An intentional setting aside of the “me” in order to enter into the “them”. And in that moment of moments, it’s not necessarily what I say or do, but that I’m there. (John Blase)
God promises that He will never leave us or forsake us The HS is described as always available to us Small group discussion: What does it mean for a missionary father to provide “presence” to his children? What obstacles are there within the missions context that fight against this aspect of fathering? What advise can we give to those we serve when we observe a lack of presence?
“As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” James 5:11 Defined: “persisting in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counterinfluences, opposition or discouragement.”
“Generally, by the time you are REAL, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby.” Small group discussion: What does perseverance look like for missionary fathers…how is this practically lived out? How do the multiple “transitions” that missionary families face…impact the issue of persevering? How can we shepherd fathers who are disconnected from their children and have given up? How has God the Father…persevered for you?
V. 8-9: The model father is slow to anger V. 10: The model father is merciful V. 11-12: The model father does not keep records of wrong V. 13: The model father is full of compassion V. 14: The model father is understanding of his kids limitations
Encouragement on a regular basis Spending beneficial time with your child Work at discovering and encouraging your child’s interest Establish reasonable boundaries and discipline Give your child responsibilities appropriate to their age Work on two-way communication (listening) Avoid excessive criticism and correction Regularly express love verbally Model forgiveness Nurture their spiritual life (intentionality)
“He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers.” Malachi 4:6 What can we do as shepherd? 1. Keep an eye on the impact of transitions 2. Encourage fathers to love their wives well 3. Find ways to help fathers include their kids in life and ministry 4. Help fathers deal with their own identity issues