10Psalm 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.”
11The Power of Protection Psalm 91 – God protects His children and provides intervention when necessaryNT – 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)
12Small group discussion: ProtectionSmall 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?
13The Power of Presence“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 2:5-7Incarnational 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)
14Presence - Deut. 31:6; Heb. 13:5; John 14 God promises that He will never leave us or forsake usThe HS is described as always available to usSmall 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?
15The Power of Perseverance “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.”
16Velveteen Rabbit Fathering “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?The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it."What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?""Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.""Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit."Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt.""Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?""It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. 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. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
17Psalm 103:8-14 V. 8-9: The model father is slow to anger V. 10: The model father is mercifulV : The model father does not keep records of wrongV. 13: The model father is full of compassionV. 14: The model father is understanding of his kids limitations
18What’s the job of a father? Encouragement on a regular basisSpending beneficial time with your childWork at discovering and encouraging your child’s interestEstablish reasonable boundaries and disciplineGive your child responsibilities appropriate to their ageWork on two-way communication (listening)Avoid excessive criticism and correctionRegularly express love verballyModel forgivenessNurture their spiritual life (intentionality)
19Empowering Fathers Steve Sweatman & Tim Wilson “He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers.”Malachi 4:6What can we do as shepherd?Keep an eye on the impact of transitionsEncourage fathers to love their wives wellFind ways to help fathers include their kids in life and ministryHelp fathers deal with their own identity issues