The Role of a Christian Dad

The Role of a Christian DadThe fundamental tenets of Christianity are derived from the Bible. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to turn to the scriptures for advice on how a dad can become the best Christian example that he can be to his children. The truth of the matter is that the simple ideas to live by that are contained within the pages of the Bible do not need exegetical mastery to interpret. The precepts are easy to understand and have worked throughout the ages in raising children into responsible well-adjusted adults.

Dad’s Consistent Example

Colossians 3:21 states in the New International Version (NIV), “Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.” “Do as I say and not as I do,” is a humorous saying but has no place as a proper parental example. The absolute best way to get children to adopt a behavior or mindset is for dad to be an example. Children learn a great deal by mimicry. A child with his toy hammer will mimic his dad who is pounding a real nail with a real hammer. Unfortunately, that same child will also mimic an expletive if it is shouted by a dad who hits his thumb while pounding that real nail in.

Children absorb information like sponges absorb water. All of this information ends up being hardwired programming that establishes mindset and behaviors. Fathers should set good examples so their children will come to know they can trust what Dad is both saying and doing. It is impossible for a father to tell a child to be a certain way and to do things a certain way without Dad being the example himself.

Breaking Negative Cycles

A new theory in science is developing that actually is an ancient precept firmly established in the Bible ages ago. Several scriptures speak of so-called curses visited on subsequent generations. Epigenetics is a study of alterations in genetics that do not change the underlying structure of DNA but do control gene expression. Simply put, it means that all behaviors from what we eat to environmental exposure can control gene expression in our offspring. A study involving pre-adolescent smokers who went on to father children have shown higher rates of obesity in the children of those who began to smoke at a young age. Another study involves higher incidents of negative issues in the children of mothers who underwent extra stress. The study group involves then pregnant women who went through an extended power outage during a harsh winter.

The data is mounting that what humans do now has a direct influence on certain genes being turned on or off in the children they have later. So far the data indicates that negative things from extreme stress to bad habits having a direct negative genetic result in the children that come along later. Armed with this information, it makes it all the more important to be the best we can be in order to give children the best chance they can have at a life that is filled with success, joy and health. It is interesting that the Bible already talked about something that is now only started to be proven by research.

Practically everyone can give examples of children who grew up to be just as bad or even worse than their parents. As a species, we have a tendency to remember such negative things. If we know a dad who went to prison for stealing and dealing drugs, we most certainly will remember his son who went to prison for murder. However, the opposite is equally true. A dad who goes to church instead of just talking about it raises children who attend church. A dad who prays for God’s help and praises God for all of the blessings received has children who do likewise. This is why it says in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”