In this video interview with Julia (Stager) Mayo, former EPM staff member, she asks, “What encouragement do you have for fathers?”
Randy: It’s a huge job, and fathers need encouragement. One of the things I think about is what Scripture says in 1 Thessalonians 2:12. Paul says when he was with the Thessalonians, he was encouraging them, comforting them, and urging them to live a life worthy of the Lord. When it comes to being a father, we tend to skip right to the urging: “Make our children be obedient. Make sure they are good. Make sure they do the right things.” You know, telling them what to do.
I think Paul gives a good model when he talks about first encouraging and comforting children. Because when you are there to encourage and comfort your children, then you’ve got a relational basis for when the time comes that you have to urge them to behave the right way.
Does that make sense?
Julia: Absolutely! I think the father/son or father/daughter relationship is so important to the child. First establishing that foundational relationship is going to make the truth you speak into their lives much better received.
Randy: Yes. We have to come to our children with grace and with truth. That’s a huge job for fathers. But the thing I would say to encourage fathers in this process of parenting is that God is a father. God totally understands what it means to be a dad and that sometimes children will rebel. He understands that you are first His child and only second are you a father.
So learn, as a child of God, what you love and enjoy about your Father in Heaven. Then seek to be that kind of father to your children.
Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries.
Julia (Stager) Mayo holds a Master of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies from Western Seminary. She was previously part of the Eternal Perspective Ministries staff, and still does occasional research work for Randy Alcorn.