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How are you leading?

“He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household,

how will he care for God’s church?”

I Timothy 3:4-5

This is a Problem We all know the importance of a father being in the home for their wife and their children. Recently, my boss and I were venting regarding our online college students in the various adjunct courses we teach and how it is apparent that many have never been held accountable until now. Now I'm the "Bad Guy" As a former high school teacher, I have seen firsthand the incentive to pass a student to the next grade or graduate to improve graduation rates and high school rankings. It frustrated me that we did not hold students accountable and teach them what I call “soft life skills” before they enter the working world or further their education. If you were wondering, I held and still hold my students accountable. Nevertheless, being the “bad guy” is exhausting every semester by holding students responsible for deadlines. Don't be a "Snow Plow" Parent My director and I (both fathers) were discussing the important roles fathers play in disciplining their children. It was evident that many of our struggling students had not been held accountable in their school systems or at home. I often witnessed what I called “snow plow” parents who “plowed” the road of any adversity for their children at the high school I taught at in Texas. Children need to learn reaping and sowing. They need accountability and, sometimes, even what we call in the south “the fear of God put into them.” This does not mean that we should rule with an iron fist and provoke our children to anger and constant shame, as Paul points out in Ephesians 6:4. Establish Biblical Boundaries As fathers, we have a responsibility to discipline our children with grace. We must teach them that they will reap what they sow, what healthy boundaries look like, and how to push them to do hard things and overcome adversity with love and grace. Parents do not love their children if they do not give them boundaries and consequences. Start with reading the passages of scripture that deal with family and parenting. Depending on your stage of life, read parenting books by well-respected and well-researched Christian authors. I recommend “Boundaries With Kids” by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend regarding boundaries and discipline. Consider meeting with a Christian counselor for further help with parenting, as I have had to do to ensure I was not too hard on my kids. A Strong Challenge I still remember, like it was yesterday, meeting my now father-in-law for lunch to ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage. Thinking it was going to be a good, casual conversation, I almost choked on my chips and salsa when he plopped down a copy of the qualification of an Overseer and Deacon from I Timothy chapter 3. He explained that he expected this from me if I married his daughter. I have never forgotten that expectation or challenge. May we, as Christian men, accept that challenge for our lives and families! My future son-in-law will receive the same challenge one day!

John Gore MD5 Facilitator

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