Tag Archives: Fathers

Men need to be involved, period. (Part 2 of 3)

Hey there,

So the statistics are sobering, right?  I remember deciding to take a break from reading all that negative information. It was overwhelming, and it made me feel hopeless for the youth I was beginning to work with and my own children. It was like every little mistake I made had a ton of consequences in my kids’ lives.

After taking that break though, I found an interview with one of the creators of the cartoon series “Veggietales”. This was a guy who had a tone of experience creating products that were supposed to help children understand their faith better. He was now a parent to a couple of teenagers and was asked the following question: “What parenting lessons did you learn from all these years invested in the Veggietales project”? His answer was not what I expected, but it changed my perspective on being involved in my kids’ lives. He said, and I will paraphrase, that after years of doing Veggietales, he grew frustrated with himself thinking that he was falling short in his “mission” as a father in his own home. He then realized that the mistake he was making was that he spent most of his time studying how to be a better parent. However, he had been neglecting himself. Especially when it came to his relationship with God.

You see, we will always  fall short of perfection. That’s just us being humans. Especially us men!! We’re just stubborn. But listening to the second part of his answer, I learned that there are two things that happen when we decide to refocus our efforts, from being better parents, to being better followers of Jesus. Here they are:

1- When we focus on our relationship with God, He in turn becomes the one in control of our families. It’s as simple as that. It’s like when you watch your kids struggling to get something done on their own, when all they need to do is ask for your help. You know that you could probably help out, but they need to let you do it. It’s the same way with God.

2- When we focus on our relationship with God, our kids in turn watch and learn. This is the most powerful teaching tool there is out there. The saying is true that “Faith is better caught than taught.” Let your kids see you praying, worshiping, reading the Bible, struggling, etc. I promise you, they will learn! 

Read this Passage from Scripture and learn how it is that God instructs us to teach our children

I hope this is a helpful resource for you! Our next part will be all about practical things Fathers (and even mothers) can do to better their relationships with kids.

Blessings,

Paulo Lopes

Youth Ministry Team

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Men need to be involved, period! (Part 1 of 3)

I’ve had a few conversations about this in the past couple of weeks, so I thought it would be wise to share some thoughts with you on the role of men/fathers at home and church. I hope this will be a helpful resource for you. I also hope that you will engage in conversation with us by sharing your thoughts and concerns.

Moms get a whole lot of attention when it comes to research and our culture in general. Moms are the ones to get the blame when things go south at home, but also the praise when things work out well. Now I’m not suggesting now that father involvement with kids is more important than mother involvement. But I’d risk saying (even though most of you reading this are moms) that father involvement is just as important as mother involvement.

To start this off, I’d like to share some research findings with you from the Father Involvement Research Alliance:

School aged children of involved fathers are also better academic achievers. They are more likely to get A’s, have better quantitative and verbal skills, have higher grade point averages, get better achievement test scores, receive superior grades, perform a year above their expected age level on academic tests, obtain higher scores on reading achievement, or learn more and perform better in school. Children of involved fathers are also more likely to live in cognitively stimulating homes. A father’s academic support was positively related to adolescent boys’ academic motivation to try hard in school, feel their grades were important, and to place a high value on education. Father contact was also associated with better socioemotional and academic functioning in school related areas for children with single or married adolescent mothers.
Young adults who had nurturing and available fathers while growing up are more likely to score high on measures of self acceptance and personal and social adjustment, see themselves as dependable, trusting, practical, and friendly, be more likely to succeed in their work, and be mentally healthy. The variable that is most consistently associated with positive life outcomes for children is the quality of the father child relationship. Children are better off when their relationship with their father is secure, supportive, reciprocal, sensitive, close, nurturing, and warm.
Children who have involved fathers are more likely to grow up to be tolerant and understanding, be well socialized and successful adults, have supportive social networks consisting of long-term close friendships, and adjust well to college both personally and socially. In addition, children who felt close to their involved fathers are also more likely to have long term, successful marriages, be satisfied with their romantic partners in midlife, have more successful intimate relationships, and be less likely to divorce. Likewise, young adults whose fathers were more sensitive in their early play interactions had more secure, healthy partnership representations of their current romantic relationship.
Father involvement protects children from engaging in delinquent behaviour, and is associated with less substance abuse among adolescents, less delinquency, less drug use, truancy, and stealing, and less drinking. For example, father involvement when the youth was in 10th grade was associated with less problem behavior (drug use, delinquency, violent behavior) the next year, especially if the father provided school support.
I hope you realize I’m not considering research surrounding “fatherless” children. I did this on purpose so that those of you out there who have a traditional household (mom + dad + kids all living together) don’t assume that there’s nothing to be done. Researchers of Columbia University found that children living in two-parent households with a poor relationship with their father are 68% more likely to smoke, drink or use drugs compared to all teens in two-parent households.
Our conversation here is about father (biological and non-biological) involvement in kids’ lives and the difference it makes.
I’ll leave you with this information for now. Think about it, pay about it, post a comment below. I’ll be back in a couple of days with part 2 where we will talk about scripture and what it says about father involvement.
I hope this resource is helpful to you and your family. As a ministry to youth, one of our most important jobs is to partner with you so that by God’s grace, you and us might have success in raising strong, mature Christian men and women.
Blessings,
Youth Ministry Team