Thank you for accepting the heroic dad challenge. We begin with a question.

How do you define success as a father?

Putting food on the table? Paying the bills? A good start. But the scriptures offer a vastly more significant purpose. In short, heroic dads inspire and nurture Christian faith and Godly character in their children. God designed the home as the primary context of faith formation: a little-by-little, long-term process rather than a one-time event. A process dads are called to lead.

Anyone who has ever tried to teach a young child to ride a bike understands. It would be crazy to place your three-year-old child on an adult bike and give them a shove down the driveway. No matter how much you cheer “You can do it!” they will crash and cry within a matter of seconds. Instead, you buy your child a small bicycle with training wheels so they can get the feel for riding in safety. Once they’ve gained confidence you will likely remove the training wheels. But you still run alongside or behind them, letting go of the seat a few seconds at a time and allowing them to take a few harmless falls onto the grass. Not until you feel they have had enough experience within the relative safety of your guidance do you relinquish control to their wobbly instincts.

Take the same approach with your child’s spiritual formation. Your goal is much bigger than getting a son or daughter to pray a one-time prayer of salvation. As important as it is to guide children through that process when they are ready, the job is by no means complete. They have only begun the wobbly ride of lifelong faith. God intends dads to consistently guide children toward their God-intended purpose of becoming like Christ. A large part of that process is to nurture a bias toward right belief and to help them acquire a taste for right character. And that requires patient, diligent, intentional effort over the long-haul.

Over the next four weeks we will explain four simple principles and offer practical ideas that will help you become a more heroic dad. Thank you, in advance, for taking first steps toward achieving excellence in nurturing lifelong faith in your children!

Heroic Dad Challenge #1: Read Deuteronomy 6:6-9 followed by Psalm 78:1-8 to understand the priority and power of a father’s role in shaping the faith of his children. Then ask God to show you one practical way you can make that happen this week.

Going Further:

Discover ideas for becoming a more intentional dad by visiting the INTENTIONAL FATHERS page.