50 Actions for Clueless Fathers

I’m new to Steve Farrar’s ministry and writings. I stumbled across one of his books while researching fatherhood in Puritan New England. The few chapters I read were mostly good. I do have some concerns but those are for another time.

One chapter that I found particularly helpful was entitled, “Plymouth Rock Coaching Clinic.” Farrar argues, “The Puritans were great coaches. They knew how to teach. And they knew how to motivate.”  Now, I hate his use of the word coach here. I’d prefer instruct, train, or father. Fathering defines coaching, not the other way around. Nonetheless, I agree with the underlying point of what he is saying.

Farrar then goes on state what too many us know to be absolutely true:

“It’s tough to be a good father if you didn’t have a good father. Your ability to father is greatly affected by how you were fathered. If biblical fatherhood was modeled for you, you’ve got a tremendous head start.”

Ain’t that the truth?

I had a dad that loved me but he didn’t model biblical fatherhood. I’ve spent a large portion of my life playing catch-up to my peers who had a the opposite experience. That is, in part, the motivation behind the creation of this website. It’s a place for the clueless to get some clues. Back to Farrar.

He doesn’t leave us clueless without hope. He says, “you can still catch up. You really can.” Farrar gives us a list of “fifty tangible and concrete things that [we] can do.” Some of them are a bit cheesy but they are still helpful.

  1. Coach them how to pray.
  2. Coach them that the most important book in all the world is the Bible–and that they should read it every day.
  3. Coach them in how to buy a car by taking them with you next time you buy one
  4. Coach them in how use the library.
  5. Coach them in how to stand up to a bully and defend themselves.
  6. Coach your sons that men protect women.
  7. Coach them about money–at least 10 percent to God, 10 percent to savings,
  8. Coach them to never make a major purchase without thinking about it for at least twenty-four hours.
  9. Coach them to dribble with their left hand.
  10. Coach the ahead of time how to handle pornography.
  11. Coach your daughters that there are two kinds of beauty–outside and inside–and that inside is more important to you and God.
  12. Coach them to respect and obey authority–parents, teachers, police officers, etc.
  13. Coach them to be kind to the kids at school whom other kids make fun of.
  14. Coach them not to cheat on homework or tests.
  15. Coach them to immediately return the money when they have been given too much change.
  16. Coach them to do a job right–the first time.
  17. Coach them to open the door for their mother.
  18. Coach them to share their victories, joys, sorrows, defeats, and hurt with you. You do that, by the way, by listening.
  19. Coach them to do what’s right when no one else is around because Jesus is always around. And Jesus will reward them because they have character.
  20. Coach them not to lie–before they get into the habit.
  21. Coach them that some things are more important then sports–like Sunday worship.
  22. Coach them to change their oil every 3,000 miles–and get your daughter a cell phone when she starts driving (trust me on this…you’ll have a better quality of life).
  23. Coach them to say no to movies that their friends, even their Christian friends, say yes to.
  24. Coach your son to be a gentleman.
  25. Coach your daughter to be a lady.
  26. Coach your son to tie a tie and polish his shoes–before he’s thirty.
  27. Coach them that when you say no you mean no.
  28. Coach them that it’s great to kiss your wife.
  29. Coach them that their very best friend ever will always be Jesus.
  30. Coach them to call home if they’ll be late–and to keep the battery charged on the cell phone.
  31. Coach them to stand alone.
  32. Coach them that they aren’t followers–they are leaders.
  33. Coach them that it’s better to be respected than popular.
  34. Coach them that motherhood is the most important job in the world and definitely more important than a career.
  35. Coach them that it’s a father’s job to provide for his family.
  36. Coach them that God wants men to lead in the home and in the church.
  37. Coach them to never give personal information to someone they don’t know on the phone.
  38. Coach them that even if they do make it to the NBA, they are going to have to do something else for the next forty years.
  39. Coach them that good daddies hug and kiss but they also spank, and they make sure to hug and kiss after they spank.
  40. Coach them to know what to look for in a husband.
  41. Coach them to know what to look for in a wife.
  42. Coach your daughter that both God and you think she is very, very, valuable–and she won’t act cheap.
  43. Coach your son to keep his hands off his date.
  44. Coach them how to handle a checking account by letting them have one when they are in high school.
  45. Coach them to love people and use things–instead of the other way around.
  46. Coach them to measure twice–and saw once.
  47. Coach them that Daddy will never leave Mommy.
  48. Coach them that the narrow way is always the best way.
  49. Coach them that there is nothing they could ever do that would make you stop loving them.
  50. Coach them that there is nothing they could ever do that would make God stop loving them.

That ought to keep you busy for a while.

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