Some possible ways a father could openly express God’s love through providing relational nurture for his children.
♥ Spend some time with them individually and together, doing what they enjoy.
♥ Take some time to play and laugh with them.
♥ Lead the family in Bible reading, sharing together, and praying together.
♥ Demonstrate to the children that he loves and honors their mother.
♥ Be reasonable when they ask for permission to do or buy something.
♥ Apologize to the children when his attitude has been unloving toward them.
♥ Hug and kiss them and wrestle with them playfully.
♥ Read to them individually or together or have them read to him.
♥ Have an occasional “talk date” with each child and be available to talk with them when they desire to do so.
♥ Praise the children for whatever is praiseworthy in their lives.
♥ Play sports or board games with them or work on crafts or projects together with them.
♥ Help his children develop their talents in academic endeavors, in sports, in music, or in the arts, and attend their games, performances, or exhibitions.
♥ Help them with homework.
♥ Encourage the family to share mealtime together as much as it is possible.
♥ Take the family on special outings together.
♥ Listen to the children’s concerns and bear their burdens with them.
♥ Comfort them in their sorrow and guide them with godly counsel.
♥ Share his own joys and sorrows when they would encourage his children or help them understand him better.
♥ Spend special time with them at bedtime.
♥ Go shopping with them.
♥ Allow the children to give him input on certain family decisions.
♥ Train them to make wise, godly decisions themselves based on scriptural principles.
Some possible ways a father could openly express God’s love through not provoking his children to anger.
♥ Be home enough with his children to spend time regularly with them doing the things they enjoy, instead of being consistently absent from the home or neglecting or ignoring his children when he is there.
♥ Consistently praise the children and guide them regarding what is good and right, instead of having a critical attitude toward them and nagging at them.
♥ Be fair with the children instead of unfair.
♥ Encourage them and have fun with them and be sensitive to their feelings, instead of demeaning them, embarrassing them (especially in front of their friends), and poking fun at them.
♥ Recognize that each child is different and has different abilities, talents, interests, and physical and mental limits, instead of playing favorites with one child over another.
♥ Give the children reasonable responsibilities around the home so that they can contribute to the family, instead of neglecting to help them develop or coddling them.
♥ Be a good example to the children and, when he is not, apologize for his bad example, instead of excusing himself while correcting the children for doing the same thing.
♥ Adjust his expectations of each child to the level at which he can be regularly praised and rewarded for progress, instead of expecting too much or being too strict regarding unreasonable standards.
♥ Always be truthful with his children and, when he cannot tell them what is going on, tell them so, instead of lying to them.
♥ Make clear to the children what the family’s standards are and what the consequences will be for violation of those standards, instead of leaving the standards or disciplines unclear and subject to each parent’s whim or mood.
♥ Help the children grow by making some of their own decisions and supporting them in their failures without a critical spirit toward them, instead of over protecting them.
♥ Guide his children and give them firm but loving limits, instead of being overly permissive and under-protecting them by letting them do whatever they please.
♥ Be open to reason, instead of being unwilling to let his children reason with him.
♥ Frequently say he loves his children, instead of neglecting to do so.
♥ Encourage and support his children, instead of discouraging and downing them.
♥ Express forgiveness to his children when they apologize for their disobedience, even perhaps hugging them, to communicate acceptance, instead of neglecting or refusing to express forgiveness.
♥ Apologize to his children as often as he communicates unloving attitudes to them, instead of justifying himself or neglecting to apologize.
♥ Help each child when he needs his father’s help, instead of letting him or her go it alone.
♥ Listen to his children in a timely manner about their concerns, interests, dreams, and ideas, instead of not being available to listen to them.
♥ Comfort and commiserate with his children when they are grieved or unhappy, instead of just letting them grieve on their own.
♥ Communicate his love to his wife, instead of communicating a lack of love to her.
Some possible ways a father could openly express God’s love through keeping his children under loving control.
♥ With input from his wife, determine what will be the standards of behavior for the children at their various stages of growth.
♥ With input from his wife, determine what will be the disciplines for violation of the standards of behavior.
♥ Communicate to the children the standards of behavior for the home and the disciplines for violation of those standards.
♥ Be consistent in his expectations of the standards of behavior for his children and consistent and equitable in disciplining them for violations of those standards.
♥ With input from his wife, take the lead in establishing a system of rewards for good behavior for the children (especially for younger children).
♥ Consistently praise his children for their good behavior and for praiseworthy accomplishments.
♥ Teach the children the principles of Scripture upon which the standards for their behavior are based.
♥ Not refuse or neglect to lovingly use the rod on the children (Prov. 13:24, Heb. 12:6).
♥ Discipline the children firmly in love, not in anger.
♥ When he does spank the children in impatience or anger, quickly apologize for these unloving attitudes, making it clear to them that they needed the discipline but not the rejection communicated by his impatience or anger.
♥ Affirm his love to his children after he disciplines them, perhaps through a warm hug and through verbal encouragement.
Some possible ways a father could openly express God’s love through teaching the truths of Scripture to his children.
♥ Take the children to church and Sunday school at a Bible Teaching Church and send them to biblically sound children’s and youth’s ministries, camps, and conferences.
♥ Take the lead in establishing a regular family Bible time in which he teaches his wife and children what he understands of the truths in God’s Word.
♥ Be an example of applying the truths of God’s Word to his own life, and when he fails, be an example of confession of his sin to God and apology to those who have been hurt by it.
♥ Point out to the children in various situations how the principles of Scripture apply to life: while driving, watching t.v., reading literature, attending different events, having friends over to visit, eating at the breakfast or dinner tables, going out to eat, during a family difficulty, etc.
♥ Disciple his children personally, each in his area of personal need.
♥ Share both positive and negative things in his past life which illustrate the truths of Scripture.
♥ Make sure that their home school or their Christian school teaches the Word of God accurately to the children, and if they go to a public school, become enough acquainted with the educational materials so that he can teach his children the truths of Scripture to contradict the errors they are being taught.
♥ Help his children memorize Scripture and reward them for it.
♥ Read Christian books to his children or books illustrating or supportive of biblical principles.
♥ Pray with and for his children when they share their sorrows, challenges, worries, and joys with him.
♥ When it is appropriate, share with his children how he, too, made wrong decisions as a child or a teen and paid the consequences for them.
♥ Encourage his children to read Christian books, biographies, and stories.
♥ Teach his children Christian songs and hymns.
♥ Encourage his children to have a personal quiet time in the Word and prayer, just as he does.
♥ Teach the children from the Scripture about how to relate to others, how to deal with money, what is the meaning of sex, and how to live a life pleasing to God.
♥ Teach his boys how fulfill the proper biblical role of a man.
♥ With his wife, teach his girls how to fulfill the proper biblical role of a woman.
♥ Play games with the family that deal with scriptural truths and how they apply to life.
♥ Open their home to other Christian people, visiting missionaries, and Christian leaders.
♥ Provide the children with opportunities for making wholesome Christian friends.
Some possible ways a father could openly express God’s love through providing physical nourishment for his children.
♥ Be gainfully employed in order to provide food and covering for his family. If he is out of work, be pursuing a job diligently.
♥ Be faithful at his job, so that it provides a continual income.
♥ Remain at a less desirable job until he secures a better one.
♥ Adjust the family’s standard of living to his income, rather than risking repossessions and financial difficulties.
♥ Develop a budget with his wife’s help and lead in sticking to it.
♥ Shop wisely and thriftily and praise his wife for doing the same.
♥ Attempt to do home and auto maintenance and repairs himself, inasmuch as he is able.
♥ Not overspend on things he likes to the detriment of the family.
♥ Provide reasonable medical benefits and life insurance through his work or through his own efforts.
♥ Help with shopping for items that are healthful.
♥ Help his children understand and practice good nutrition, hygiene, and safety.
♥ Provide the best housing he can within his budget.
♥ Keep his bills paid when they are due.
♥ Stay out of debt (both credit card and loans) which he cannot pay off consistently in a reasonable time within their present budget.
♥ Provide some child support for his children who do not live with him.
Insights and concepts adapted from The Heart of Man and The Mental Disorders by Rich Thomson)