In the past week, I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be a father. One aspect of fatherhood that continues to be of interest to me is how I shepherd my boys differently from my little girl. In case you did not know, boys and girls are different. And I would believe that God has called them to different roles in the home. I have two boys that I want to shepherd to become leaders and shepherds in their home someday. I have a little girl that I want to shepherd to become the helper God has designed her to be someday. But how do I go about doing that?
This morning, I came across a list that I shared many years with some people. I have added to this list and thought I would share it with everyone. This would be my list on how to parent boys and girls so that they become godly, role-fulfilling men and women.
How to Shepherd Boys to become Men?
- Give them specific spiritual leadership responsibilities around the home. Have them lead prayer times. Have them lead Bible study times. The older they become, lean upon them to give spiritual leadership.
- Give them other responsibilities around the house. Make sure they are responsible for certain tasks, like taking out the garbage, getting the mail, mowing the lawn, or cleaning the garage. The more you can give, the more they will feel the weight of responsibility.
- Give them freedom to make decisions that will have consequences. Depending on their age, these choices will vary. But allow them to feel the weight of the decisions they make. Allow them to feel the blessings that come with good decisions and the weight of consequences when they make bad decisions.
- Apologize to them often. I think in doing this, you are showing that leaders do in fact fail. But it also shows them that good leaders make things right.
- Show them gentle care and concern. Show them that real men are not afraid to hug and say "I love you." Show them that it is okay to be sensitive to the needs and feelings of others.
How to Shepherd Girls to become Women?
- Love your wife as Christ loved the church. I know that sounds like a cliche, but you want to love your wife the way you want your daughter's husband to treat her. The greatest thing that she can see is how a wife should be treated.
- Show her lots of physical contact. Show her that you are her man for this season of her life. Do not be afraid to date her, hug her, and kiss her. Once again, you want to show your daughter that men can be sensitive to their needs.
- Model for her that men lead. Show her that there are godly men who can be trusted. Allow her to see your weaknesses. Show her that leadership means servanthood.
- Have her spend much time with mom. Create opportunities for her and mom to get away and do special things with each other. Help your wife instruct your daughter on what it means to be a godly woman.
- Teach her that children are a great blessing. I'm not saying that there has to be the stereotypical doll in the home that she takes care of, but help her understand that children are a gift from the Lord. Teach her that if the Lord blesses her with children, they will take priority in her life over a career.
I would love to have some feedback on this type of list. What are some things you might add to this list?