Monday night, during the College Football National Championship game, I found myself in a tough spot. It’s after 10pm, and my son just woke up from a 3+ hour nap that started at 6pm. I put him in his bed because I thought he was down for the night. Well I was wrong.

I had no intention of watching the entire game, but I’m glad I did. Not because it turned out to be an instant classic, but because of the time I had with my son. He wasn’t going to bed any time soon now, so we enjoyed football and each other’s company.

He asked questions about the game. He asked what offense meant. He wanted to know about the yellow flag. And like the rest of the world, he even commented on the refs “big muscles”. Even though he most likely won’t remember the game, I won’t forget watching it with my “little buddy”.

Being a dad is one of the greatest responsibilities we have and it is important that we be the primary influencer in our son’s life. There were three things I took away from Monday Night.

Dads, we need to be the primary teacher in our son’s life.

Yes I’m willing and know I need to share in the responsibility of teaching my son different facets of life, but there is no denying the fact that a dad has an important role in the life of his son. But in some cases, our influence is far greater than google or any other avenue.

Here are a few important things we as Christian dads must teach our young sons:

  • We must teach them the importance of standing on the Gospel and the need for the Gospel daily. We sin, but this isn’t the end. We confess and repent and we pursue Jesus. We should desire to teach our boys what it means to be zealous for good works that our grounded in the Gospel of Jesus. (Titus 2:11-12, 14)
  • Our boys should learn from us how to treat women with respect. They are not an object and nor should they be treated as one. (1 Timothy 5:1-2)
  • Sex is a good thing created by God, but has been grossly corrupted by mankind. Avoid and flee sexual passions. (2 Timothy 2:2)
  • The need to learn and see from us the importance of hard work. No matter what you do, work hard for God’s glory. (1 Corinthians 10:31)

Dads, we need to spend time with our sons; not money on them.

I’ll be the first to admit that I struggle with this. If I’m in Wal-Mart with Colton, it’s easy to justify a bag a chips or a hot wheels car. The little bit of money those cost pail in comparison to the joy he’ll have. But time with him is greater than money on him.

In our world, time is limited and important. Shouldn’t we give our time to the most important things? Play a game with your son. Build Legos with him. Go throw a football. Learn to play a video game. Ride bikes. What ever our sons are interested in and loves to do, we should be there too. They value the time over the money. It’s not about finding time, it’s about making time. You make time for important things in life.

Matt Chandler, lead Pastor of the Village Church in Dallas, Texas has said multiple times that men should work harder at home than they do at work. The “work” is only beginning when you punch out on your time card. We must make it a priority to spend time with our sons.

Dads, we need to encourage habits of grace.

My son is 4 so there is no reading involved yet. However, we made it a priority to teach him to pray and memorize Scripture. We’re actually working on Psalm 19:14 as our memory verse as a family for the month of January. There’s plenty of commercial time during a football game to mute the tv and discuss Scripture. Prayer and God’s Word should be important aspects in raising our boys because they are important to every disciple of Christ. What we learn at a young age is often what shapes our adult life.

The goal is not for them to be good, moral men who can make a positive difference in society; though this is a good goal. The goal is for them to know Jesus as Savior and to live out the Gospel daily. This means they need to understand that prayer and meditating on and studying God’s Word is vital to our walk with Jesus.

It’s Worth It. 

Parenting is not easy, but it’s a great responsibility. We are called to be disciples who make disciples and what greater way to practice this command from Jesus then in our own home! Spend time with them, teach them the Gospel, and model what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Let’s raise our little boys to be grown men who honor Jesus by being a man who honors Jesus.