In our last blog we discussed the first three strategies for effective fathering. Now when I say fathering, that includes your own children or even a protégé that your mentoring and coaching. We all need a level of fathering as we live our lives. This blog will focus on the last three strategies for being an effective father.
1) Encourage - Encourage them when they succeed and when they fail.
A huge component of growing and developing includes a consistent stream of encouragement. Let’s face it. We all get discouraged as we work, live, and play. Having someone in our lives that can come along side and encourage us is a great resource. Effective fathers are intentional with their encouragement. Win or lose, an effective father is there to give a pat on the back or to reach down and offer a hand up. Are you encouraging to your children? What about those you lead? Think of ways that you can be encouraging to those around you.
2) Discipline/Correct - Call out their blindspots in love.
We all have blindspots in our lives. These are areas of our lives that are there, but we cannot see them. Sometimes these blindspots are causing us major headaches in our lives. These can take the form of character flaws that we honestly don’t see. They can also be things that we choose not to address. An effective father will be willing to confront these blindspots in love. The idea in confronting and correcting these issues is to help the son or daughter. Great fathers love to help their sons and daughters achieve greatness. Are you willing to confront in love? Do you know how to confront in love? What are your blindspots?
3) Call Them to Nobility - Help them think higher. There is always another level!
Setting a high standard is another strategy that great fathers use. It is up to the father to raise the bar for the son or daughter. Greatness is achieved when standards are upheld. Will there be disappointments? Absolutely! But dealing and coping with a disappointment is part of the process of developing greatness. Effective fathers always raise the bar for their children. They know the greatness potential in them and are committed to draw it out. Do you set a high standard for your children? Do you set a high standard for yourself? Never ask someone to do something that you are unwilling to do.
I hope these strategies have been a help to you. Don’t wait! Start implementing right away. The next generation is depending on you.
Senior Pastor PowerHouse Church
This blog is intended to give the reader practical tips on how to be a father. Whether you are raising sons, daughters, or you are mentoring a young protege, these key principles are the foundation to fathering.
Robert Owens, a motivational speaker, triathlon athlete, and leadership expert, shared six strategies to implement to fathering a son or a daughter. I would like to share the first three strategies with you today.
1) Affirm Vertically - This entails reminding the son or daughter what God thinks about them. This is so key because it is the foundation of identity. The protege needs to have a firm foundation on who they are (identity) in Christ. We all need to be reminded that we were created in the image of God and are to be reflections of that image. We need to be reminded that God created each of us with a purpose to fulfill. Our sons and daughters need to know that God thinks they are valuable and unique, and He proved it by sending Jesus to redeem them.
2) Approve Horizontally - A father will take time to approve of their sons and daughters accomplishments. In order to do this you must be aware of what is happening in their lives. This takes time. You must invest time to hear what they are doing, what they are attempting, wins, loses, etc. Even in failure, a father can be instrumental on helping a young person get back up and get back at it.
3) Lay Sound Foundations - Our sons and daughters need a firm foundation to stand on. It is important that we help them lay a firm foundation. A key is that as fathers we need be firm. We will only reproduce who we are, so we need to ensure we are standing firm as well. Here are a few Biblical foundations that need to be established:
• The Scriptures are the very Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16, Hebrews 4:12). • We are unique and have a purpose (Jeremiah 1:5, Ephesians 2:10).
• Obedience to God’s Word shows that we love God (1 John).
Men, you are the priest and leader in your home. We must learn better leadership skills, so that our families and churches will thrive.
On the next blog we will discuss the next three strategies. I encourage you to take these three principles and begin to implement them daily with your sons, daughters, and those you mentor.
Senior Pastor, PowerHouse Church
What an attribute of an honorable man, integrity.
The Bible asks the question: who can find a faithful man? Prob 20:6.
Why has it become the exception instead of the norm to find men that give their word and then keep their word?
I believe it’s easy; integrity is the sign that a man has become a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17. I believe integrity is a sign that you are born again.
Let me explain. Jesus is The Word. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” – John 1:1 NKJV
Jesus therefore is “One with His Word.” He is integrity.
The word integrate and integrity have the same root. When schools were integrated in the 60’s children of all races were bussed to the same school. They became one.
When you married your wife, you became one with her and her with you. You are integrated with her.
In the same way we as believers must understand how very important our word is to us, others, and to God. We must keep our word.
People watch how we live. How we fulfill our word on a consistent basis. If we lie, they know Christ couldn’t be in us. He cannot lie.
When you give your word and break it, that’s called a lie.
The reason we are saved is because of the integrity of Christ. He told the disciple he would die and on the third day, he would resurrect. He kept His Word and by doing so allowed us to follow him into eternity. If He would not have come out of that tomb, we would all still have no hope of salvation. He proved we could trust what He said.
Jesus is integrity.
So, today, when you agree to be somewhere on time, to attend a function, to tithe and offer, etc etc etc do everything in your power to match your actions to your words. The result will be that people and God will see Jesus in you and more trust will be extended.
The term “father” represents a position within a family. To father is an action that means to create life, as well as raise up your children.
“For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.
For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body.
As the scriptures say, a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again, I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” – Ephesians 5:22-33
This headship is not like a dictator but a servant leader; one who serves by studying each circumstance the family encounters and makes a decision based on the best interest of the family.
His decision is to line up with the Word of God. For this to happen, he must read the Word and understand it. The father is the leader of the family. Below are a few things I desire to accomplish this year and in the future as the father of my family, as well as a leader in the Body of Christ. I encourage you to read these goals and create some of your own. Hopefully our goals will be similar.
As a father I pledge to:
GUIDE-GUARD-GOVERN those I am in authority over.
• GUIDE: LEAD MY FAMILY AND ALL WHO WILL BE LEAD AT POWERHOUSE CHURCH INTO A DEEPER RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST.
• GUARD: TO DEFEND AND PRAY FOR MY FAMILY AND POWERHOUSE CHURCH
• GOVERN: BLESS AND CORRECT MY FAMILY AND MAKE HARD CALLS/DECISIONS
• CONFRONT DANGEROUS MINDSETS
• REJOICE WITH MATURE DECISIONS
• SET UP MY FAMILY AND THE CHURCH TO WIN WITHOUT ME
• LEAVE A LEGACY OF STRONG, COURAGEOUS SONS AND DAUGHTERS BOTH NATURALLY AND SPIRITUALLY.
As a member of the house, whether you are a wife, son or daughter, you have a great responsibility to follow your leader. We all desire to have guidance and a strong protection or guard, but what about when it comes to being governed or corrected? How do you respond to correction? If you cannot follow a man you can see, you will definitely have issues when trying to follow a God you cannot see.
Family, our men really need your loyalty and support or this team will struggle. Church members, your pastors are the same in that they need you to be quick to respond to their decisions and to give your best sacrifice unto the Lord.
Here is the thought I will leave with you: if we refuse to be governed, we cannot realistically expect to have the Lord’s guidance or protection. This equation is not easy, but it is simple. Die to yourself so the team can win!
A FATHERS JOB IS TO PROVIDE FOR HIS FAMILY; TO FILL THE HOUSE WITH CHILDREN AND FUND IT.
AS I LOOK AT OUR CHILDREN, I THINK ABOUT LEAVING A DEBT FREE LEGACY. THE BIBLE SAYS DAVID SUPPLIED THE GOLD FOR SOLOMON TO BUILD THE KINGDOM. DADS SERVE AND HELP THEIR FAMILY TO WIN.
I want to inspire you as a man to be a leader in your home and church. The world needs godly men with godly character. Start today by reading the Word of God to your family each day. You can do this!
YOU CAN BECOME THE ANSWER THIS WORLD NEEDS.
If you want more of this type of teaching, order your copy of The Alpha Male and The Women Who Get Them.
"But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, 'The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:36-38 NKJV).
Jesus was moved with compassion because of the apparent lack of leadership among His people. We, too, should take an inventory of the low percentage of Christians that aspire to be leaders in the Kingdom of God. Jordan Ranch Retreat Center was created for just this reason, to build leaders for the purpose of winning souls.
Over 20 years ago, the Lord revealed a simple truth to me: men are called to be the head, the leaders of society (1 Corinthians 11 and Ephesians 5). We are a fatherless, headless, leaderless society, and to restore order in this world of chaos we need to start at the top.
In today's world, all you have to do is turn on the news in order to see the need for mature, Godly men.
Dr. Ed Cole stated that being a male is a matter of birth, but being a man is a matter of choice. As organizations, Jordan Ranch and Intense Men have proven, by their willingness to sacrifice before there were any partners helping with the vision, that this is a priority they value and that it will prevail in their legacy.
Maturity doesn’t come with age; it comes with the acceptance of responsibility. We do not just need men. We need mature, Christ-like men to take responsibility for a society that’s gone wild.
Here are some important fatherless statistics that you must understand :
What is the answer?
This concept was the catalyst for our ministry to open the doors of Jordan Ranch, Texas' premiere Christian retreat center. We have already seen over 60,000 people come through these doors over the last 9 years. Through the marriage retreats, church events and our annual Intense Men campout, we're molding mature men to impact a generation.
This ministry is non-profit and has already been shown to have a profound impact. If you're interested in learning more, visit JordanRanch.org. We'd love for you to partner with us to continue what God is doing here in Texas.
You can be a huge help by simply committing to as little as $3 per day towards this movement. For more information about how you can contribute financially to the cause of building the men of this nation, please visit www.jordanranch.org. If you'd like to learn more about Intense Men, visit IntenseMen.com.
Our men are lost. The pendulum has swung way to the left. Our nation and our world need men of character, integrity, single-mindedness, courage and maturity to stand up and begin to reverse the curse of apathy, weak-mindedness, complacency, and cowardice that has gripped this once proud and powerful nation. To reverse the curse, it will take many working together in biblical unity. The experience is available now. The tools are available now. The team is available now. The willing heart to offer the help is available now.
Strong churches exist because the men in them are strong in their faith and their courage. When we use the term church, keep in mind the first churches were called the ecclesia or “the set apart ones.” They were set apart because of their sacrificial hearts. These were people who understood the fact that if they joined this set apart group, they would be killed for a cause bigger than themselves. The first church was a group of ultimate warriors. The eternal prize is still the ultimate cause for a man to lay down his life.
The following thoughts are my effort to expose why I feel it is time to plant truths in the local church that will strengthen the men and, thereby, strengthen the church.
The majority of churches worldwide are composed of a ratio of 80 percent female members and 20 percent male members. The Bible is written to men and initially intended to be taught to men in a congregational setting. The men, as heads of their homes, would then be responsible for taking this information back and leading their homes in the implementation of these truths.
You can have spirituality (worship, praise, atmosphere, righteousness, etc.) with women, but it takes godly, courageous men to bring strength, action, warfare, discipline, direction, leadership, single-mindedness, and decisiveness to the Church.
The above-mentioned percentages show us a matriarchal or mother-led country, family, and church which depletes the attributes of a male or father figure. For example, a male is more prone to discipline with a physical force like a spanking or push-ups, while a female is more prone to discipline with her words. A current example of this can be seen in two presidents. President George W. Bush was raised with a father in his home, and when America was under attack on 9/11, he responded decisively and almost immediately with military force. President Obama was raised in a matriarchal environment, and he tried diplomatic or verbal means to rectify threatening situations. When we enter most churches, we see young, urban heterosexual males with a liberal political view, wearing skinny jeans, grooming their eyebrows, coloring their hair with streaks of yellow, doing their nails, and having an interest in the latest and greatest TV fads. Immature males are adapting to the culture of a feminine church and have little heart for sacrifice.
Evangelizing the man is actually the pattern of the Bible. Jesus picked twelve male disciples to change the world. God came in the form of a man, Jesus, to illustrate roles of leadership and sacrifice from a man’s perspective. When a child is the first person saved in a family there is a 3 percent chance the rest of his family will be saved. When the mother is the first to be saved, the percentage increases to 13 percent. When the man/father is first to be saved, the percentage increases to 95 percent. The man is the ultimate influencer even though he is usually more difficult to win over.
Keep following our blog as we reveal the truths that God wants men to know in this hour!
Have you heard about Intense Men? Intense Men is a fellowship of men that gathers together to be strengthened in their God-given roles as strong, capable, courageous leaders in their homes and communities. To get connected, visit www.intensemen.com today!
When asked how many friends we have, a person might refer to his Facebook page number, or he might be more realistic and give a number of those he actually speaks with on a weekly basis. What most people identify as a friend is actually more of an acquaintance.
According to a report, “Researchers have revealed that we make nearly 400 friendships in a lifetime - but maintain only a handful. We form an average of 396 personal relationships but only 33, one in 12, will stand the test of time. And only one in five of these - just half a dozen people - is considered a close friend while the rest are 'social friendships’."
I want to ask you to add this to your new year’s resolution for 2018: find two real good friends. In order to find these companions we will need to identify the characteristics of a good friend. Look at what the Bible says about the character of a friend:
“There are ‘friends’ who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” - Proverbs 18:24 NLT
I discovered a song that speaks to this that I really like. Here are the words:
I got a pretty good friend
Who' seen me at my worse
He can't tell if I'm a blessing
Or a curse
But he always shows up
When the chips are down
That' the kind of stuff
I like to be around
Stuff that works, stuff that holds up
The kind of stuff you don' hang on the wall
Stuff that' real, stuff you feel
The kind of stuff you reach for when you fall
– "Stuff That Works," Guy Clark
The song has other great verses, but I think you get the picture here. I want a friendship that is real. I want to do life with people that love God and are genuine. I want friends that have the stuff that works!
I have an old high school coach that randomly ran into me and my family recently, and he made a statement that I’ll never forget. He said, “G.F., if I was dangling off the edge of a cliff, and all I had between me and certain death was a rope, I’d want you on the other end of that rope!” That statement literally stopped me in my tracks. You see the respect of men is something that cannot be bought or manipulated. Real men get that. When they give their friendship, there is no better gift.
I want friends that I too can count on. Show me a man’s closest fiends, and I’ll tell you about his character. Superficial relationships are a dime a dozen. Nobody needs any more of those. This year, be intentional to be a great friend, and then be intentional to pray that God would send you a great friend or two. Invest in these friendships.
Things to look for:
Remember, there’s a good reason Jesus sent the disciples out two by two to change the world! So, who would you want holding the rope?
By now, you have certainly heard the rampant allegations of sexual assault surrounding several well-known personalities in Hollywood and in Washington, D.C. It seems as though accusations are surfacing on a daily basis. As these brave victims choose to speak out against the deep-seated culture of sexual harassment plaguing modern societies, I feel impressed to speak to this issue. We must condemn, in the strongest possible terms, not only the actions of these individuals, but also the cultures that have shaped them and allowed their behaviors to flourish.
What can we do to change our culture and stand firm as men of God? I have three guidelines that I believe will ensure we are doing our part to contribute integrity and godly boundaries to our society.
It cannot be stressed enough that the enemy will use every opportunity, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, to accuse you or call your character into question. Do not put yourself in situations that even have the appearance of impropriety. Take every precaution to guard your heart, eyes, and mind. Be proactive, not reactive, regarding your circumstances. If you struggle with these boundaries, speak with someone you trust (preferably a spiritual father or pastor) and allow yourself a safe place to be held accountable and grow in this area.
As men, we have a responsibility to model a life of integrity that wages war against our culture’s moral failures. If we do not honor integrity, transparency, and accountability, we cannot expect things to improve. Make the decision today to be the best model for integrity that you can be. The solution begins with us!
Our book, The Alpha Male, speaks directly to this topic. It, along with many other helpful resources, can be found on our website, www.gfwatkins.org. Also, we have our own cultural movement called Intense Men. It is specifically designed to transform men into leaders by equipping them with purpose, identity and strength. Join us in March as we host the largest Christian men’s camp out in Texas! Visit www.intensemen.com for more information and to register.
By pattern and principle, the tithe is not only 10 percent of all our income but it’s also called the “first fruits.” Therefore it’s the first, and best, of all our income.
In this same pattern we know that Jesus, the son of God, is the first born son who is the best of all born and He was given so that we could be purchased and redeemed. He fits the pattern of the tithe. Jesus is God's tithe used to redeem the world. When we tithe our first 10 percent to God's house, God blesses the 90 percent that remains so we can do more for Him...not less.
Look at these scriptures in Colossians concerning Jesus' position as first and best:
“We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.
For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created (first) and is supreme (best) over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else (first), and he holds all creation together. Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning (first), supreme (best) over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything (first).
...and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.”
– Colossians 1:9-10, 13-18, 20 NLT
I believe that the tithe has been kept as a secret for those who are diligently seeking Christ. Real true believers are not selfish or stingy, they are generous and therefore qualified to receive blessings and protection from the Lord (Malachi 3:8-10).
Check out these verses about the secrets held for us:
“This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people. For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.” – Colossians 1:26-27 NLT
If you're interested in learning more, get a copy of my new book, Test Me!, by clicking here.
Listening to someone’s testimony is powerful. However, telling our own testimony is far better! Telling a Bible story about God’s miraculous power is inspiring, but telling a story about how God delivered us yesterday is even more so! I truly believe many well-meaning Christians have settled for living off the testimonies of others when God desires to bless them and give them their own testimony. It’s when we are describing our own relationship with Him and our own experiences with Him that the light really shines in our eyes and joy is fully expressed in our voices.
Our new book Test Me! The Malachi Mystery was recently released. The reception has been beyond expectations! I am blown away by how people have read the book and have begun to implement its principles. God has been so good to me and to those around me. This book is simply a compilation of experiences from my twenty-seven years of ministry when God has shown Himself faithful to His word. The purpose of this book is to pass on to you the same principles of tithing that changed my life thirty years ago. Today, thirty years later, I am living a life full of the blessings that he promised me when I chose to test Him!
Deuteronomy 28 says, “1Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. 2And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God: 3 Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country. 6 Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. 7 The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face. 8 The Lord will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand” (emphasis added).
Malachi 3:10-11 adds, “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes” (emphasis added).
Literally, the blessings of the Lord overtake me daily! Put Deuteronomy a Malachi together and you have a powerful combination of promises.
This week alone, one week after the book’s release, I have witnessed God move in so many ways. For one, I have seen huge increases in my own personal investment portfolio. Thirty years ago, I was advised by my pastor to tithe the first ten percent of my income to the Lord, allow ten percent for investments, live off the remaining eighty percent, and give offerings as the Lord blessed our dedication to tithe. I am still in awe of how God has protected us in this process for all these years. Listening to the counsel of leaders is a wise decision.
Additionally, my mother has been in heaven for four years now. One week after she passed away, Joyce Peters, our church financial minster, told me she received a letter from mom. In the letter was a one hundred dollar check for her tithe and offering. Mom was living on a limited budget, but she always faithfully tithed to Powerhouse Church! Well, about two months ago I receive a call informing me that mom had a small piece of land in west Texas and someone was interested in the oil and gas rights. Needless to say, I received a very nice check from that sale. Mom is still blessing me from heaven!
In the same week, one of our Genesis Team pastors sold his building for cash. He was able to become completely debt-free and has been able to move his church to an area suited perfectly for their ministry. The church was able to buy land and make plans to build using only cash. This all happened one week after launching Test Me!
I could go on and on with praise reports. Really, I could. The Lord is good, and he never goes back on His Word. Will you test Him today? He is no respecter of persons. The blessings will overtake you. You cannot out run them! If you aren’t in the blessing zone, it’s not His fault. Come on, get off the bench and get in the game! He wants to give you your own testimony!
Get your copy of Test Me! The Malachi Mystery today by visiting our website, GFWatkins.org.