Thursday, January 31, 2013

Strengthening the Father/Son Relationship

There's something amazing that happens when fathers and sons unite together.  It's a visual reminder of two important things revealed in Scripture:  PRIESTHOOD and FAMILY.

The PRIESTHOOD - is the divine order through which FAMILIES are sealed together forever.  Everything we read in the Bible points toward families becoming part of God's ETERNAL FAMILY.

When you look at Fathers & Sons in a SPIRITUAL's one of the most amazing relationships found.  It can be NURTURING, JOYFUL and have a profound IMPACT on who SONS become and on who FATHERS become.

All of us, regardless of who we are or what our situation is...have access to a FATHER in our life. (Whether it be another family member, a mentor, a leader, a pastor, etc.)  There are special relationships that God affords us by using people who "stand in the gap" to fill the role of these significant father/son relationships.

Everyone of us are on a JOURNEY.  Fathers are a little further down the road, but none can say "they've arrived" to their final destination.  We are all in PROCESS of becoming who we will one day be.  FATHERS and SONS play a critical role in helping each other become the best that they can be.

No relationship is perfect...especially that of a FATHER and SON.  However, with effort...a great relationship can be forged.

If you are a SON...realize that you are your FATHER'S pride and joy.  Your FATHER sees in you a promising future and you're their hope for a better, improved version of themselves.  Your accomplishments are a joy to them.  Your concerns and problems are their concerns and problems as well.

If you are a FATHER...realize that you are the primary model of manhood for your SON.  You are their most meaningful mentor, and believe it or not, you are their hero in numerous ways.  Your WORDS and your EXAMPLE are a great influence on them.

Suggestions to Strengthen
Your Father/Son Relationship
  1. Trust your father.  He may not be perfect, but he loves you and would never do anything he didn't think was in your best interest.  When you put your trust in your father, he will feel the responsibility of that trust and try harder than ever to understand and to help.
  2. Talk to your father.  Share your thoughts and feelings, your dreams and your fears.  The more he knows about your life, the better chance he has to understand your concerns and to give you good counsel.  As your father, he is entitled to inspiration on your behalf.  His advice to you will be the heartfelt expressions of someone who knows and loves you.  More than anything, your father wants you to be happy and successful.
  3. Take an interest in your father's life.  Ask about his interests, his goals and his work.  As you learn more about him, you may find that his experiences help you to better understand why he responds the way that he does.
  4. Watch your father.  Watch how he interacts with other people.  Watch how he performs his ministry.  You will be surprised what you learn about him just by watching him and listening to him.  Think about what you don't know about him and find out.  Your love, admiration, and understanding will increase by what you learn.
  5. Ask your father for advice.  Let's be honest: he is probably going to give you his advice whether you ask for it or not, but it just works so much better when you ask!  Ask for his advice on Church activity, on your calling, on your ministry, on your classes, on friends, on school, on relationships, on hobbies, on decisions or choices you have to make.  Nothing shows respect for another person as much as asking for their advice, because what you are really saying when you ask for advice is, "I appreciate what you know and the experiences you have had, and I value your ideas and suggestions."  Those are nice things for a father to hear from a son.
  1. Listen to your sons.  Ask the right kind of questions and listen to what your sons have to say each time you have a few minutes together.  You need to know - not to guess but to know - what is going on in your son's life.
  2. Find a way to connect. It might be enjoying a coffee together, a sporting event, a conference/ministry event, etc. A one-on-one relationship should be a routine part of your stewardship with your sons.  Every father needs at least one focused, quality conversation with his sons every month during which they talk about specific things.  When or where this happens isn't nearly as important as the fact that it happens.
  3. Pray with and for your sons.  Give them your blessing.  A son who is concerned about an issue or decision he's facing will benefit from a father's blessing.  These are opportune times to call upon the Lord to bless your son.  One-on-one prayer and the sharing of testimonies can draw you closer to each other as well as closer to the Lord.
  4. Dare to have "big talks" with your sons.  Talk about serious issues, dangers, pitfalls, etc.  Ask the hard questions.  Your sons need your counsel, guidance and input.  Talking about sensitive subjects will lead to a greater trust between you.
I'm grateful for my fathers and my sons...they have taught me so much!  I pray that our Heavenly Father will bless all of us as fathers and sons and that we will honor our priesthood and that we will love one another by making relationships with each other one of the great, eternal priorities of our lives.