Spiritual Integrity & Dads

Sunday, We looked at a really hard passage in Acts 5 about Ananias and Sapphira. In my sermon, I talked about what it looks like to live lives of holy fear and spiritual integrity. I posed 3 questions that I want to remind everyone of as well as expound a little on here:
  1. Where do you lack Spiritual Integrity?
  2. Do you Love Jesus more than the things of the World?
  3. What Barriers have you placed in the web of relationships in the local church?

I specifically ask about “spiritual Integrity” and the “barriers we place in relationship” because there is a correlation. When we wall off our lives and do not allow other people access into the nitty gritty of what is really going on in our hearts, the downstream effect is a lack of spiritual integrity. In other words, who we are in private (before God) is a different person than who we project ourselves to be before others (public). I think in a lot of ways, one of the goals of our spiritual lives is these 2 realities coming together where there is only one version of ourselves. That is really what I am getting at when I say spiritual integrity: There is only one version of yourself, and everybody gets that version.

I am sure now that you can see the significance of relationship in regards to our spiritual integrity. It is God’s grace that He he’s given us one another to call each other out of darkness into the light where we can be known, healed, cared for, and loved. What steps can you take in your journey of being a man or woman of spiritual integrity?

If you are a guy, the first step is be at our Men’s gathering this Friday!

In Christ,


PS: I was so encourage and challenged by an article I read this week about Fatherhood that I wanted to share for all the men who find themselves trying to walk out this calling. I am currently reading through Genesis in my personal daily time with the Lord, so the idea of patriarch and father is readily before me every morning. This article just threw fuel on the fire! One conclusion the article makes is simple: Dads are irreplaceable. If you have time to read it, click the link above and stop reading this email! If not, here are a few points the article makes that I am going to try and consolidate. The article starts by demonstrating how important fatherhood is to everybody in the home. The results of crazy!

There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating the undeniable benefits of involved fatherhood—to the family, to the kids, to the mom, and even to the father himself. Here are a few highlights:

Benefits to the family
  • Higher levels of family income
  • Reduced risks of poverty 
  • Increased time flexibility

Benefits to the kids
  • Reduced rates of prematurity and infant mortality
  • Less crying as newborns
  • Fewer academic challenges
  • Reduced risk taking behavior and delinquency in adolescence
  • Fewer behavioral challenges
  • Fewer mental health challenges
  • Increased physical activity levels
  • Less substance abuse
  • Better social functioning and fewer romantic relationship problems 
  • Reduced risk of early sexual experiences and teen pregnancy 
  • Increased earning potential as adults

Benefits to Mom
  • Fewer health problems as mothers
  • Ability to offer higher quality parenting
  • More time for leisure activities
  • Increased mental and emotional well-being

Benefits to Dad
  • Greater engagement in service organizations
  • Improved diet and physical activity
  • Decreased risky behaviors
  • Decreased alcohol use
  • Strengthened intergenerational family ties

There is much more the article says, but here are a few imperatives the article leaves dads with on how to work toward being a good father to your children:

  • Be Present. It seems simple, but remember that having a present father in the home is a protective factor for reducing anti-social behaviour in boys, and reducing teen pregnancy, depression, and early sexual activity in girls
  • Share the load. It’s highly likely that the distribution of child care and housework tasks isn’t as even as you might like to believe it is. By stepping up and sharing the load, fathers can help close the gender gap even further, model for their children how healthy relationships function, and set expectations for their children’s future relationships.
  • Play. Dads play in unique ways, particularly by encouraging risk taking and exploration. The sort of vigorous, stimulating rough-housing play that dads are so great at predicts enhanced social competence, while decreasing externalizing and internalizing behavior problems. 
  • Read to your kids. Reading books together, telling stories, and singing songs to the kids are all important forms of cognitive stimulation which have established benefits for improving literacy outcomes in children. Interestingly, these benefits are more pronounced when dad does the storytelling.
  • Talk with your kids. Dads also engage in a unique communication style with their kids. Fathers seem more likely to use bigger words when they speak to their children. Moms keep it simple. Both forms of communication are valuable for kids, but a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics points out data showing that “at 3 years of age, father-child communication was a significant and unique predictor of advanced language development in the child but mother-child communication was not.”
  • Engage in Discipline. To discipline means to instruct, teach, and guide. Parents can effectively discipline their kids by setting limits in a way that explores what’s going on, explains our reasoning for desired behavior, and empowers kids to problem solve and come up with reasonable ways forward. Fathers are typically more authoritarian than mothers, so as a dad you may need to work harder to move away from coercive and punitive discipline methods. 

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