Posts tagged tim keller

Daddy daughter and God



This post first appeared on the Noah Gets a Nailgun blog last summer. With pool weather right around the corner, start making plans to do what the author did: get the book, get together with other guys, and learn to be better daddies to your daughters.

I recently started discussing the book Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters with a group of guys in my neighborhood. We gather around the pool one night a week and talk through two chapters at a time while our kids play in the background. It works out great since many of us are already there closing down the swimming hole many summer nights, and this is one way to be intentional with some of that time.

daddy daughterThe sub-title of the book is “Ten secrets every father should know.” It’s pretty straightforward: ten secrets, ten chapters. Easy reading that you can work through quickly. A perfect setup for group discussion. We began with the first two chapters, titled, “You Are the Most Important Man in Her Life,” and “She Needs a Hero.” There was a fascinating section in chapter one that has shaped the interactions with my daughter over the last few days:

Fathers, more than anyone else, set the course for a daughter’s life. … I have watched daughters talk to fathers. When you come in the room, they change. Everything about them changes: their eyes, their mouths, their gestures, their body language. Daughters are never lukewarm in the presence of their fathers. They might take their mothers for granted, but not you. They light up – or they cry. They watch you intensely. They hang on your words. They hope for your attention, and they wait for it in frustration – or in despair. They need a gesture of approval, a nod of encouragement, or even simple eye contact to let them know you care and are willing to help.

When she’s in your company, your daughter tries harder to excel. When you teach her, she learns more rapidly. When you guide her, she gains confidence. If you fully understood just how profoundly you can influence your daughter’s life, you would be terrified, overwhelmed, or both. Boyfriends, brothers, even husbands can’t shape her character the way you do. You will influence her entire life because she gives you an authority she gives no other man.

Wow. Talk about intimidating. No pressure here. As I’ve watched my daughter, I’ve thought about these words and wondered how I was shaping her life and how she perceived me. What would I unconsciously impart to her? What ways would I mark her as distinctly different from her peers?

The same day I read this paragraph, a friend shared with me that he is positive his wife would not have given him the time of day if it were not for her dad. She meant her dad was an untrustworthy individual, and my friend, though full of his own self-acknowledged challenges as a young man, was someone she could trust. She saw that he was honest. Even brutally so at times. And so she was drawn to him.

I see this at play with my wife, though in the opposite way. Her father was her biggest cheerleader, constantly sang her praises, made sure she knew she could do anything a boy could and anything she wanted to. Run a chainsaw, drive a tractor, mend a mangled barbed-wire fence, get an engineering degree. He believed in her. And she benefited from that in tremendous ways. She is one of the hardest working people I know. When she says she’s going to do something, look out. You can guarantee it will be done. He profoundly shaped who she is today. She would not be the same person without his influence.

The Daddy Daughter Connection

Fathers will leave a mark on their daughters. This is a scary reality at one level. But the other observation for me, related to this reality, is how much of our lives has been shaped by so many different influences to the point that there are many things we do, many decisions we make, that we have relatively little control over. Your immediate reaction to any circumstance is likely a complex mixture of responses that have been formed in you over the years, some of which you are not even aware. Some come from your parents, some your peers, some the books you read, your emotions, your experiences, your beliefs on religion, politics, nature, philosophy, and food. Even the smells that passively waft to your nostrils trigger a complex array of emotions and memories at the most unexpected moments. And then there is your own sin nature and sinful decisions. And boy do the stains from these ever linger.

Paul, in Romans 7:15, hits this head on when he says, “… I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” Ever feel that way? Why? Paul continues … “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who did it, but sin that dwells within me”(v 19-20). Yes there are many influences at work which shape your reactions and choices, one of which is the root of sin that has been at work in your heart your entire life. But there is hope, as Paul proclaims, “Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

You do have a choice about how to live your life, it’s just not always the easiest to choose against those habitual attitudes that have been hard wired in your heart over time. And the hope is not in trying harder, but leaning on the proper source of power.

Tim Keller in his book Center Church says this:

Imagine you’re in an orchestra and you begin to play, but the sound is horrific because the instruments are out of tune. The problem can’t be fixed by simply tuning them to each other. It won’t help for each person to get in tune to the person next to her because each person will be tuning to something different. No, they will all need to be tuned properly to one source of pitch. Often we go about trying to tune ourselves to the sound of everything else in our lives. We often her this described as “getting balance.” But the questions that need to be asked are these: “Balanced to what?” “Tuned to what?” The gospel does not begin by tuning us in relation to our particular problems and surroundings; it first re-tunes us to God.

Let’s bring this full circle shall we? Back to the starting theme of this post: Parenting daughters. The bottom line is to make sure your heart is tuned to the gospel every day. No doubt the task of parenting a daughter (or son for that matter) is daunting. But so is keeping the law and trying to be good on your own strength. The task is beyond you, but let that reality produce comfort rather than fear. Find your comfort in the strength of Christ, who will provide the measure of courage you need to fulfill the task ahead of you.

Although summer is not yet in full swing, it’s not too early to pick up the book and gather with a group of dads and discuss how you can be intentional in your efforts to parent your daughter. Some say it takes a village to raise a child, but at the very least it takes a pool to gather the men who make up that village who will raise that child.

© 2014 Noah Gets a Nailgun. All rights reserved.

John MajorsJohn Majors is the most interesting dad in the world to his daughter and two sons, and is pretty interesting to Julie, his wife of 14 years. As a key creator of the Stepping Up material, one of John’s greatest interests is to see men equipped with tools for leading their families well.

 

STEPSeek - 10-point checklistYou just finished reading John Majors’ post “Daddy daughter and God” on the Stepping Up blog for men.

STEPThink - 10-point checklistDr. Meg Meeker talks about Strengthening the Father Bond and Providing Boundaries  on FamilyLife Today.

STEPEmbrace - 10-point checklistIf you want to know “How to Really Know Your Daughter,” read Greg Wright’s article about daddy-daughter dates.

STEPPass - 10-point checklistPick up Dr. Meg Meeker’s book, Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters and start building intentionally in the life of your daughters.

 

Men Stepping Up all over the country: what’s the next step?



Stepping Up Super Saturday

Our best estimates tell us that there were probably more than 1,000 Stepping Up™ Super Saturday events hosting more than 23,000 men on Saturday, February 2, 2013.  It’s a day that many men will cite as the day their lives changed forever, for the better.  In groups as small as four, and as large as 400-500, men met to eat, learn, watch, share and face the realities of where they stood in the journey of courageous manhood.

FROM THE STEPPING UP SUPER SATURDAY EVENT

We saw many stories being shared on Facebook and Twitter.  Stories like these:

I attended a Stepping Up video event yesterday in Albany, Oregon. I have to say this was a wake up call and a great reminder that I need to step up to become a better leader in my household. Also a great reminder that I need to step up and gain courage to defeat the giants that have been hindering my walk with God. Going through this I definitely gained my “bearings” on what it takes to step up and become a man of God!

Just wrapped up attending the Super Saturday Stepping Up event at Highland Park Community Church in Casper, WY. Sold out event of nearly 200 men! What an awesome day!!!

While most churches are wrapping up their event, Glen Elder Friends KS is just beginning in 3 minutes! Please pray for all men who are gathered who have come from as far as 100 miles away to accept the challenge to courageous manhood!

And, there were some photos shared, too:

Men Stepping Up at the Super Saturday event

Men Stepping Up in Modesto, CA

Men Stepping Up in Alabama at the Stepping Up Super Saturday event

Men Stepping Up in Alabama

Men Stepping Up in Alaska at the Stepping Up Super Saturday event

Men Stepping Up in Alaska

God showed up in big ways across the nation.  But, as incredible as that is, the work is yet to be done.  

WHAT’S YOUR NEXT STEP?

Pablo Picasso said, “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.”  So what is it from Saturday’s event that you are NOT willing to die with it being left undone?  Here are five things to help you take the NEXT RIGHT STEP:

  1. Review your Stepping Up Creed (if you went through the manual, you would have created a Stepping Up Creed to help you with your next steps).  Of those statements, which ONE is the most urgent and important?  Write down an action step that you can take with a deadline to help you be accountable.  Then, share it with at least one other friend or your small group.  Send an email saying something like, “Bob, I’m committed to taking the next step in being God’s man.  By [date] I am going to [action step].  Would you help me by asking me how I’m doing on this?”  Or, share it via email to your small group and discuss it at your next gathering.
  2. Consider either hosting or attending the Stepping Up 10 session video series.  It has some of the material from the Super Saturday one day event but it goes into each of the issues in much more depth.  You can find out more about that study on our MenSteppingUp website.
  3. Consider spending the next seven days praying about the items God brought to your mind during the event.  Commit to spending time asking God for direction, courage and initiative to take the next right step.  Some of you will need to reconcile a relationship that’s been strained or even torn.  Maybe there’s an addiction or lifestyle change that MUST take place for you to move on toward courageous manhood as God designed.  Whatever it is, don’t give the Enemy a foothold.  Ask God for strength and let at least one other man know you are praying and have him pray with you.  Then, after the week is over (you don’t have to stop praying 🙂 ), do what men do … ACT on it.  As Nike says, “Just do it.”
  4. Dennis challenged us right from the beginning of the session to pray with our wives.  Make this a priority in your lives.  If you are uncomfortable, begin by praying for your wife alone.  It’s very hard to stay upset with someone you are praying for.  Pray for her needs, issues she’s facing, ask God to help you “love her as Christ loves you” and anything else that God brings to your heart.  Then, move to praying with her.  Somedays it may only be a quick half minute prayer and other days it may be longer.  But start.  You’ll be amazed at how it will draw you closer together.  
  5. If you’re really serious about investing your time in starting or growing a men’s ministry at your church, you need to check out one of our ministry partners, Every Man Ministries.  They have a program that will guide you through each phase of building a vibrant men’s ministry in your church.  It’s a great program and Kenny Luck is one of the key leaders in the men’s ministry movement that is taking shape in our nation.  Find out more here: Every Man Ministries
  6. BONUS: Read a book or find additional studies and resources that fit the situation you are facing or the one that is most significantly imprinted on your mind.  Ask a friend to read it with you to discuss.  Here are a few places to look for books (ebooks and paper books) and other resources that might help you take the next step (remember leaders are readers):
    1. Stepping Up Website (www.mensteppingup.com)
    2. FamilyLife
    3. Focus on the Family
    4. Raising a Modern Day Knight
    5. All Pro Dad
    6. Any books by Stu Weber, Steve Farrar  or Tim Keller (more than just men’s topics but great insight on men and their spiritual journey).
    7. If you know of others that belong here on this list, share them below for other men who come by.

Men, nothing will happen until you take the next step.  Wishing and hoping won’t work.  In fact, it’s probably what got you into this place.  You want to be a godly man but you just didn’t have the tools.  Now you do.  So, what is your NEXT RIGHT STEP?  Don’t wait another day.  Just do it.

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.