By Dr. Tim Clinton
“Fathers and Sons”
Listen HERE to Dr. Clinton interview Kirk Cameron on his radio program Life, Love and Family With Dr. Tim Clinton.
1. Have a Plan—little ever gets accomplished without a well-devised plan. Think about the qualities you’d like to see in your son as he grows. Write a list of the attributes that you think define successful young men. List the spiritual, emotional, physical, vocational, social, and financial qualities you hope to see in your son. Once you’ve identified these, create a plan to impart these to him.
2. Bless Your Son—a blessing is passed on when a respected elder speaks words of encouragement and affirmation to any young person. Children are constantly bombarded with messages—subtle and otherwise—that they just don’t measure up. God will use your words of blessing to neutralize these negative messages and instill hope to your son.
3. Mentor Your Son—boys must grow up around positive male role models so that they can observe what it means to be a man. Successful mentoring occurs when a close relationship is combined with well-conceived lesson plans. When you know what lessons, skills, and truths you want your son to learn, then you can intentionally look for opportunities to teach those things.
4. Rite of Passage Ceremony—plan a celebration, a marked time, when your son is received and declared a man. From this point forward, your son will be accepted and embraced by you, your family, and friends as a man. Invite other godly men and ask them to pray over your son, write him letters to impart wisdom, and bring symbolic gifts to signify his entry into manhood. Let this be a time to celebrate your son’s life and the man that he is becoming!
• Kids with absentee fathers are more likely to drop out of school, be abused, be obese, and lack feelings of security (The Father Factor, 2013).
• Almost 75 percent of children living in fatherless homes will experience poverty and are 10 times as likely to experience extreme poverty (Clinton & Trent, 2009).
• The deterioration of fatherhood in America is considered our most serious social ill. Nearly 40 percent of children fall asleep in homes where their father is not present.
• The National Commission on Children found that nearly half of all children in disrupted families have not seen their fathers at all in the past year.
• Fatherlessness is associated with crime, suicide, teenage pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse, and incarceration.
• Kids with present fathers perform better academically, achieve greater cognitive development, experience less anxiety, and have stronger feelings of identity.
• “One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.”—George Herbert
• “A male is born, but a man is made.”—Unknown
• “There is no man living that cannot do more than he thinks he can.”—Henry Ford
• “If I’m pointing him to heaven with my words, but leading him to hell with my life I have blown it.”—Kirk Cameron
• “If you don’t know where you are going, the road will take you there.”—Unknown
• “It’s never too late to become a great father.”—Tim Clinton
• “What we do in life echoes in eternity.”—Maximus Decimus Meridius, inGladiator
• “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”—George Eliot
• “Being a father means being a mentor.”—Unknown
• “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”—Edmund Burke
• “Adversity toughens manhood, and the characteristic of the good of the great man is not that he has been exempt from the evils of life, but that he has surmounted them.”—Patrick Henry
• “A real man is one who rejects passivity, accepts responsibility, leads courageously, and expects the greater reward, God’s reward.”—Robert Lewis
• “Give me one hundred men who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergymen or laymen, they alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven upon the earth.”—John Wesley
• There are certain gifts that only fathers can give their children.
• Dad’s often do not give what they did not get from their dads.
• Your responsibility as a father is to train up the next generation. If you do not model how to be a godly man to your kids, you have neglected your greatest responsibility.
• Use the examples of Jesus, Paul, and godly men in history like George Washington—those who have fought the fights and had the right perspective.
• You are to love and lead with affection, tenderness, and commitment.
• Surround yourself with godly men who can be an example.
• Take time to delight in your children, reminding them of critical truths, of who they are, of their identity in Christ. If you children do not know who they are, they will go looking for it in a gang, a girl, a guy—somewhere or with someone who gives them the identity that they are searching for.
• Mentoring, teaching, and training by a trusted adult are vital for successful development. In the absence of positive adult role models, young males will find their own role models or mentors. The absence of positive role models creates a void in a young man, one that is quickly filled by someone much less qualified (Cameron & Molitor, 2012).
• Young boys lacking discernment are often attracted to external (and false) signs of maturity.
• “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”—Ephesians 6:4
• “But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.”—James 3:8-10
• “He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of their children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.”—Malachi 4:6
• “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”—Proverbs 27:17
• “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”—Ephesians 4:29
• “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.”—1 Corinthians 16:13-14
• “But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.”—1 Timothy 6:11
• “When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.”—1 Corinthians 13:11
“The Father Factor”, National Fatherhood Initiative, Accessed on February 11, 2013 from http://www.fatherhood.org/media/consequences-of-father-absence-statistics.
About Kirk Cameron:
Kirk Cameron is a television and film actor and producer noted most recently for his work in the inspiring documentary film Monumental: In Search of America's National Treasure. He is also known for his memorable performance in the film, Fireproof (the highest grossing independent film of 2008), his roles on ABC's Growing Pains, the Left Behind movies, and as co-host of The Way of the Master.
Kirk’s passion is to help people live in freedom and grace, fully devoted to faith in Jesus Christ. Kirk and his bride, Chelsea, are the founders of Camp Firefly, an all-expenses paid retreat for seriously ill children and their families. Together, they live in California with their six children, three dogs, and two dozen chickens.
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Dr. James Dobson is the Founder and President of Family Talk, a nonprofit organization that produces his radio program, “Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.” He is the author of more than 30 books dedicated to the preservation of the family, including The New Dare to Discipline; Love for a Lifetime; Life on the Edge; Love Must Be Tough; The New Strong-Willed Child; When God Doesn’t Make Sense; Bringing Up Boys; Marriage Under Fire; Bringing Up Girls; and, most recently, Head Over Heels.
Dr. Dobson served as an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine for 14 years and on the attending staff of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles for 17 years. He has been active in governmental affairs and has advised three U.S. presidents on family matters. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (1967) in the field of child development. He holds 17 honorary doctoral degrees, and was inducted in 2008 into The National Radio Hall of Fame. Dr. Dobson recently received the “Great American Award” from The Awakening.
Dr. Dobson is married to Shirley and they have two grown children, Danae and Ryan, and two grandchildren. The Dobsons reside in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
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