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Summary: A Father's Day sermon that will encourage encourage men to be effective dads!

Any musician will tell you that you have to spend time with your instrument in order to become an accomplished musician. When American pianist Michael Levine was asked about being a parent, he said, “Having children makes you no more a parent than having a piano makes you a pianist.” Just like the musician needs to spend time practicing his instrument, you need to spend time with your family so you can be an effective dad. Find creative ways to do this and you will become an effective father.

One way to be an effective dad is to designate a regular family time as part of your routine. The most important thing you can do is to pray with them and have family devotionals. Wait! Don't leave yet! As soon as you say "Family Devotionals", most men will immediately tune out because we don't know how to do this. Let's face it, "no one ever taught you how to have a devotional, therefore, you really don't know how to do it". I hear this excuse all day long....but devotionals don't have to be difficult or boring or tedious. You can teach your kids about God and his word in things you are doing every day. Check out what God's word tells us about this....

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

This verse tells us to teach God's word to our children while you are living life. It does not say to have a miniature church service in your house. With this in mind, this is how to be an effective dad:

1.- Some families have a weekly family night. (elaborate)

2.- Others have a monthly family outing. (elaborate)

3.- Others have a daily family check-in during dinner or before bed. (elaborate)

Figure out a routine that works for you and your family. My boys and I try to get out of the house and do something that does not involve technology. We go hiking, spend the day at a state park, go train watching (my boys love trains)! It's our special time together. Then, I incorporate some biblical truth in what we are doing...

1.- Camping or trail hiking turns into a lesson in creation and God's love.

2.- Train watching turns into a lesson on staying on track with God. You get the idea.

Once you have decided what to do, have fun together. Do activities that make you laugh and enjoy being together.

1.- Some families play sports together.

2.- Others tell jokes.

3.- Others have special nights for watching movies or playing board games.

Whatever you do with your children, make it special and find a way to talk (not lecture) about God.

Another important thing to consider when you are trying to be an effective dad is to get your kids’ input on how to spend family time. You may be surprised to learn that they want your family to get out more—or stay home more. Kids often have good ideas. If you belong to a faith community, go to services together as a family. Participate in family-friendly events, such as family volunteering.

Many families don't do this one. You should eat meals together as a family. And during meal time, find something to talk about and have fun. You can even play games like guess the bible story.

Your family often will bond more if you can get out of the house and do something together where you don’t know other people. Take a trip to another city, suburb, or county and discover what’s there. Go to a sporting event or a play. Visit a free museum. Spend some time in the park playing catch. Explore a playground across town. I have recently started to play a game with my three boys. It's our own family version of the TV show "The Great Race". They get points for challenges that I usually make up as the day goes along and then we have prizes which can range anywhere from staying up and extra hour to an extra dollar or two on their allowance.

I know that all parents want to spend time with their kids—but it can be easy to lose sight of that sometimes. Father's are especially prone to forgetting just how important it is to spend time with their children and to make that time count! Make accommodations in your life so you can spend quality time with your children on a regular basis. As fathers, this can be challenging, but it is not impossible. Plan these activities, put them on a calendar and make them non-negotiable. When you do this, your kids will know that dad wants to be with them. Then, have fun as you incorporate god's word into your activities.

Let's pray for the fathers gathered here today and bless them.

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