Seven Vital Objectives
every father should instill in sons and daughters
A nation is weak if it has weak families. A family is weak if it has a weak father. A father is weak if he fails to understand or fulfill his God-given responsibilities. These responsibilities include imparting to sons and daughters the following objectives:
1. To value time and prepare for eternity
Time is our most valuable asset, and therefore many “robbers” seek to steal it from us. Time is also a preparation for eternity, and every father should make sure that each child has a growing, personal relationship with God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. A wise father will then define long- and short-term goals, support his wife in a daily schedule, and prepare the home for maximum efficiency and achievement. (See James 4:14.)
ATI assists fathers in teaching the value of time through the following ways:
- Explaining Biblical goals for successful living.
- Suggesting daily schedules for maximum efficiency.
- Establishing accountability for goal achievement.
- Making available biographies of wise “time-users.”
2. To grow in faith and in the power of prayer
As a father guides his family in daily Scripture reading, certain verses will stand out with special significance for a daily need or decision or for a life goal. These rhemas from God’s Word give direction for life, faith, achievement, and spiritual warfare. Jesus promised that if we live our lives in Him and His rhemas live in us, we can make requests based on them, and they will come true for us. (See John 15:7–8.)
ATI assists fathers in teaching faith through the following ways:
- Presenting deeper understanding of life principles.
- Providing Journal of Faith for older children.
- Giving special training on the power of prayer.
- Making available biographies of the heroes of faith.
- Explaining Meditation Worksheets for daily insights.
- Training on “Why Did God Let It Happen?”
3. To seek wisdom and act with genuine love
The measure of success in a father’s life is determined by the choices he makes. It is therefore essential that he know God’s will for every decision. Jesus demonstrated the importance of following God’s will by doing nothing of His own will, but only the will of His heavenly Father. There are three tests to evaluate every decision:
- Is it consistent with the total message of Scripture?
- Is it directed by the Holy Spirit?
- Is it motivated by genuine love?
A father cannot oversee every decision a son or daughter makes, but he can equip them with wisdom and understanding so that they will know how to make wise choices in every situation. (See Proverbs 1:2–4.)
ATI assists fathers in teaching wisdom and love through the following ways:
- Giving instruction on leading daily Wisdom Searches.
- Providing Wisdom Booklets centered on Scripture.
- Offering instruction on how to think in analogies.
- Teaching how the Law is based on genuine love.
- Explaining deeper insights on spiritual gifts.
- Instilling the secrets of genuine love through service.
4. To discern right from wrong with Godly heroes
The first step in making sons and daughters mighty in Spirit is to train them to discern right from wrong. The more skilled they are in doing this, the more mature they will be and the more fellowship there will be in the family.
In our day, the time-honored recognition of right and wrong is being replaced with the false notion that there are “gray areas” and amoral activities that are neither right nor wrong. This false philosophy negates the authority of both God and the father to give clear direction to sons and daughters. Some decisions may be unclear now; however, at the Judgment Seat of Christ, they will be revealed as either good or evil. (See II Corinthians 5:10.)
ATI assists fathers in teaching right and wrong through the following ways:
- Defining right and wrong through character training.
- Providing Journal of Virtue for older children.
- Providing Godly role models.
- Explaining the power and potential of good music.
- Teaching the importance of praise and blessing.
- Presenting the disciplines of being “mighty in Spirit.”
- Warning of destructive influences.
- Reinforcing the power of a clear conscience.
5. To understand nutrition and eat wisely
The Bible is our “owner’s manual” for all of life, including health and eating habits. Researchers today are affirming the wisdom and accuracy of Scripture in diet suggestions. (See Leviticus 11.)
Healthy living is not only determined by what we eat, it is also affected by destructive emotions such as guilt, bitterness, tension, anger, lust, fear, and worry. (See III John 2.) On the other hand, the health benefits of fearing the Lord are stated in Proverbs 3:8, ”It shall be health to thy navel and marrow to thy bones.”
ATI assists fathers in teaching about health through the following ways:
- Explaining how to conquer bitterness and guilt.
- Training in resolving anger and lust.
- Showing health benefits of wise fasting.
- Providing a plan to conquer food addictions.
- Providing information on least-intrusive medical care.
6. To find a life calling and fulfill it
When young people are asked the question, “What do you plan to do when you finish school?,” they usually answer, “I don’t know.” With that answer, there is often an apprehension about their future and a fear of failure. This concern is understandable since the average employee changes his life work over ten times, and a significant percentage of employees are doing work they were not trained for in college.
The underlying problem is that young people are viewing their work as their primary goal in life, and they hope to find in it fulfillment, identity, and approval. Fathers need to realize that our purpose in life is to glorify God, our goal in life is to lead as many to the Lord as possible, and our calling in life is to fulfill the Great Commission. In the process, God will give us a love and ability to reach a particular group of people. (Paul was called to the Gentiles; Peter was called to the Jews, etc.)
Our life work is whatever job or employment will most efficiently allow us to fulfill our life calling. (Paul was a tentmaker; Peter was a fisherman, etc.) Finding the “right job” is not as important as learning practical skills that meet basic needs. A wise father will discover the strengths and interests of each child and find or design learning opportunities and ministries to develop necessary skills and to serve the needs of others. (See Mark 1:16–18.)
ATI assists fathers in teaching “good works” through the following ways:
- Defining how to be an energy-giver.
- Training how to “do good to all” by serving leaders.
- Expanding a worldwide “hearing” for ATI youth.
- Explaining how to teach character.
- Providing opportunities to serve the fatherless and widows.
- Providing short-term ministry opportunities.
- Training in effective counseling.
7. To develop skills and learn to negotiate
God demonstrates quality, orderliness, and precision throughout His creation. Young people need to be trained to demonstrate these same qualities, as well as initiative, creativity, diligence, and wisdom. Most young people are lacking in these vital character qualities—especially in diligence.
God promises, “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean [insignificant] men” (Proverbs 22:29). Whatever we do, we are to put our whole heart and soul into it as work done for the Lord and not just for an earthly employer. (See Colossians 3:23–24.) A diligent person will know how to make the best use of each dollar entrusted to him by the Lord. He will learn how to wisely negotiate, so that both the buyer and the seller will benefit. The purpose of this diligent frugalness is to be able to be generous in meeting the needs of others.
ATI assists fathers in teaching business skills through the following ways:
- Offering training in business.
- Providing training on financial freedom.
- Providing service opportunities and courses for marketable skill development.
- Teaching how to negotiate on purchases.
- Showing how to identify needs and solve problems.
- Giving instruction on developing your own business.