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It is always amazing to me that when I am in a bad mood, cranky or irritable, everyone else in my family is the same way. Sheer coincidence? I don't think so. A father is the thermostat of the home. He sets the climate for the family environment.

Too often fathers forget the importance of their role and the magnitude of their responsibilities. When our children are small, we see them imitate us by putting on our shoes or clothes. Why is it that we think they ever stop imitating us?

You see, our children are a direct reflection of who we are. Love it or hate it, it is a reality. Typically, one of the reasons parents get so frustrated with their children is because they see their own personal flaws coming out in their kids.

As fathers, we are highly contagious individuals. The same way our children pick up our natural habits, they will mimic us spiritually, socially, mentally-basically, kids will imitate every facet of our lives.

Contagious Fatherhood
If I jump in a swimming pool fully clothed and then get out and give you a hug, what is going to happen? You'll get soaked! I believe our spiritual attributes are just as contagious as our natural ones. If I am spiritually soaked with the presence and life of God, it will positively affect my family.

In 2 Samuel, we see the negative effect David had on his children. In chapter 11, David commits adultery and murder. In chapter 13 his oldest son, Ammon, rapes his sister, Tamar. Absalom is horrified by what his brother did to their sister and has Ammon murdered.

David lowered the bar of excellence for his sons. He set the temperature for his family to live by. He committed a sexual sin and murder. Then...surprise! His sons committed sexual sin and murder.

One of the greatest needs in the body of Christ is for men to fulfill their God-given roles of leadership. What a great effect fathers can have when they realize the power of their influence!

For example, by the end of last summer it seemed like my three kids had overdosed on TV. So at our Sunday family lunch, I shared how I thought it would be a good idea for all of us to fast from TV for the next seven days. Everyone agreed without too much of a hassle. We made it through the week with relative ease.

The following Sunday one of my kids said, "What are we going to fast from this week, Dad?" I hadn't said a word. We agreed to fast from all soft drinks for one week. Then the following Sunday—"Dad, what are we going to fast from this week?"

What happened? Why were my children so willing to give up some of these earthly pleasures and establish self-control in their lives? Because they had seen an example lived out in front of them. Fasting was not something peculiar or weird. My life had become contagious.

I believe as I live a godly, pure, and moral life, it creates a fertile environment for my kids to succeed in their walk with Christ. The simple leadership principles apply in the home. If I want the people around me to rise to the level of five, as the leader I have to rise to a level of seven.

Yes, there are many other variables that play into the success or failure of the parenting process. But I believe parents—especially fathers—have to wake up to the fact that our children's' lives are images of our own.

Fathers, by the way you life your life, you have the power to help shape your children into the men and women of God they're called to be!

Dean Hawk Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Dean Hawk
Web site: The Rock Family Church
Dean is the founding pastor of Rock. He has been married to his wife, Kim, since 1983 and they have three adult children; Alesha, Allyson and Preston. Since 1981 Dean has served in the full time ministry. Prior to starting the church in 2004 he served as a Youth and Associate Pastor in three different churches. Along with his current pastoral duties Dean is also an adjunct professor at Charis Bible College in Woodland Park.

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