“Nothing is a more worthy investment of any father’s time and energy than this: be a godly leader in your own home.” — John MacArthur
John MacArthur‘s prolific, best-seller-writing career is due in thanks to the staff who collects and categorizes his sermon notes into topical, bite-sized chunks. Being a Dad is no exception, for it’s simply an amalgam of six great sermons from years gone by, all on the topic of fatherly leadership. Below is just a brief summary of these 6 chapters, along with a few of my own thoughts thrown in for good measure.
“Chapter 1: The Starting Point of a Dad’s Leadership.” No man can be a truly good father without first loving his wife (12). In this chapter, MacArthur focuses on Ephesians 5:25-31, and the points he brings out remind me again of what my own biggest need is right now, especially while my children are still infants.
Chapters 2-3: “Raising Your Children in the Lord,” Parts 1-2. For these two chapters, MacArthur gets to the heart of fathering from Ephesians 6:4. First he focuses on the need for evangelism, stating that when it comes to sharing with children the truths of their eternal destinies, a father can never start too early. He even reminds fathers of the most important ingredients for the Gospel (50-53), something they ought to already have memorized as they rub shoulders with unbelievers every day. Next, he emphasizes the importance of discipline in bringing children up “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
“Chapter 4: Leading Your Children to Grow in Wisdom.” In this chapter, MacArthur focuses on the wise parenting advice that is strewn throughout the book of Proverbs. The generational aspect of parenting involves the idea that no child will obey a father’s words if he himself doesn’t live the way he teaches. MacArthur then shares 10 crucial lessons that every father should teach (81-100), for example to teach one’s children “to fear God,” to guard their minds,” and “to control their bodies.”
“Chapter 5: A Father’s Love for a Rebellious Child.” In this chapter one can find MacArthur’s great sermon out of Luke 15 about the Prodigal Son and the Faithful Father.
“Chapter 6: A Call for Strong and Courageous Dads.” In this final chapter, MacArthur writes about what qualities make a man a real man (130-137). I enjoyed this final chapter a lot, for in my own fiction-writing, I’ve been trying to draw out specific character qualities that my young protagonists must either already possess or eventually grow into as they traipse through the the dangers of their historical settings. These qualities are clearly laid out in Chapter 6, with plenty of Scripture to back them up.
This book is small enough for even the laziest dad to pick up and read, and the lessons learned might have a sizable impact on how he leads his family into the future. As with all John MacArthur books I’ve read, I definitely recommend it.