Fathers have a crucial role in society. Ultimately, their job is to bear the image of our Father in Heaven. God gives dads children and then says 'Do what I do. Be a Father like I am a Father' - no small task!
In this Reformers Recommends, we have pulled together some of the best books and booklets that we pray will help fathers as they attempt to fulfill their important job.
by Joel Beeke
In the short booklet How Should Men Lead Their Families, Joel Beeke highlights how fathers are to be the prophet, priest and king in their home, providing practical tips for how fathers can follow in the footsteps of Jesus - our greatest prophet, priest and king.
by Voddie Baucham
Many books will present one model; one way to think about a subject (for example, the booklet above presents the Prophet, Priest and King model). In Family Shepherds, Voddie brings together several aspects of a father's role.
He calls men to be prophets and priests. He calls men to love their wives as Christ loves the church. He calls men to train up their children and challenges men to consider if they are putting the energy and time required into being the Family Shepherd.
by Timothy Witmer
The model that Timothy Witmer presents in The Shepherd Leader at Home is that fathers must know, lead, provide for and protect their wife and their children. I love the emphasis that Witmer places on the marriage relationship as a critical part of being a father.
Witmer gets to the point quickly, very clearly explaining the why followed closely by very practical tips as to how to know, lead, provide for and protect your family.
by Tony Payne
In Fatherhood, Tony Payne helpfully presents this framework for fathers: that they are important life-givers, that they are to nurture their families and that they are to take hold of the authority that these responsibilities give. God our Father is presented as the ultimate model in the way He wields authority without tyranny and loves His people without being a push-over. Finally, Tony calls men to be followers of Christ in all of life and to lead their families to do the same.
by Tad Thompson
This book takes a slightly different approach to some of the others we have listed. In Intentional Parenting, Tad Thompson paints a picture of parenting as discipleship. Your goal as a father is to disciple your family to follow Christ. Tad very simply helps the reader see what it is that fathers should be discipling their families in and then provides very practical ideas as to how and where this discipling should occur.
by Jon Nielson
One familiar theme that runs through the books on this list is family worship. But it is often a struggle to work out how to actually 'do' family worship. Even if it is something you grew up with, it can be difficult, and practical tips are always welcome. This is where Jon Nielson has done us a great service in Bible Reading with Your Kids.
He provides some basis for why you should be reading the Bible with your kids and then gives intensely practical tips as to how to do it. I found chapter 4 particularly helpful and his example reading plans also look very useful.
Check out our Guide to Catechisms for Family Worship for more ideas on this topic.
Also, our Books for Men has some excellent books to help men be Men of God.
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