Writing Prompts: Fathers & Fatherhood

Guest prompts by Dan Bornarth

Part 1: Compassion and Hardship Together. Really?

father and daughterAs we point toward Father’s Day this month, consider various facets of fatherhood.We are all the children of fathers, both heavenly and earthly. We have relatives or spouseswho are fathers. You may be a father yourself.

God guides us to understand His fatherly love for us by showing a contrast.

“As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him” (Psalm 103:13; NIV)
“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?” (Hebrews 12:7; NIV)

Writing Prompt

Describe a time in your life when you struggled to remain mindful of God’scompassion for you, even in the midst of hardship or discipline. How did that episode influence how youunderstand God’s fatherly love for you?


Part 2: It’s Never Too Late For …

Even in the most loving families it can be challenging to honor our parents as we should. You may look back at an opportunity you missed to “honor your father and mother” in a meaningful way. Perhaps you regret something you said or did toward your father that was disrespectful or disobedient. You may long to “… obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right ” (Ephesians 6:1-2, NIV).

Now – today – is an opportunity for repentance and redemption.

Writing Prompt

Recount missed opportunities to show honor to your earthly father. What could do differently then? What might you do differently now?

Part 3: Handle The Word With Care … On Purpose

One of a man’s roles is to be a spiritual leader in his own household. God helps men fulfill this crucial role by giving them purposeful, deliberate ways to handle His Word within the home: think about it, emphasize it, talk about it, focus on it, and write about it.
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9; NIV)

Writing Prompt

Men, how has your personal choice to follow Christ translated into your actions as a father and a leader of your family?  Ladies, how has your husband or your dad demonstrated our heavenly Father’s influence on your family?

Part 4:  You Are SO Exasperating!

Frustrations can flare in day-to-day family life. Are you able to keep yours in check? “Do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4, NIV). 

Writing Prompt

Journal about how you respond to frustrations with your children or other family members. Do you react in a way that exasperates or provokes them – or in a way that helps them experience God more thoroughly?


Part 5: Fewer Words — or More Words?

Wise dads use fewer words than more foolish dads. 
True or false?
True! “A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered” (Proverbs 17:27, NLT). It’s a case of less is more, particularly when the words you use are chosen carefully.

Writing Prompt

Journal about a time you failed to sufficiently restrain your words with your children or other family members.  What might you do differently next time?