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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 also. 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? 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 at 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, and every facet of our lives. 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. If I am spiritually soaked with the presence and life of God, it will positively affect my family.

In the book of 2 Samuel, we see the negative effect David had on his children. In Chapter 11, David commits adultery and murder. In Chapter 12, his sin costs him the life of his child. In chapter 13, his oldest son, Amnon, rapes his sister, Tamar. Absalom is horrified by what his brother did to their sister and has Amnon murdered.

David had 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. 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 role of leadership. We are never going to get the true revival that all of us desire in children's lives until we see a change in the home. We've all experienced it. "Todd" goes to summer camp and makes radical changes for God. Within 30 minutes of arriving home, his dad pours a bucket of water on the fire that was burning in his heart.

But what a great affect fathers can have when they realize the power of their influence. 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. 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 life? 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 fathers live a godly, pure, and moral life, it creates a fertile environment for our 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.

I have looked back at my teen years and asked my parents on several occasions, "Why didn't I smoke, toke, drink, party, and get involved in sex as a teenager?" I went to a large public high school and was surrounded by it. I don't ever remember my dad sitting me down and giving me a lecture on the "traps of sin." My parents led by example. There was an environment of values, morals, and purity. As far back as I can remember, I wanted to do what was right and good.

Yes, there are many other variables that play into the success or failure of the parenting process. But I believe parents have to wake up to the fact that our children's lives are photocopies of our own. Let's make sure the master is of the highest quality.

Copyright © 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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