“Pastor Dad” – Thoughts on Mark Driscoll’s free book

As a husband and father, I want to love my family in a way that God finds honorable. There are lots of books and studies out there on parenting, but I especially appreciate things that are concise, direct, biblical, and easily read.  I have found such a resource for FREE!! in Mark Driscoll’s “Pastor Dad“.  The e-book is less than 50 pages and I thought it was profound, challenging, and a worthwhile read. Here are some of the high points that I found particularly worthwhile:

A godly father models submission to authority and the welcoming of correction by repenting of his own sin, receiving forgiveness, and walking in restored intimacy with God the Father by empowering grace. All of this is the essence of love, as sin leads to death and hell, and discipline leads to repentance, which points us back to life and God. Practically, this means that a good father lives out the gospel every day in fellowship with God and his child, and that he knows what to do about sin in the life of his child because he’s been dealing with his own sin in his own life first (8).

Lazy fathers are disobedient to God but want to have children who are obedient to them (9).


As a general rule, single men should aspire to marriage and fatherhood, and if they do not there is something seriously wrong with them. Such men aspiring to be fathers should, after cultivating their own souls and being lovers of God, be instructed by the older men in their church to pursue a godly woman as a wife and mother. This is considerably different than a good time, girlfriend, or date. Wise young men pursue a woman they can both love as a wife and see as the mother of their children (14).


The biblical goal of a father is not to crush his children but to cultivate them…One practical part of this cultivation is that a father needs to think through the education of his children and have a theology of childhood education (20).


And no matter which educational option you choose for your children, you and your wife must be their primary influence and instructors (21).


Nonetheless, there is no way anyone could read the Bible and wind up with the silly notion that both the husband and the wife are to be providers and that daycares or relatives are supposed to raise the children of a Christian couple (24).


Friends who love God and live righteously are wonderful influences upon a child. Your children will benefit from playing with their children and seeing their marriages. A wise father will not tuck his children away to be hidden and uninvolved in the life of his church and friends, but rather integrate them into the church community, developing friendships with people of all ages, thereby reinforcing his instruction as they see the benefits of wisdom in the lives of many people (25).


A wise dad may realize that a personal quiet time for himself is unwise; rather than hiding away in a quiet place to read the Bible, it is often best to do so in the noisy living room where the kids can see and climb on their dad while he reads his Bible (28).


What a father should do is repent for his children and thereby model for them how to deal with sin (35).


People love sex, but they don’t love marriage; they love sex, but they don’t love children. This is because they don’t love God (39).


Married men who have sex outside their marriage, single men who fool around rather than seeking wives, fathers who walk out on their kids, and fathers who are too lazy to work hard and pay the bills all hate children by their actions. And because God is a father to the fatherless, they have made themselves enemies of God (40).


More than bigger governments, bigger schools, more free school lunches, more child therapists, more child medications, more daycares, more prisons, and more birth control, we need more godly men who raise their sons to be godly men who raise their sons to be godly men who raise their sons to be godly  men (Psalm 78:5–8) (42).


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