Lessons Learned from Founder of Truth78 David Michael

Lessons Learned from Founder of Truth78 David Michael

Written by David Seibel | 10.19.2019

“Our greatest responsibility to the next generation is to make known to them the glorious realities of God’s holy Word.” As the apostle Paul reminded his mentor, Timothy, “Continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings.” 

David Michael, College Park elder and Executive Director of Truth 78 ministries, possesses a contagious passion for parents discipling the next generation.  I recently heard him speak at the Coram Deo Academy Dad’s Day and I want to share two lessons from listening to him. I share these lessons to educate and edify parents but also to commend to you the resources he and his wife produce and the conference that they host each year.  I have been particularly helped by his book A Father’s Guide to Blessing His Children.   

For a child to reach his or her God-given potential, the father’s blessing is one of the ordained means of nurture and edification in the child’s life.

For a child to reach his or her God-given potential, the father’s blessing is one of the ordained means of nurture and edification in the child’s life. 

Lesson #1: Parents can either bless, repress, or oppress their children.

Although these are David Michael’s exact words, it made me realize that these are the modes that I fall into when parenting my children.  To oppress is to tyrannize or bully and to repress is to restrain, limit, or subdue. To oppress is to curse with harshness, while to repress is to disengage and withhold blessing from children due to apathy. To bless is to pronounce favor upon someone in order to promote his or her flourishing. To bless is to actively pursue the good of your children.

While no father intentionally sets out to oppress or repress their children, it is unfortunately what we will do unless we plan otherwise. It is the default setting in our fallen fatherly software.  An exhausted father who arrives home right before dinner after a draining day of tedious meetings may not feel like they have a drop of grace left within them. The natural tendency will be to passively ignore the needs of children (repress) or to aggressively address them with sharp and cutting words (oppress). 

Unfortunately, most fathers spend far too much of their time with children in the oppressing and repressing modes of parenting their children because they live in default mode rather than on purpose. Fathers are called to raise their children in the wisdom and admonition of the Lord. For a child to reach his or her God-given potential, the father’s blessing is one of the ordained means of nurture and edification in the child’s life.  Listening to David Michael helped me to see the tremendous responsibility that I have to bless my children. I have come to accept that I will not naturally do this but I must intentionally set out to actively bless my children in both word and deed on a daily basis.  

That is an important theological truth for fathers to teach their children: the earthly father is reciting the blessing of the heavenly father on the child. 

That is an important theological truth for fathers to teach their children: the earthly father is reciting the blessing of the heavenly father on the child. 

Lesson #2: Blessing your children today makes a difference tomorrow.

David Michael commends the practice of blessing your children every night at bed.  His book, A Father’s Guide to Blessing His Children, contains a number of biblical blessings that he recommends memorizing and saying over your children each night.  During his talk, he also commended the practice of creating your own blessings (based on Scripture) to your children each night. 

As a starting point, I have enjoyed saying the Arronic blessing from Numbers 6:24-26 to my two kids each night, “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” I usually tend to forget one of the parts and mix with Psalm 23 or Psalm 1. Although this is not ideal, my kids are now used to me saying this blessing over them. As Dave recommends, the father ought to look his children in the eyes while he says God’s blessing upon them.  

That is an important theological truth for fathers to teach their children: the earthly father is reciting the blessing of the heavenly father on the child.  The child is able to see and hear the faith of their father on a daily basis. Dave shared that his adult children still ask for his blessing after decades of being blessed by their father as a child. What a powerful testimony to the power of blessing your children. 

If we are honest, we are all prone to being cranks to our kids and in the process limiting their God-given potential.  In a recent post, I share a story of a young man who heard the right words from a caring adult at just the right time and it made all of the difference.  A final resource that I would recommend is this video from Sam Crabtree at Desiring God on Practicing AffirmationHe makes the comment that no wife ever divorces her husband because he affirmed her too much.  In like manner, no child complains that his dad blesses him too much. Men need to take this calling seriously- grace to you in the process! 

David Michael is the Pastor for the Next Generations at College Park Church in Indianapolis. David and his wife Sally have labored together in ministry with a strong commitment to casting vision and developing resources for the spiritual development of children in the home and at church. 

 

 

David Michael is the Pastor for the Next Generations at College Park Church in Indianapolis. David and his wife Sally have labored together in ministry with a strong commitment to casting vision and developing resources for the spiritual development of children in the home and at church. 

 

As Head of School at Coram Deo Academy, Dave Seibel aims to cultivate a generation of scholar-disciples who are passionate about learning. He is husband to Brooke and father of four future Coram Deo students. He is a graduate of Wabash College, Marian University and in final Master of Divinity course at Southern Seminary.

As Head of School at Coram Deo Academy, Dave Seibel aims to cultivate a generation of scholar-disciples who are passionate about learning. He is husband to Brooke and father of four future Coram Deo students. He is a graduate of Wabash College, Marian University and in final Master of Divinity course at Southern Seminary.

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