Article

Several resources for a father’s spiritual growth

June 19, 2020

Father’s Day is this weekend, highlighting the important part a dad plays in his family. As Christians, we know that we flourish more in the roles God gives us when we take time to cultivate our hearts in a Godward direction. My aim is to provide you with a few on-the-go resources that will be a blessing to your spiritual life and help you grow in the Lord. 

Podcasts

If you are a father who spends a great deal of time commuting, then I would encourage you to redeem that time with a few daily podcasts. Some of the best daily podcasts are published by Crossway. From the Every Day in the Word podcast to their M’Cheyne Reading Plan podcast, you can listen through the entire Bible in less than 20 minutes a day. If you chose to subscribe to a daily Bible podcast, I would also encourage you to listen to a podcast like David Platt’s Praying the Word. Each of these resources can get your day off to a great start.

Beyond resources that are aimed at Christian spiritual formation, if you are looking for weekly resources on news from a Christian perspective, you should check out World Magazine’s The World and Everything In It podcast. Of course, you cannot go wrong subscribing to one of the many podcast resources provided by the ERLC either. Other options would include Brett McKay’s podcast, The Art of Manliness, which hosts frequent conversations on everything from philosophy to productivity. You will likely not always agree with the perspectives of all the participants, but you will certainly learn a lot and be well-informed. 

Apps

If you are tech-wise father, I would recommend a few apps to check out. As with the podcasts mentioned above, apps can be a wonderful source of spiritual nourishment. Personally, I use the Dwell app every day in conjunction with a Bible reading plan. The notifications keep me accountable, which has resulted in a wonderful habit of daily Bible meditation. To promote a more consistent prayer life, I use the Echo app, which provides reminders and clear organization for prayers. For those interested in memorizing Scripture, the Verses app makes it easy, fun, and mobile to hide God’s Word in our hearts that we might not sin against him (Psa. 119:9-11).

Books

Of the recommendations of books, there is no end. So, I want to suggest three high-impact books that I believe will encourage you and strengthen you as a father. First, I recommend Dane Ortlund’s book, Gentle and Lowly. Fathers are often browbeaten by Father’s Day sermons with challenges about how they need to “step up” as men. While I get the sentiment, many fathers are working hard and already carry around a lot of feelings of inadequacy. Ortlund’s book is gospel-salve for broken and discouraged soul. 

When we find ourselves to be weak and in need, we must remember that our greatest resource as a father will be found as Christ’s makes his power perfect in our weakness.

In keeping with the theme of feeling broken and discouraged, I would also recommend David Murray’s book, Reset. Much like Ortlund’s book, yet with exceedingly practical and clear steps, Murray helps his male readers assess their condition and find the help that they need in Christ and common grace. 

As a final recommendation, I would like to encourage fathers to read Jeremiah Burroughs’ Puritan paperback, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment. While it is an old book, it is a classic meditation on a major problem that many Christian men face on a daily basis. Contentment in Christ is something that must be learned, and Burroughs is a faithful guide in that process.

The ultimate resource 

Being a father is not easy. We have and will continue to make mistakes. We will sin against our wives and our children. We will fail in our professions. Our brokenness will not go unexposed. Yet, when we find ourselves to be weak and in need, we must remember that our greatest resource as a father will be found as Christ’s makes his power perfect in our weakness. My prayer is that these resources will serve the purpose of reminding us where our ultimate hope lies—in Christ and Christ alone.

Casey B. Hough

Casey B. Hough is lead pastor at Copperfield Church in Houston, Texas, and a Ph.D. student at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He also blogs regularly at www.CaseyHough.com. Casey and his wife, Hannah, have three sons and two daughters.  Read More