You may think Hollywood influences your child more than you. It doesn’t. Sports? Nope. The Kardashians? Well, maybe. Actually, nope. They don’t either. Not more than you. All of these may hold certain influence over minutes—even days—but over the long haul, you hold the biggest set of influence keys.
This should be good news for you. And, it should be sobering.
Even better news, God holds forever. This should be comforting.
But, you're still walking around feeling like a failure. Why? You must fight your sin. I'll tell you how to eliminate each sin in the coming weeks. But first, let's know exactly what each sin is and how it plays out in your life as a dad.
The seven deadly sins of pride, envy, anger, greed, sloth, gluttony, lust—are not labeled this way because they are worse than other sins. All sin kills something. These seven sins are the sins that often give birth to other sins. So, know them. Fight them in your heart. Fight them in your home. Be the example that maybe you didn’t have growing up.
We wrote 7 Deadly Sins of a Disengaged Dad eBook for a reason. There's a lot to say about each sin. For every sin I talk about here, in the book, there's a ton more details about what these sins really are, how they play out in your life, strategies for overcoming them, Scripture for combating them and prayer prompts to eliminate them from your life.
#1 The Deadly Sin of Pride
What is the sin of pride? The dictionary definition of pride is the feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one's own achievements. Doesn’t sound horrible, does it? But pride is often called the “essence of all sin.” It’s is the sin that begets most other sin.
How does pride show up in your life as a dad? The disengaged dad is a prideful dad. Pride is when we think of ourselves too much. I once saw a dad post a selfie (just of himself—not he and his son) on Facebook congratulating his son on graduating high school. What? Dad, did you graduate? While your son graduating may feel like your accomplishment, pride will have you taking the credit—or at least focusing on yourself too much. Many dads tell us they can't get their kid to open up and talk, could it be that you've been walking around for years caring too much about yourself?
The disengaged dad says:
“I have the power and I’m in control.”
#2 The Deadly Sin of Envy
What is envy? Envy is a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else's possessions, qualities or luck.
How does envy show up in your life as a dad? Envy creeps in because we’re comparing ourselves to others. We want what someone else has. What we have (or who we are) isn’t good enough. The disengaged dad is an envious dad.
Envy often plays out in our closest relationships. You want your neighbors’ lawn, his car, his home, his job...his wife. Or, you’re caring about your friends’ kids’ ACT scores or even how other kids treat their parents. Without suspecting a thing, you lead your kids to be ugly when a friend at school makes the team and your son or daughter doesn’t.
The disengaged dad says: “I deserve what you have.”
#3 The Deadly Sin of Anger
What is anger? Anger is strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure or hostility. In Genesis 4:6, God asks Cain, “Why are you furious?”. We must find the trigger for our anger. If God wants to find it, we should as well.
How does anger show up in your life as a dad? Many dads say they want to be better examples of discipline and training in their homes. Eliminating the sin of anger may be the first stop to true discipleship. The disengaged dad is an angry dad. He wants what he wants—when he wants it. This me-first-attitude causes us to be angry at everything—from how long we wait at stoplights, to whether our favorite meals are served at dinner, to railing about the government, taxes and our preachers.
The disengaged dad says:
“I have a right to be angry and blow off steam.”
#4 The Deadly Sin of Sloth
What is sloth? Sloth is the reluctance to work or make an effort. Sloth is as simple as the teen with a messy room or the older, retired gentleman who only lives for his hobby. It’s as complex as the workaholic who is so engulfed by his work he’s lazy and unintentional in his family life.
How does sloth show up in your life as a dad? Sloth is the essence of the disengaged dad. From apathy, carelessness, the whole “ask your mom” mentality and the approach to discipleship that says, “Doesn’t the pastor ever teach on that?” This dad’s waiting for everyone else to do his work.
The disengaged dad says:
“I’ll jump in when things are on fire.”
#5 The Deadly Sin of Greed
What is greed? Greed is the inordinate or insatiable longing for unneeded excess, especially for excess wealth, status, power or food. In case you may be reading and not have loads of money, you can be poor and be greedy. All you have to do is constantly want MORE. It’s not having wealth that’s the problem, it’s the desire behind the wealth (or lack of wealth) that’s the problem.
How does greed show up in your life as a dad? There are three things the disengaged dad gets wrong in the life of his home and family.
1. The disengaged dad puts his own needs above his wife and kids.
2. The disengaged dad seeks instant gratification.
3. The disengaged dad is always looking for more when more is never clearly defined.
The disengaged dad is a greedy dad. When you want to be a godly husband and father—but you struggle with balancing your time and priorities—often, the issue at play is greed. Part of intentionally discipling your child may mean modeling contentment.
The disengaged dad says: “I deserve more.”
#6 The Deadly Sin of Gluttony
What is gluttony? Gluttony is one of the "respectable sins." We see it in and around us but we aren't sickened by it. When, in fact, this sin is making us sick. Gluttony is the over-indulgence and over-consumption of food, drink or wealth items.
How does gluttony show up in your life as a dad? The disengaged dad is gluttonous. Let us be clear. We’re not talking about those with food allergies or other medical conditions. Please read with that in mind. Now, the dad struggling with gluttony probably has an unhealthy relationship with food.
The disengaged dad says: “Are you gonna eat that?”
#7 The Deadly Sin of Lust
What is lust? Lust is an uncontrolled or illicit desire or appetite. We often associate it with sex. But it’s about appetite, like greed and gluttony. Lust drives us to see people as objects. Objects for our gratification and pleasure.
How does lust show up in your life as a dad? The disengaged dad doesn’t properly guard himself from lust. He doesn’t view his relationship with his wife as the quintessential example for his kids and how they will ultimately view relationships and marriages.
Therefore, when we’re not guarding the seemingly small things, like what we watch on television in the house, we’re giving our kids conflicting messages about the character of God. This taints our relationships with our children and then they’re not open and honest with us about their own sexual questions, desires and challenges.
The disengaged dad says:
“I want it and will do anything to get it.”
In the full 7 Deadly Sins eBook, we help you dig deeper into:
- Defining the sin.
- Understanding how the sin plays out in your life as a dad.
- Strategies for eliminating the sin.
- Scriptures to combat the sin.
- Prayer you can commit to memory if you struggle with the sin.
- Self-reflection questions as you consider these sins in your life.
- An engaging infographic as a reference for fighting these sins.
The deadly sins of lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, anger, envy and pride are there for the taking. But, so is God’s grace. You can be a godly father who leads without regrets.
This post is part of an ongoing series based on our full eBook 7 Deadly Sins of a Disengaged Dad.