Book Review: The Effective Father

I just finished reading The Effective Father by George MacDonald. Like many of the books on my shelf, it was neglected for far too long. But I must say that I really enjoyed the book.

I would highly recommend that all men who are fathers read it and especially fathers of young children. We often think that one day we will start being an effective father, but the truth is that we must start today! Below are just some of the great truths I gleaned from the book:

  • “Families without fathers who are effective leaders face constant trouble…”
  • “God calls upon the man…to make sure…that the people in that family have every opportunity to experience all that their Creator intends for them to be.”
  • “Success in one area of life does not guarantee effectiveness as a father at home.”
  • “Effective leadership is designed to bring people to maturity…”
  • “If the family is a group of human beings so tied together, it is the father who is the knot where the ends of the laces meet.”
  • “The geopolitical division of the kingdom of Israel can be traced to David’s failure inside his home.”
  • “The more the family surrenders its children, the more the state is willing to step in and assume responsibility.”
  • “[Joseph] knew the real essence of fatherhood: to accept the mandate of heaven and forcefully create and sustain a family climate in which God’s spirit could do his sovereign work.”
  • “In short, ensure that life within your home is so positive, so appealing, so fulfilling that all else in the outside world pales in contrast to what a child receives when he is with the family.”
  • “…few wish to pay the price which the mandate of effective fatherhood demands. It’s just too high for the tastes and disciplines of most men.”
  • “What the imperceptive young father does not see is that the time to make family investments is when the child is young.”
  • “[Jesus] delayed His appointments with all those important-looking older folks, to play with the kids.”
  • “I think effective fatherhood demands first of all the price of putting one’s personal discretionary freedoms up for grabs.”
  • “Words have an awesome impact. They can build or they can destroy. The impressions made by a father’s voice can set in motion an entire trend of life.”
  • “…talking with children demands a heavy-duty effort at verbal clarity.”
  • “If we could bring deficient fathers into court under charges of malfeasance in the business of pacesetting, the silent father would face the sternest charges.”
  • “The name of the game is anticipation, being sensitive to the places where there are going to be problems so that we can confidently respond with a plan of responsible action.”
  • “…the only thing worse than not having laws in a family is laying down laws but not enforcing them.”
  • “If there are no convictions on central matters of life, then fathers and mothers must blurt out decisions under pressure.”
  • “The God of the Bible makes it plain that fathers are responsible to produce people of deep inner spirit.”
  • “There is pain in conditioning, preparation for performance, and there must be pain in the lives of children if they are going to be ready for the challenges facing them.”
  • “I never would have believed how subtle is the temptation to give our children money and freedom rather than hurt and disappoint them.”
  • “Solomon [Proverbs 19:18] seems be contradicting the unconscious hope many fathers have that their children will ‘grow out’ of their rebellion as they mature.”
  • “…loving fathers and mothers should stand with their sons or daughters in times of trouble but they make a serious error if they try to relieve their offspring of responsibility for their actions.”
  • “The heath of my marriage has a direct relationship to my capacity to be a good father.”
  • “The effective father is, above all things, a man touched by the power of Jesus Christ.”

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