I thought it was time to revisit the foundations of Dads’ UNI and to explain afresh the elements that make us who we are as an organisation. While in the role as Senior Pastor of a church on Australia’s Gold Coast in the 1990’s I received the idea and concept of Dads’ UNI whilst in prayer. Any God-given calling doesn’t merely reside in the mind as an idea only but is ‘birthed in the spirit’ of the person ‘He’ has called to fulfil the work. In such a way God spoke to me and implanted a seed inside me which is constantly being watered and growing into a fruitful ministry. Initially I’d like to speak about the first letter of our acronym UNI, and the word it stands for is Understanding.
Dads’ UNI is based upon the three foundation precepts of Understanding, Nurturing and Imparting. These three areas address the requirements of the mind, the emotions and the spirit of man and seek to bring them into a position where they can receive the fullness of God’s blessing and abundant life.
Dads’ UNI - Understanding
Noun - the ability to understand something; comprehension.
To comprehend, to apprehend, to grasp, to perceive, to discern, to appreciate, to conceive or absorb
(Proverbs 2:1-5) My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, So that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; Yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, If you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.
The mind is a gateway into our inner life and it is here that we must begin if we are to be successful in bringing about the change that is required to transform our lives. Right thinking will open up the path to right actions which will bring about right results in life, whereas wrong thinking will open the path to wrong actions which will bring about wrong results in life. How crucial it is therefore to start by laying the correct mental foundation so that we make the way open for a wonderful life.
Having understanding is more than merely acquiring knowledge on any given subject, it may begin in the mind but then it must go deeper into our human experience. Understanding comes through reflection and meditation upon the important areas of life and the experience we receive in their out-working over the years. Dads’ UNI provides our teachings world-wide to any men desiring to improve as a parent by understanding, perceiving and grasping the truths of fatherhood.
(Proverbs 21:30) There is no wisdom. or understanding, or counsel against the Lord.
There are many ‘experts’ these days with much to say on any given subject and often we as the public listen to their counsel and follow their advice. However, it is also important to note that these are merely fallible men who have been educated and trained by other fallible men in our Universities and Colleges. My point is this, much of their advice may be sound and usable in our lives but we should not fall into the error of accepting without question those things which they say.
There is I believe a ‘Litmus Test’ that should be applied to every area of life if we are to truly attain wisdom and not merely have our heads filled with the knowledge of men. That ‘Litmus Test’ is the comparison that we must all make between what the ‘experts’ say and what God Himself says in the Bible. God is revealed as our Creator, it was He who designed us and knows every aspect of our lives intimately. God has always been and always will be and His eternal life is filled with infinite knowledge. Without doubt there is no-one more qualified than our heavenly Father to dispense wisdom and knowledge and those who disagree with what He says on any given subject will ultimately be proven to be in error.
Wisdom comes when we understand how to apply those truths we find in God’s word in a way that is acceptable in His sight, so that we may fully benefit ourselves and our fellow-man. Dads’ UNI aims to bring understanding and wisdom to the important areas of parenting and empower fathers to raise wonderful children.
(Psalm 127:3) Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.
Children are one of the greatest rewards we as a man can receive on this earth, but with that reward comes a responsibility to care for them. God our heavenly Father has delegated the care of each child born to its parents and especially to the father of the child, and it is ultimately before Him that we must stand and give an account of how we treated our children.
Every father was first a son, and as a son relied upon his parents to provide for him, to protect him from danger and to guide him in life. Without these basic safeguards a child has little chance of survival in the hostile world we live in. It is a father’s responsibility to accept this challenge of taking care of his child and ensuring to the best of his ability that they have every opportunity in life.
Fathers who fail to accept their role in the family abandon their child to many destructive and harmful attacks. A child has no way to defend itself in a hostile world but is easily taken advantage of when there is no provider, protector or guide in life. Dads’ UNI emphasises the importance of shouldering our parental responsibilities as a pathway to becoming the best men that we could be.
(John 15:13) Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
Life in this world is about relationships. Our first relationship is with our parents and siblings in the family in which we were born, and it is here that we learn many of the keys to maintaining and building healthy relationships. Understanding the importance of showing respect and honour to each member of the family, and especially your parents lays a foundation in understanding how all relationships in life work.
The realisation that we all get offended at times by others and we also offend others is easily understood, because we are all individuals and think differently on many subjects. It is because of the proliferation of ‘offences’ in life that we must master the life principle of giving and receiving forgiveness regularly. As we go through life the keys of respect, honour and forgiveness are outworked in our friendships at school, our relationship with our girlfriend and ultimately will be with our wife and family.
Those who fail to master these basic principles of how to relate to another human being will struggle to be truly successful throughout their lives, for it is within relationships that we find our greatest fulfilment and happiness. Dads’ UNI teaches that it is within our relationships that we find both our greatest blessings and our greatest challenges in life, and without doubt it is those fathers who lay down their own selfish desires and choose to serve that enjoy the experience most.
(Proverbs 12:22) Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight.
The values we esteem within society like working hard, being honest and treating our fellow-man with kindness are based upon the principles of God’s Word. These values are eternal and proven throughout the history of mankind to be beneficial not only to those who practice them but also to society in general who profit from them.
Values and standards in society set a bench mark of what is acceptable behaviour and what is not and should be established clearly and taught to every member of our society. Historically it is often when we as a society stray from these standards and disregard these values that we find ourselves experiencing the negative results of selfish and cruel acts perpetrated upon individuals and communities.
Dads’ UNI advocates the return of our society to the Biblical standards observed by our forefathers, that we may enjoy the security and stability that they have been proven to bring to us all.
Understanding God’s Principles
(Galatians 6:7) Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
There are many principles that are spoken of within God’s Word and they all apply within our lives as men and fathers. Daily study of the scriptures in the Bible gives many insights into both what is acceptable in the sight of God and what will benefit our lives as men here on the earth. God watches everything we do in life and He has set principles in motion that rebound back to us many of the acts we commit in life, whether they are positive or negative.
If we are kind to others we will also be shown kindness somewhere in our life, if we are generous toward those who are in need then God will not forsake us in our own time of need. If we forgive others of their errors and come to God humbly seeking His mercy, then God will surely forgive us our errors too. But if we are harsh and cruel toward our fellow-man or devious and wicked in our hearts then we will reap the harvest of the destructive seeds we have sown and bring judgement down upon our own heads.
By understanding that God’s principles are established forever in the earth we as men can choose to walk in a way that will not only benefit us individually but also the children we are raising. Dads’ UNI upholds that in life it is always advantageous to do things God’s way that we may receive the fullness of the blessing He desires to give our family.
Acquiring an understanding heart is the foundation for receiving wisdom in every area of our lives, and especially in the areas of fatherhood. This is obtained through both loving and fearing God and putting His ways first in your life. Every other aspect of life falls into its proper place when this foundation stone is laid firmly in our heart as a man. To be the best man and father we can be in this world we need to seek daily to acquire an understanding mind and heart, and the blessings that they release into our family.
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