The story of the prodigal son is a great lesson on how to be a good dad. The meaning of prodigal is “one who spends his inheritance foolishly.” Fortunately that will never happen with our children, because we won’t be leaving anything behind for them. The message of this story doesn’t focus so much on the child as it does on the father.
The son was given his inheritance in advance of his father’s death and he left the family home to immediately spend it on things that would give him instant pleasure. The boy didn’t earn the money. It was a gift. There were no strings attached to it. He squandered every last cent and was finally destined to eat along with the pigs. When he could survive no longer, he returned to his father’s loving arms and a great celebration was held.
What kind of lesson was that for the son? Did he learn that he could always count on dear old dad to bail him out? Did he expect the warm welcome he received? Does it matter? What counts is that the father loved him so much, he looked beyond his foolishness and rejoiced in his return.
Here is the perfect example of Godly, Fatherly love. Parents, especially fathers, are given a set of guidelines for being the perfect parent, but the fact that is we aren’t perfect. We aren’t always going to have the right answers; make the right choices; do the right things. In fact many men beat themselves up for not being the kind of dad they are expected to be.
A good dad will always love his children. He will do what ever he can to help them. He will nurture feelings of confidence; bring out feelings of self-worth; guide good moral behavior; create a good work ethic; build future leaders. Not too much to ask – right? With God’s help all of this can be accomplished. With God’s help all things are possible – even fatherhood.