There are many experts on fatherhood and the best ways to approach the job, but it seems to me that God gives us all the answers we need in His Word. Parenting is mentioned countless times in the Bobe and the requirements are clearly spelled out.
Spiritual Leader – A dad should be an example for his family’s spiritual path.
That isn’t just a suggestion, it’s an obligation. Proverbs 4 is clear about a father’s responsibility to instruct his children in the ways of God.
- Family Authority – Fathers have been relegated to a lower position lately, but according to God’s book, the father is to be the head of the house. This does not mean he should rule his family with an iron fist, but love them above all things and defend them with his very life.
- Disciplinarian – This doesn’t give dad carte blanche permission to force his children into submission. A loving father will always administer discipline to guide and teach rather than lording it over.
- Good Role Model – The world view of a great dad is one who is a child’s buddy – his benefactor – his yes-man. You are the parent. God wants you to set a good example by trusting in Him. That’s setting the stage for the way the child will approach life.
- Compassionate – Sharing in your child’s losses, weaknesses, burdens and challenges is one of the best ways to express your love. When your child is sick, you sit with them. When they are hurt by the words of others, you comfort them. When they need your protection, you are there for them.
- Prepared for the Unexpected – When you are trying to shave in the morning, expect to be joined by all your children and the pets in the bathroom. When you leave for work, plan for the entourage to follow you out the door and into the car. When you arrive home, expect to give answers to questions that have already been presented to mom for approval without knowing what her answers were. When you tuck them in at night, expect a long litany of reasons why they shouldn’t go to bed. You get the picture.
- Protector – In a child’s eyes, dad is a super-hero. He can defeat the monsters under his bed – destroy the giant spider on the wall – leap tall buildings with a single bound. Of course in reality dads are human and their power source comes from a place different than from within. Let them know that you are willing to do anything for them, but sometimes even you don’t have all the answers.
- Provider – There are many men who have fathered children and then walked away from them. It doesn’t take a lot of brains to create a life, but it requires tons of self-sacrifice to be a father. There may be times when you can’t find a job. Your income doesn’t meet your budget needs, but to provide for your children doesn’t always mean monetary things. The blessings you shower on them come in many forms – love, encouragement, advice, knowledge, confidence can be even more beneficial than things and they will go much further in the long run.
- Counselor – By the time we become parents, we have a little life experience under our belts – at least enough to know that we’ve made some foolish mistakes. We can’t teach our children how to avoid doing the same things, but we can give them the tools they need to make the right choices.
- Encourager – We all want our children to succeed, but they need to learn how to make their own choices. It’s the responsibility of a good father to help his children find what they’re good at and then encourage them to pursue it with gusto. We can’t live our own lives through our children. They are unique individuals with their own amazing gifts. A father can help them discover those gifts and give them the courage to pursue their dreams.
Being a father isn’t an easy job, but consider it as an adventure. You will be reap benefits beyond your comprehension.