Originally posted 06/10/2014 as Ten Ways to be a Good Dad. We are no longer in the young parenting stage of life, but have tons of memories about our parenting years. Those treasures have compiled and sustained us through some of the most difficult times in our lives. When you have a strong father figure at the head of your house, you will have a strong family. When God is that head and is leading the dad, your house will not fall.
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 this book and the requirements are clearly spelled out.
Spiritual Leader – A dad should be an example of his family’s spiritual path. It isn’t just a suggestion, it’s an obligation. Proverbs 4 is explicit about a father’s responsibility to instruct his children in the ways of God. Take the time to read it today.
- 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 mean a dad has carte blanche permission to whip his children into submission. It does mean that a loving father will always administer discipline to guide and teach them. A whole post can be devoted to this one.
- Good Role Model – The world view of a great dad is one who is a child’s buddy – his benefactor – his yes-man. God wants dad to set a good example by trusting his Heavenly Father to get him through the difficulties of life. That is 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.
- Prepare 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 – right?
- Protector – In a child’s eyes, a 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 won’t always succeed in areas that we expect. It is the responsibility of a good father to help his children find what they are good at and then to 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 instead and you will be reap benefits beyond your comprehension.
I’ve chosen this post to honor my husband today, because he has been a perfect example of what it takes to be a dad. He wouldn’t admit that. In fact he would be the first to tell you that he’s made mistakes in his parenting, but so have I. In a way it’s all brand new for us as parents too. We’re often flying by the seat of our pants, but every step of the way is well worth it. When God is the essential part of the mix, you can’t fail.