Ten Ways to Be a Great Dad
I'm sure you've heard the expression, "Anyone can be a dad but it takes a special person to be a Father." Well, since it is Father's Day, I figured I'd give you ten ways to be a terrific father. Drum roll please....
1. Love God first before all else. The Bible tells us in Deuteronomy 6:5 to "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." When we put God in His rightful place - the center of our lives, everything else will fall in line. A godly man is a happy man!
2. Respect and love your children's mother. "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her..." Ephesians 5:25 What an awesome thing it is for a child to grow up in a home filled with love and kindness. When a man loves his woman, a child feels safe, secure, and has a firm foundation for his or her future marital relationship.
3. Have fun! Dads, your kids need to see the fun, playful side of you. Job or financial worries can often crowd out that kid-like side, but take time to relax, let loose, and enjoy your kids! "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." Proverbs 17:22
4. Spend time with and take responsibility for your children. Kids just want your attention. They want to spend time with and learn from you. It's easy to get so bogged down with work or other responsibilities, that you miss those precious moments which are here today then gone forever. Make time, dads. The shoe will be on the other foot someday and it will be you wanting your children to take those extra moments. "Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him...Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them." Psalm 127:3,5
5. Be a teacher by both word and example. "My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding...then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God." Proverbs 2:1, 5
Those precious little ones will model every behavior, word, and deed that you exhibit. So be careful! You impact their little lives more than you'll ever realize. I've heard it said that a child's greatest teacher is his or her parents. Therefore, live out loud the things you most want them to develop: love, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control, goodness, etc.
6. Show affection. What a beautiful thing it is when a tiny child can melt the heart of a big, burly daddy. Love your children. Give them the affection they crave...that special moment when they know they are a very important part of your life.
7. Don't place unreasonable expectations on your kids. Dads, allow your kids to be the unique individuals God has called them to be. Though they need you to guide them and provide loving structure, give them room to grow. Not all kids want to be the next football star or brain surgeon. Lovingly, help them reach their greatest potential without hindering their spirit. "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4
8. Don't place unreasonable expectations on yourself. Relax! You are a vital participant in the life of your child, however, don't beat yourself up when your children make mistakes. Every one of us go through a learning process. We make good decisions and bad. God was the most perfect parent there ever was and look at how His kids turned out! Love your kids and help them all you can, then cut yourself some slack and hand them over to the Lord.
9. Listen. A dad who can listen to his daughter's tales of boyfriends and school woes, to picking up on a son's silent signals of stress, is a wonderfully in-tune father. Children will appreciate and respect any dad who can listen more than he speaks, carefully analyze the situation, then react in a godly manner with love and wisdom. "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry..." James 1:19
10. Realize a father's job is never done. Just because your children have left the nest doesn't mean they don't need a father. Being a source of godly wisdom and truth is a awesome responsibility and a privilege. Your grown children will treasure all the moments that you show your support and love for them. Truly, a father's work is never done.
Well, there's the list. Hope everyone has a blessed Father's Day and honors the very best Father of them all.