This week’s blog isn’t an easy one for any father to put out. All of us who have children, we know very well we could do better, or could have done better, depending on which season of fatherhood you’re in. Still, we shouldn’t shy away from reminding ourselves what God’s Word teaches on this important aspect of our lives.
Fatherhood is a complicated relationship that can leave a deep and lasting impact on children. Whether idolized or plagued with complications, the way fathers lead and interact with their children can shape their perception and understanding of God the Father. In addition to “just being a dad” (as if this is a small thing), being a Christian dad is an opportunity to follow God’s Word and become a godly father through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Here are seven (of many) ways to be the godly fathers we can be by the power of the Holy Spirit:
Be present: Spending time with your kids is crucial in positively impacting their health and development, according to new research. As Jesus was present for his closest disciples, make time for your children in the day-to-day moments and connect with them spiritually.
Be an example worth following: Children notice everything, so model what it looks like to be an authentic Christ follower, flaws and all. Demonstrate forgiveness, submission to authority, and encourage your family to grow in their faith.
Be compassionate: Kids flourish when their homes are a haven from the world. Show your children compassion and unconditional love, as demonstrated by the story of the prodigal son, and create a safe and loving environment. If kids know they can fall without being judged, they’ll remember this for life!
Be firm: A father’s role includes discipline, so don’t leave it all to mom. Be responsible for instructing and disciplining your children to cultivate godly character.
Be prayerful: The strength to protect and provide for your family comes from deepening your relationship with God through prayer. Pray for your kids, pray with them, and teach them to pray, relying on God for wisdom and discernment.
Be Open: As a father, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking we need to have all the answers and be in control at all times. However, this kind of thinking can lead to a closed-off and rigid relationship with our kids. Instead, be open to listening to your kids, learning from them, and acknowledging your mistakes. This vulnerability and humility can build a foundation of trust and understanding in your relationship.
“Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end, you will be counted among the wise.” Proverbs 19:20
Also, “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.” Proverbs 18:1
Be Loving Above all, love your kids unconditionally. This kind of love is not based on their behavior or accomplishments but rather on their inherent worth as God’s creation.
Take time to express your love through words and actions, showing them that they are valued and cherished. This kind of love can leave a lasting impact on their lives and shape their understanding of God’s love for them.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13
Being a godly father is a high calling and a significant responsibility, but it’s also an incredible opportunity to make a positive impact on your children’s lives. By following the roadmap provided in God’s Word and relying on the Holy Spirit’s help, you can step up and be the loving, compassionate, and firm leader your family needs.
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