SYLVIA McCRORY JUNE 2020
So many times, we downplay the importance of fathers in the raising of children. Yet, we realize, as adults what an important impact our relationship with our father has had on us.
In many cultures, the mother of the family handles the day to day responsibilities of caring for the children. This includes everything from doctors appointments, school conferences, practice for sports, to discipline. Without a doubt, it’s a lot of work, and to be fair, most dads are probably grateful to be relieved of these duties. But don’t we, as families, tend to fall into the roles at home? Some things mom will do, like helping with homework, or getting children ready for bed. and some things dad will do, like cooking dinner, or getting everyone up in the mornings. Let’s not forget, there are things moms are better at, while dads are better at other things. So, it just makes sense for mom to help with homework, if dad doesn’t have the patience, or if schedules don’t always allow dad to help.
However, for the well-being and security of our children, we may need to adjust our roles. Today, more than ever, children need the security of their fathers. They need the comfort of the loving arms of a father when the world is crashing around them. Children today need the big strong shoulder of their father to cry on when the world seems so cruel. Then, when children mess up, and they will, as we all do, they need the forgiveness and understanding of a father who loves the broken child with unconditional love.
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4 (NIV)
Just like the old hymn, I Need Thee Every Hour.
I need thee every hour
Most gracious Lord
No tender voice like thine
Can peace afford
Our children need their fathers every hour. Just as we need the unconditional love of God, they need the same love from their fathers. I am not attempting to compare our earthly fathers to our heavenly Father. I am attempting to stress the importance our earthly fathers have to share God’s love to their children, to impress upon their hearts their love and worship of God and all He has done and is doing for them.
In his book, Too Much of A Good Thing Raising Children of Character in an Indulgent Age, Dan Kindlon states:
A poor relationship with one’s father is related to low self-esteem and depression. Research indicates that a father’s approval is important to both boys and girls. It is only after a child feels supported and loved by his father that he can develop the healthy self-esteem that is a prerequisite to devoting at least part of his attention to others. Psychologists don’t have the final answers on why fathers are so important. It is probably due, at least in part, to the fact that mothers tend, on the whole, to do a better job of child rearing. They are consistently there for their kids. Fathers tend to be more variable in how they respond to their children. Also, we are still a patriarchal society and boys especially feel that a father’s approval is necessary to validate whatever they undertake in the world.
The world we live in, is so different from the world of just a decade ago. Our children are exposed to the evils and temptations of Satan at very young ages. With the creation of the internet, children are targets for predators, they have easy access to images of sex and violence, yet they are so naive and vulnerable. It is our job to protect our precious children and commit to serve the Lord every single day.
Game Plan for Fathers
There are a few Godly fathers who come to my mind, when I recall the characteristics needed for fathers today. The one thing that is the most important for fathers today, is a man who radiates the Love for the Lord in his every breathe. You see these men do not try to be loving or there for their children, but they just are, simply by putting God first in their lives.
I remember one friend of the family, who happened to be a pastor. He was always calm and had a smile on his face. This man had patience for all children, he was never in a hurry if someone wanted a word with him.
Another Godly father was the most humble man I have ever known. He was my grandfather. Happy to see anyone, his joy on earth came from spending time with friends and family. There wasn’t any talk or concern about buying earthly objects. Although there is nothing wrong with this, as long as it doesn’t become anyone’s sole focus.
Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. Luke 12:15 (NIV)
Instead, he was more interested in sharing what he had with others. My grandfather found joy in making things and giving them away.
- Walk close to the Lord Daily
- Be Humble – not proud
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)
- Generous with your time for your family and children
- Generous with hugs and compassion, forgiveness and understanding
- Stay focused on the future
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. I John 2:15-17 (NIV)
- Be a reflection of Jesus to your children
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
These six things may not seem like much work and they shouldn’t be work. However, these six things should constantly be on the minds of every father today and always.
You see if we all walk close to the Lord every day, everything else will follow. And when you begin to think you are losing focus, remember you are working for the future. Not an earthly future, but a future in heaven. Our job as parents should be to prepare ourselves and our children for their future home in heaven. We need to prepare them for the work God has planned for them.
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