Father’s Day should be a time of reflection for those who love and honor their dads, but it should be a time of reflection for Fathers as well. Speaking as a dad who has more than his share of failures, I’d like to encourage all dads out there to focus their energies on BEING before concentrating on DOING for Father’s Day. It’s easy to give in to the temptation to DO things for our kids to demonstrate our love for them. Gifts and activities are, after all, easier than changing our character. Still, it’s always important to understand that who we ARE is more important than what we DO. Sometimes our kids understand this better than we do. Wherever you may be in your “Fatherhood Journey,” I would invite you to consider the following challenges as a dad…
None of us are perfect. Consequently, it’s natural to want to hide our faults. And, to be honest, there are some things that are best not disclosed to our kids. Still, every dad should seek to possess the kind of character that can reveal itself genuinely, and that includes our faults. Kids will accept your faults much more readily than the masks you may wear to hide who you really are.
God has made you to be unique. It’s okay to say, “this is who I am.” That doesn’t mean you have to stay where you are and be content to live with less-than-godly character. It does mean that you don’t try to be someone else, even if it’s an imaginary vision of the perfect dad. Seek to be genuine in your life and before your children.
You don’t have to be a spiritual giant to be sacrificial, especially when it comes to your children. There are hundreds of ways on any given day that you can choose to place others, including your kids, above yourself. This is the core of what it means to be Christlike.
This is contrary to how the world teaches us to live, but your children will know whether you have the capacity to sacrifice for the sake of others. And, they absolutely know whether you’re able to sacrifice for them. Sure, you may be willing to “die for your kids,” but are you willing to sacrifice “the big game” for them? Learn to be sacrificial in all of your dealings and your children likely will be the first to see it!
Kids can’t learn from your character if they don’t have the opportunity to observe your character. Your love for Jesus may not be as great as you’d like, but can they see that you love Him at all? What about His church? Can they see the sacrifices you make on their behalf? Can they see the positive ways you respond to stress and adversity?
Leadership needs to be visible and God has called YOU to be a leader to your children. Perhaps it’s time to renew your commitment to some activities that will SHOW your kids that the Lord has a priority in your life. Do they SEE you giving time to His Word? Prayer? His people? Your family?
As dads, if we’re careful to give attention to BEING the man God desires, then the DOING will come quite naturally and our kids will appreciate all of the things we ARE and DO for them.
God, help us to BE before we DO!
Author, Speaker, Bible Teacher
See a list of other articles by Rick Edwards.