Let me go ahead and wish you a Happy Fathers’ Day!
You don’t need me to tell you that being a father today is as challenging as it has ever been. Our children receive so many compromised and destructive messages from our culture. In that light, I wanted to encourage and challenge you to be the godly father your family needs you to be. Here are eight meaningful specifics to help you hone in on your mission.
1. Teach your children who they are. Their primary identity is not their race, gender, talent, passion, or anything other than the creation truth that our loving Father made them in His image. Anything less seriously underserves them in terms of their self-understanding and fulfillment.
2. Model what it means to be a kingdom seeker (Matthew 6:33-34). Not only is this above everything else, it also colors everything we do. We approach our work, our play, and everything in between from a disciple-of-Jesus-point-of-view. The main thing we have to do is to make sure the main thing remains the main thing!
3. Give your children something to live for. Many parents admirably work hard and sacrifice to provide their children something to live with, but never think of providing them with something to live for. Our children need to know that God created us for eternal relationship and that begins NOW.
4. Love their mother in the selfless, sacrificial way that Christ loves the church. Your kids do not need to be the human center of your family—that’s for you and your wife! It was the two of you before they came along and it will be the two of you after they’re gone. You will bless your children by doing this and teach them a profound truth about marriage.
5. Teach your boys how to be boys and your girls how to be girls. They are equal, but not the same. God made them quite different. It’s okay to treat them that way.
6. Take them to church whenever the doors are open. Sitting at home in your pajamas watching livestream is not what Paul had in mind when he spoke of us coming together as a church. We need face-to-face, real time, flesh and blood interaction. Staring at yet another screen is no substitute.
7. When your children are of age, please allow them to leave your home—not just physically, but emotionally. This is part of Gods plan so they can become one if and when they marry. The best to way to accomplish this is to learn to release them g-r-a-d-u-a-l-l-y while they are still under your roof. Resist the urge to hover over them!
8. Persevere in your parenting. There will be some fatherhood bumps on the way. You’ll make mistakes. But that’s where your children really get to see your faith, forgiveness, patience, and so many other important qualities they will need in life. Remember, the challenge before us is never as great as the power behind us (Hebrews 13:5-6).