‘My dad’s the greatest’

Every child wants to be able to boast about his/her dad! Little boys may be heard to say, “My dad can beat up your dad!” The truth is that in our era of time, many dads are absent or confused about the roles they should play. Recently a dad was shown on TV taking his son to a marijuana festival in Colorado. He said he thought it was good for his son to see!??

What makes a great dad? The Bible tells us that the father should be the spiritual head of the home. Research tells us that dads, whether they want to or not, instill an image of the Heavenly Father in children. Children tend to think of God as being like their earthly fathers. That’s scary. Perhaps dads could use a checklist to ascertain whether they are doing what God would like them to do. Here are my suggestions:

Pray at each meal-time to thank the source of blessings.

Conduct a family devotion or Bible study at least one time each week.

See that the family attends church and Bible study groups.

Take the family to see movies such as “God’s not Dead” or other acceptable films. Many of the biblical films often shown around Easter will give the children an idea of Bible times, even if they may not be technically correct. A dad can point out where they are off track.

Check out the school teachers and church leaders of the children. Do not assume that they are alright. 

Take part in activities with the children. Little League teams, 4-H clubs, etc. are always looking for volunteers.

Be willing to turn off the TV when the children come to talk or if they need you for other reasons. 

Take the children with you on your activities whenever possible.

Teach sons how to make minor repairs to the home. Insist that they help you with the upkeep of the property.

Show respect to your wife. When you disagree, do it in private. Children will not respect their mother if you don’t.

Learn to admit it when you are wrong. 

Try to get the children to understand why you insist on certain things.

Use questions with children to help them think through reasons for required behavior and draw acceptable conclusions.

Realize that when you force your way on children, they will harbor resentment. Although sometimes you must do so for their own safety, as much as possible help them to make the decision for themselves.

Sometimes dads are afraid of making mistakes so they hold back and do nothing. That, in itself, is a mistake. Take a chance and do your best trusting God to show you the way. Most of all, pray, pray, pray. Spend lots of time with the children. The more time they are away from you, the more chances they have for making wrong decisions.