|Proverbs 22:6: “Start children off on the way they should go, and even
when they are old they will not turn from it.”
Dear Dads (and everyone who loves their Dad):
As a dad, I am always doing my best to look out for the needs of my family. That means working to maintain shelter and provide sustenance and meet my family’s daily needs.
Being a dad also means being an encourager and supporter, being the arbiter of disputes, mowing the lawn, killing spiders, and perhaps the most daunting of all…. being a protector.
While protector does indeed mean physical security, I am more concerned with the other part of protection. It’s one I think dads think about a lot: protection from what the world wants kids to see, hear and do.
In a world where truth gets twisted and turned on its head, dads have to be discerning and wise in order to make sure kids know the truth and understand what is happening in their surroundings. Confronting the world’s warped ideas and abject falsehoods is a daily challenge where some days are harder than others. The age of your kids might also determine whether you are in a particularly difficult season.
It is not for the faint of heart and many of us wonder if we are up to the task or if we have already messed things up. But I also think at times we can make this a little harder than it needs to be.
Here are three reasons why I say that:
- Kids are smarter than we sometimes give them credit for. They can handle information about the world they live in – if they are old enough to ask tough questions, they are likely old enough to hear and understand truth when it is delivered out of a sense of love and care.
- At heart, kids are forgiving. Yes, we all mess up from time to time and sometimes it is bad. The hardest thing in the world might be going to a child and telling them the truth that you failed and asking for forgiveness, but what a model to teach them. They have probably learned to seek your forgiveness, but how impactful is it when you seek theirs?
- Kids love fun, boy, do they love fun! This is probably where I fail the most – just having fun. The world intrudes and robs us of time every day and as dads we can become distant from our kids. We have to make time to pay attention to them, do things they like and really listen to them. If we do not fill that void, the world will. Making the most of time with your kids is vitally important. Have fun and leave the worries behind.
There is probably much more that can be written here. And like most dads, I am NOT an expert by any means (see number two above).
As dads we all, hopefully, do our best to stay strong and maintain our trusted, godly, firm, and consistent fatherly influence in our kids’ lives. Some days that is harder than others, but as a father nothing is more important – nothing. We have but a few years to train our children to be godly, productive, respectful, well-rounded adults, and every day of that process is a new opportunity.
I want to encourage you to keep going, and know that you don’t have to be perfect. It does not matter how yesterday or last week went. Perhaps you feel like a super dad, or maybe you feel you could do better. However you feel, here’s my encouragement to you: as long as you are striving to do your best and follow the Lord’s leading, you are the parent you child needs today.
Keep seeking the truth and finding ways to impart it to your kids. Stand strong in the face of a culture that wants to devour their minds. Push back against a world that seeks to entice your kids to believe things that are untrue. Teach them accountability and model it in your own life. When you mess up, tell them and ask for forgiveness.
You can do this, and you will!
Enjoy this Father’s Day and be proud of your kids.
Stay encouraged, stay strong…and be the dad God needs you to be!
Happy Father’s Day,