Fatherhood is a precious and sacred, God-given trust that must be taken very seriously. I love being a dad and it is the most difficult job I have ever had but it has also been the most rewarding job I have ever had!
4 characteristics every father should have
1. Father’s are to be loving.
Father’s should not be afraid to be tender and loving. A number of years ago the cartoon strip, “For Better or for Worse,” showed Dad coming into the room where his teenage daughter was sitting on the couch watching television and munching popcorn. So he decided to sit down next to her and help himself to the popcorn. As he was sitting there, a little thought balloon appears over his head.
He’s thinking, “I remember when she was so young. I held her in my arms and loved her, and it was wonderful. Now look at her. She’s all grown up, and such a beautiful girl, too. I wonder what she would think if I held her like I used to and told her again that I love her?” He finally concludes that she would be uncomfortable if he did that. While he’s thinking that, his daughter is thinking, “I wonder why Dad never hugs me anymore?”
I hope I never get to this point with my three daughters. I hope that we will always feel comfortable hugging each other and telling each other that we love each other. It is something really special – to see a dad who cares a lot about his kids.
2. Father’s are to be transparent.
We can be one person when we go to work and another person when we come to church and another person out in society. But when we go home we become whoever we really are inside and we become transparent whether we want to or not.
Now transparency means that our children can see not only the good things about us, but also some of the negative things as well. It is important for them to see that because all of these are learning experiences.
So a dad who is transparent with is family is a man who allows them to see him laugh when he is happy, and cry when he is sad.
They should see us deal with stress and anxiety in life because our world is filled with that.
They should see us agonize over decisions that we must make because they will have to make those same decisions some day.
They will learn how to relate to the opposite sex as they watch us relate to their mother.
They’ll learn how to handle failure and how to handle finances.
They will learn how to handle all of the things of life simply through our transparency as dads.
3. Father’s are to have a genuine spirituality.
God has commissioned dads to be spiritual leaders in their homes. And you’re the spiritual leader of your home whether you realize it or not.
You will either lead your family closer to God or further away.
As spiritual leaders it’s our responsibility to show that we are genuine, that our Christianity is not just something for Sunday, but something we are all week-long.
So, if you come to church and carry your Bible and look very pious on Sunday, but you never open it through the week, your kids will know. They’ll be watching you and they’ll know.
If you pray at church on Sunday morning when everybody else is praying, but you never pray at home, your kids will know that too.
If you never worship God through the week, or if you aren’t a good steward, your children will learn that too.
So, it is absolutely essential that we be genuine and that our children see that:
- We not only worship at church but we worship at home.
- We not only read the word of God at church but we read it at home.
- We not only pray at church but we pray every day of our lives.
Our children need to see the genuineness of our faith.
4. Father’s are to be influencing their homes.
Fathers are to be encouragers and positive influencers in their homes. Unfortunately this is not always the case though.
Listen to Brian’s story:
“I was just 12 years old when my Boy Scout troop planned a father-son camp-out. I was thrilled and could hardly wait to rush home and give my father all the information. I wanted so much to show him all I’d learned in scouting, and I was so proud when he said he’d go with me.
The Friday of the camp-out finally came, and I had all my gear out on the porch, ready to stuff it in his car the moment he arrived. We were all to meet at the school at 5 pm and car pool to the campground.
But dad didn’t get home from work until 7 pm.
I was frantic, but he explained that things had gone wrong at work and told me not to worry. We could still get up first thing in the morning and join the others. After all, we had a map.
I was disappointed, of course, but decided to make the best of it.
First thing in the morning, I was up and had everything in his car while it was still getting light, all ready for us to catch up with my friends and their fathers at the campground. Dad had said we’d leave around 7 am and I was ready a half an hour before that.
But he didn’t even come out of his room until 9 am.
When he saw me standing out front with the camping gear, he finally explained that he had a bad back and couldn’t sleep on the ground. He hoped I’d understand and that I’d be a ‘big boy’ about it . . . but could I please get my things out of his car, because he had several commitments he had to keep.
Just about the hardest thing I’ve ever done was to go to the car and take out my sleeping bag, cooking stove, pup tent and supplies. And then, while I was putting my stuff away in the storage shed and he thought I couldn’t see, I watched my father carry his golf clubs out and throw them in his trunk and drive away to keep his ‘commitment’.
That’s when I realized my dad never meant to go with me to the camp-out. I didn’t matter to him, but his golfing buddies did.
Here is a father who had a tremendous opportunity to be a positive influence in the life of his son and he blew it big time.
As fathers we need to make sure that we don’t make the same types of mistakes. We don’t always realize the impact one event can have in the life of our children.
What other characteristics should a father have?