As Father’s Day approaches every June, the conversations are filled with gifts, parties, get-togethers, and events all wrapped around our fathers. It’s everywhere for a very short period of time. But stop and think about when you hear the words “ being a good father”, what does that mean to you?
Short answer, a man who has had a child or children is considered a father. But that’s just the biological answer. Being a father is much more than being the person who created another person or child. That’s the easy part. The hard part is what makes the man a “good” father.
You have to be a real man to be a real father.
Let’s dig in.
Being a Father for the First Time
When I first became a father, saying it was a life-changing experience doesn’t even come close.
My oldest, at the time of writing this, is 5 years old. When I held her for the first time, I knew what it felt like to be a real man.
Looking into her little face and seeing similarities between myself and her mother I couldn’t help but get overwhelmed.
“I am now a father.”
That statement, “I am now a father”, hold so much weight. Looking into her little eyes, knowing that everything that she needed was depending on me. I am her sole provider, her protector and she is relying solely on me.
That was when I realized that the biological part of being a father was the easy part. The road ahead of being a father was about to get real.
Being a Good Father to Your Daughter
If you have a daughter like I do, then you understand that you are not wired the same way she is.
They are emotional time bombs and you have to learn how to defuse them.
You have to treat them differently than you do boys. Making the connection with your daughter and her feelings is crucial.
Daughters need to know and feel your love for them. By giving your daughter a great big hug and telling her that you love her often builds a strong bond. That bond will help her in future relationships to understand proper affection.
Your reactions to how she handles situations are key to strong development in girls.
Try not to jump to conclusions and force your way into repair issues before hearing her clearly. Give her the opportunity to solve her own issues and listen to her feelings, emotions and her ideas.
Girls want to know that they are strong and able to handle issues too. Be a better listener and connect with what she is saying.
Be a role model for the type of man you someday want her to marry. Show her what a good man looks like by your actions and example.
Open the door for her just like you do your wife. Take her on dates and treat her like a little lady. Listen when she talks and communicate back. Be respectful of her feelings and watch your language around her.
Be her Prince Charming until the real Prince with the glass slipper shows up later in her future.
[Tweet “Be her everything now, so she will expect someone to be everything later.”]
Being a Role Model to my Son
Your son needs your love just like your daughter, however, it looks a little different. Great big hug and an I love you, needs to be often.
But with your son, he truly is looking for your respect and approval. He needs encouragement if, with wrong choices, he still needs to know your love for him as a son.
It is hard for most men to show affection, especially to another male. We have been bred and raised to think that showing affection makes you weak with nothing could be further from the truth.
I have seen my Dad cry on multiple occasions due to difficult situations and it makes our love and bond for each other grow stronger. A man that says he does not cry is a liar or has nothing to live for.
Show your son and your affection they deserve and watch your family blossom.
Be the servant and the leader for your family by helping where help is needed and take the lead in decisions for the family.
[Tweet “Lead your family through difficult situations by helping everyone through them.”]
You may be the head of the house, but show your wife love and respect by helping with the laundry or dirty dishes. Leading by example but having a servant’s heart will grow your son into the leader he will someday become. It may just keep him out of trouble by showing him how to be a leader and not a follower.
But he also needs to see your discipline in his life. He can not challenge your authority without the consequences. By giving him boundaries to follow, you will shape and mold him into a better leader.
He will fail as you did and will. No one is perfect and he should not feel that you are either. He needs to see your failures and consequences to know that sometimes failure is ok. It makes us stronger, wiser and corrections in our lives. But we need to take those failures and learn from them with the discipline to correct our paths.
There is a right way and a wrong way to discipline. As a father, you should discipline out of love for your son, not anger and it should be a learning experience for both.
Your son will thank you in the future for the discipline you have shown him in the past.
Being a Godly Father in an Ungodly World
What I soon realized is being a father is not for the faint of heart.
I wish I could say that being a father is extremely easy, but then I would be lying.
[Tweet “Being a father it’s not for sissies.”]
Your kids know your weaknesses, your vulnerabilities, and your strengths. You better believe they’re going to take advantage of all of them.
We as adults and fathers are really no different. We as children of God take advantage of His loving-kindness and mercies daily. Whether conscious of our actions or not.
We, as children of God, come to prayer as our children come to us asking for favors, gifts, and comforts when they truly do not deserve them. However, God is always there to provide what we need when we need it, whether we ask or not.
God is the greatest role model of a father that you could ever ask for. His loving kindness is shown to us daily.
Every day you wake up, to every breath you take is because of God’s love for you.
He listens to our emotions when we talk, making sure to take it all in. He shows us warmth in time of need by comforting our souls of worry. God wraps his loving arms around us in love, while protecting us on a daily basis.
God shows his servant heart by helping us when we need all while taking control of our out of control lives giving us peace and understanding to very difficult situations. He protects us from ourselves and gives us the opportunity to correct our paths.
As we turn our backs on Him out of prideful spite, we are disciplined through consequences of reaping and sowing. But His love shines through and forgiveness is given when we repent to Him.
No sin is to big and love is greater than His. God gave us a way to come home even when we did not deserve His affection.
God the Father is the greatest role model a father can have.
“A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.”
How being a Father Changed my Life
Before becoming a father my life was out of control. I was not living for God and was lost in the world. I met my wonderful wife, which truly is a gift from God even when I did not deserve one.
We married and 5 years later had my first daughter. I then knew what my Dad must have felt when he held me for the first time. Love that was so strong you can hardly imagine.
Your own creation of life, given to you by God, to love and raise in His glory. The responsibility of another little helpless human being. Sole protector and provider for this little girl.
That is when you feel like a real man, a real father, and a real believer.
So what does being a Good father really mean?
It is what you put into your family that makes the father. The work of making sure you are playing your role correctly as we discussed. Being present and showing your love in ways your family needs you too.
[Tweet “A Father should be is Son’s first Hero, and his daughter’s first Love – Anonymous”]
Ask yourself these three questions:
- Did your father show you the man you were to become?
- Do you include your family in your activities?
- What in your life would you like God to change?
Let’s have a conversation!
Leave your comments below.