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Christian Fatherhood

Any man can become a father. But it takes effort and prayer to be a successful Christian dad. But we have help. God’s Word provides all the necessary instructions.

The first step to success is not even related to parent­ing skills. Rather, it comes from a Christian husband’s wanting to love and serve his wife. Paul wrote, “Hus­bands ought to love their wives as their own bodies” (Ephesians 5:28). Children develop a feeling of security when they see their father showing love for their mother. At the same time, they are learning the marks of a healthy marital relationship.

Some fathers are not always able to be with their families on a regular basis. Their children may not always have good opportunities to witness a healthy marriage bond between their father and mother. Those fathers must also make every effort to teach their children to love and respect their mother. A suc­cessful dad is always building up and reinforcing the mother’s role to the child.

A successful dad also prays for and with his children. He prays for the Holy Spirit to work and keep faith in his children’s hearts. He prays for himself, asking for the wisdom to know how to handle their difficulties. He prays for their health and safety. He prays that his chil­dren will select good friends, do well in school, and eventually find godly spouses.

A successful dad loves his children. He is actually able to tell them of his love. Just as Jesus “took the chil­dren in his arms” (Mark 10:16), a dad will show physi­cal signs of love. Even as children get older, they con­tinue to need to hear of their dad’s love for them. They need to feel it as well through hugs. Knowing and feel­ing their father’s love provides children with a strong sense of security.

A successful dad teaches. Certainly he teaches about God’s love and how to pray. But he also teaches letters, numbers, and colors. He may also teach how to dribble a basketball, ride a bike, and have fun. A successful father is also always interested in the accomplishments of his children. He is more ready to praise and compli­ment than to criticize. A godly dad also knows that he teaches a lot of lessons by his example.

A successful dad gives of his time to his children. He will read to them, listen to their dreams, and go to their events. He finds joy in being with all the members of his family.

A successful dad will also listen to his children. He may not always agree with what he hears, but he wants them to know that their opinions are valued. He will spend more time listening than talking.

A successful dad will also discipline his children. He teaches them the difference between right and wrong and tells them that doing right is a way of showing love for Jesus.

A successful dad is not measured by the amount of money he spends on his children but, rather, by what he does to lead his children to Jesus.

From Patient Parenting, by John Juern. © 2006 Northwestern Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Image credit: Free Photos, Pixabay (used under Creative Commons CC0)