3 Steps to Becoming a Better Father
Tell me you’re a college student without telling me you’re a college student.
Tell me you’re a dog owner without telling me you’re a dog owner.
Tell me you have a toddler without telling me you have a toddler.
You may have seen or heard this social media trend, they ask a question and then show a short video clip of something happening in their life that makes the answer obvious without having to say a single word. I always enjoy laughing at these, especially those I can relate with! So let’s play the game..
Tell me you’re a good father without telling me you’re a good father.
What highlight video would be playing from things happening in your life that would answer this question? I want to equip you with 3 easy steps that you can practice in your life to become a better father.
1. Love in Action
How do you tell your children you love them without actually telling them you love them?
Now, telling your children you love them is most definitely an important thing you should be doing on a regular basis. However, you’ve likely heard the old adage, Actions speak louder than words. This rings true on the subject of being a good father. So how do you, as a dad, actually tell your children you love them without telling them you love them? It’s by your consistent actions of love in their lives. As fathers this can sometimes be hard to wrap our minds around. You feel that you show your love by providing a house and food on the table from your hard work at a job. Or you feel as though you show your love from the gifts you bring home or trips you pay for them to go on. However, Love in Action is best shown with your TIME.
Spending time with your children is the greatest way to tell them you love them without actually telling them. Spending time and showing them that you enjoy the time with them. Not scrolling through your phone, checking the time, taking work calls. Undivided, enjoyable time with your children. Find out what your children like. Do they like reading books together, going on walks, pretend play, video games, drawing, whatever it is, be genuinely invested in doing these things with your child.
2. Discipline with a Gentle Spirit
As a father it is your responsibility to model the love of your Heavenly Father to your children. This includes disciplining, or teaching your children about what's right and what's wrong. As every other human has them, men are not without emotions. And oftentimes we, as men, can let our discipline become motivated more by our frustration of the action our children chose, losing sight of the love and desire we have to help them become an amazing person in life. You feel the weight of helping your children be good people so strongly that you might lose sight of your child right now in the present. Discipline as a father is to help guide your child to the ability of self discipline that parallels that of God’s relationship with us.
God’s mercy and love abound greatly for our mistakes time and time again, yet He still provides opportunities for us to be disciplined and teach us in areas we need growth. As you model your Heavenly Father, keep your child’s heart as your main focus and extend grace. See your child for who they are, not what they have done. And teach them with a gentle spirit, guiding them along the path to maturity.
3. Become a Role Model
This step seems like a no brainer, however, often as a parent we don’t practice what we preach. We let the rhythms of our routine life take control, or we let the struggles and hardships of life overwhelm us. And I get it! Balancing a tremendous workload to keep or excel at your job, paying the bills, upkeep for your home, loving the mother of your children well, trying to be a good father... it can be really hard! The way we become a better father through being a role model is through our Priorities.
Our children will first know they are loved when our time with them is a priority (we talked about this in step 1). The next step is modeling what's important in life. Again, actions speak louder than words. For example; You may try to tell your children that it’s important to eat their vegetables but they never see you eat a single vegetable... chances are they #1 Don’t believe you, and #2 Won’t eat their vegetables. I know that’s a trivial example. But what is important to model for your children?
Your relationship with God should be number 1. And this is easily modeled by taking them to church each week. Reading Bible stories together. Bedtime or dinner time prayers. Another is the importance of self care, and specifically observing the sabbath. You can’t pour out what you don’t have! If you are constantly running on empty, overwhelmed and exhausted you will not be able to pour anything into your children. This starts with your relationship with the Prince of Peace, Jesus. Resting in Him and finding your strength in Him. Because it’s not by our own strength we can accomplish everything set before us!