Fathers Day is a Time of Reflection and Self Evaluation
As Father’s Day comes and goes for another year, like most fathers, I take time and reflect on how I am doing in my role as a Father. You see I have three great kids, two are adults now and my youngest is 16 years old, and I want to make sure that I matter and have made a difference in their lives.
As our kids grow older and become adults all of us Fathers, Dads, and Pops we all want to make sure we made a difference in the lives of our children. We hope that we did the best job we could and taught our kids the best life skills to become successful in life, relationships and career.
Yesterday my wife and I attended our church, which was hosting DadFest 2013, and Pastor Brian was talking about the traits of fathers and the importance of reflecting those traits on our children. That made me think about my oldest boy, who is engaged to be married, and he will be starting his own family in the next couple years. It’s important to me to make sure he understands these traits so he can reflect these six traits on his children and make a difference in their lives.
That is what inspired me to write this article, to share the 6 traits of fathers and the importance of teaching these traits to our children and other children we have the privilege to impact in different areas of our lives. I guess you can look at these 6 traits as a job description of sorts, because as men we all operate better if we have a job description to follow.
1. Person of Refuge
Dad’s we are the person in our children’s lives that they think of when they need protection. We are the person they will run to for refuge. That means we have to always be available to our children, the safe haven they can quickly, freely and naturally come to for protection and rest. As a place of refuge, we need to reflect to our children that we are a secure place for them and not a place of scolding or threats.
Being a friend to our kids doesn’t mean that you are a party buddy! What it does mean is that you need to always be available for your kids, listen to their delights and their problems. You must consistently be there when they need you, to be filled with unfailing love, mercy, compassion and slow to anger.
Children today face so many more difficulties in life than 30-40 years ago. What tears children down is being overwhelmed with problems, hardships and life’s trials with no one there to support them. Fathers need to be someone who can provide strength and support, that person they can rest and rely on, as they grow in every area of life.
There are too many kids in the world today that rarely if ever hear a word of encouragement or affirmation. Fathers, it is so important that we communicate with our children. You need to continually encourage them, let your kids know that they measure up, that you are proud of them and their accomplishments. Let them know that you have a special place in your heart for them. Tell them again and again how great they are.
Dad’s don’t hold grudges and be quick to forgive your kids. Growing up for kids today is challenging and if we are honest with ourselves, when we were growing up we had our moments. We made mistakes, we had our bad days where we were downright mischievous, we rebelled against our parents.
Fathers need to be patient when our kids do something wrong. We don’t hold grudges or hold past mistakes over their heads. Now this doesn’t mean we are indifferent or passive, but great fathers will instill wisdom in our children through love, not anger or rudeness and not criticism or harshness.
One of the earliest thing children learn growing up is whether they can trust those who care for them. Fathers need to commit themselves to being consistently trustworthy in the lives of our children. This is the foundation in providing our children with a stable environment. Our children should always be able to rely on Dad to be dependable, truthful and consistent.
Men, if you learn to live these six traits you will have a major impact in the lives of your children. You will make a huge difference as they grow and mature plus they will learn from you how they should treat their children. Most importantly you will give them the memory of a wise, caring and loving friend, their Dad.