I don’t need to read any more books, check any more stats, or live one day longer to know that dads matter. You show me a child with a missing in action dad and I’ll show you someone who will struggle. No, this doesn’t mean every child without a dad is hopeless. What it does mean is every child with a dad involved, engaged, and concerned about their life is blessed.
Over the past twenty years of ministry I have watched many single and married moms face the challenge of parenting alone. Shame on us dads for not stepping up and accepting our God given roles. God has called each of us to be role models, mentors, teachers, lovers, and forever coaches of our children. To reject this call upon our life is not only letting our children down, but letting God down. If you’re reading this right now, it’s never too late to step up your game.
Presently, I am on the never ending journey of raising four boys ages 14, 12, 10, & 4. I will never claim to be a perfect parent, but I ask God to shape me into what I need to be each day. Over time I have learned how significant my role is as a father. My boys need me present in the home. My boys need me active in their day to day life. Not just on the sidelines cheering them one, but up close and personal when opportunity presents itself.
Recently, I was eating Subway with my 12 year old at the end of a long day. We were sharing what I call a “Daddy Day” together. These are times where I take any one of my boys out to share one on one time together. These times are not about quantity time, but quality time. This particular day God really touched my heart as we sat across from one another.
As I looked into my son’s eyes I saw a boy who is just a few years away from becoming a man. I could see his need for my love, the assurance that he mattered, and the importance of me saying, “Daddy is Proud Of You.” I’m discovering more and more that it is more important that I seek to understand him than to force him to understand me. The better I understand him the better I can communicate to him in an understanding way.
You see, our kids are in a dog fight every day. They have feelings, fears, and hopefully a future. In order for that future to be brighter they need a foundation of a dad pouring blood, sweat, prayers and tears into them. I’m convinced this doesn’t happen simply by barking orders, but proving day after day that you care. Dads, you have to do whatever it takes to make sure your heart is connected to their heart. If you don’t connect with them now, you probably won’t be connected later. The younger the child, the greater the age of opportunity.
As I wrap up this plea to dads to step it up, I am painfully aware that most dads are nowhere to be found. Many still need to grow up themselves. Many still use the excuse that their dad was never there for them. This is all the more reason to make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself. Society is full of struggles that can be related to dads that weren’t there when needed. Please don’t be one of those dads.
Here is the good news Dads. Today is a new day. Forget the past and strain towards what is ahead. Choose to take a very active role in your child’s life. Leave no doubt that you love them. Let them know you’re proud. Lead them by example as to what a real man of God is all about. This starts with you getting your life on track and letting God lead you. God has called you to it and He will lead you through it.