There is no higher calling than Dad.
Unfortunately not all dads are up to the task—some take the responsibility seriously and pour themselves into it, others not so much.
Of course, there are those who are notorious for doing things most of us would never consider—and those who do nothing at all. But now, it’s time for dads to get on board and make a difference in the lives of their children. If we believe in nothing else, we had better believe that.
I was recently asked what advice I may have for a new young dad who was quite nervous about the responsibilities looming before him. I joked with him that even if he were a poor excuse for a dad, his kids would still love him. Although there is some truth in that, it isn’t acceptable—not to God.
Our children begin looking up to us from the time they can see. As dads, we are more important in their lives than any other influence. I say this not to demean motherhood in any way. Rather I am referring to who we are as men in the lives of our girls and boys.
We go through many phases of our children growing up. Sometimes we seem extremely smart to them, other times we’re stupid, insensitive, old fashioned. But no matter how may of those phases our kids pass through, we come out on top.
To our daughters, we represent the kind of man they should be looking for in a mate one day. Not that they will pick someone just like us—that is not the point. But they should learn from us that a husband always treats his wife with respect, love, and honor. They watch their father as he loves their mother, and pours his affection on her and her alone. He makes them blush because he can’t take his eyes off her.
They learn how they are supposed to be treated—and not to be treated. Fathers, open the door for your daughters as long as they live, from the time they are little girls and forever—unless their husband are there to do it—then it’s their privilege.
To our sons, we are the best example of how to be a man—that includes being a father, a husband, a provider and protector. It also includes showing them how a man relates to God—the most important of all.
As husbands, we show our sons how to treat a lady—always. When we’re happy, sad, depressed, emotional, angry, silly, romantic, sick, or whatever else we may be, we are showing them how to respond to the most important person in our lives. We can say all we want to about being a good spouse, but it means nothing if we don’t show it.
This doesn’t mean we can’t make a mistake now and then. Sometimes they are the most productive teaching moments.
But perhaps the most important role we have as fathers is showing our children a reflection of God as our Heavenly Father. Now, none of us comes close to showing God’s love and faithfulness, but we are expected to be the earthly version of God the Father to our kids.
When we begin to realize that, we should start losing sleep over it. It’s an enormous task. Keep in mind—there is no shirking this responsibility, no passing it to another, no role the church can fill that makes up for it—it’s our job, and God expects us to take it seriously.
Dads—Listen to the call. It’s time to get involved at home and show God to our children, no matter how young or how old they are. We will always be their fathers, and they will look to us for answers as long as we live. I’m okay with that.
Question: Where are you in your career as Dad? Can you offer advice to young fathers?