My wife and I don’t have children. We married later in life, and the Lord did not bless us with children. At the time, adoption was an option, but not nearly so strongly emphasized as it is today.
I give that background to say that perhaps I have little right to post these thoughts. On the other hand, I’ve considered these things for years, especially on this day that honors fathers. If I were a dad, here’s what I would want:
- to be a model Christ follower to my spouse and children – so loving, protecting, and guiding them that they never wonder whether God the Father loves them
- to dedicate my infant children to God – and to mean it, even if God were to later call them away from me to carry the gospel to the ends of the earth
- to know my family sees my worn out Bible in use and hears my daily crying out for them in prayer
- to personally, with my wife, lead our children to Christ
- to discipline our kids for the sake of their godliness, not because they embarrass me with their actions
- to be my son’s hero and my daughter’s knight in shining armor
- to have so much fun in our home that my teenage kids and their friends would rather hang out there than any other place
- to do whatever it takes to make sure my family is never afraid of me because of an uncontrolled temper
- to keep media and internet garbage out of my home – to make it difficult, if not almost impossible, for my kids (and me) to fall into that kind of sin under our roof
- to walk and talk with my kids so much that they know they can always take a walk and share their struggles with me
- to model a God-honoring work ethic while also teaching sacrifice and frugality
- to never miss a day interceding for my family
- to be a trusted voice in my kids’ ear so they always hear me, too, when the devil speaks into their other ear
- to be unafraid to say, “I love you” – and to not be stressed if my teens somehow aren’t so sentimental in turn
- to never miss a cue when my family tries to tell me I’m too busy
- to live by faith every day, trusting that God is in the process of making my children what He wants them to be, even when it’s hard to see
- to love my wife so deeply and obviously that my kids never fear the breakup of our home
- to be a genuinely godly man
- to throw a baseball and take a hike with my boys
- to be such a model man for my daughters that few potential husbands could live up their standards
- to run the Christian race, challenging, preparing, and supporting my kids to do greater things than I’ve ever done
- to live for Jesus so that if my kids imitate me, they will imitate Christ
Fathers, forgive me if I’ve stepped into undeserved territory with this post. I simply believe that you are blessed and privileged. Live up to your calling today.
Excellent post. A very humbling checklist for us that do have children.
Any new father would benefit from following your wise advise as stated in this article!
Blessings, Ginny. Thanks.