There is no dispute that dads have a profound and lasting impact on their children. The only question is, whether that impact will be positive or negative.
As moms, we want you to make an impression on our kids in a positive and permanent way. We want you to seize every opportunity to lead, guide and advise; modeling for our kids the character traits that will lead them into adulthood as godly, humble and kind men and women of faith. We want you to be the best dad you can be for them.
There are three primary traits that most women would like to see their spouses exhibit in the home. Those traits are: Leadership, integrity, and vision.
“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4 (NKJV) Due to God’s original design for humankind, most women in a traditional family unit, have an innate desire to be led and protected. As a jungle guide cutting his way through an uncharted rainforest, we expect you to clear a safe path through the tangled vines and quicksand of life. We want you to lead! We need you to lead. In so many cases today, women are forced to take on the leadership role in the family because men are so willing and eager to take a back seat. They lack the confidence, fortitude and drive to lead. They have gradually abdicated their place of leadership and taken the unfortunate position of just “coming along for the ride” as their wife makes all the decisions, determines the family’s direction, and sets the tone of the home. This is not God’s plan for the family. Nor does it set the right example for the young men and women you are raising. Of course, wise husbands will certainly discuss important issues with their wives, as well as, respectfully seek their wives’ opinions on appropriate matters. Authoritarian leadership is not really leadership at all. But, women desire for their children a father who can make wise decisions in the best interest of their family who they can follow with confidence and peace; knowing that he is seeking guidance from the father of all wisdom. Lead in confidence, strength, and passion, and we will gladly follow.
“The righteous man walks in his integrity. His children are blessed after him.” Proverbs 20:7 (NKJV) Men of true integrity are so rare. As a mom, I want my children to have a father who knows and respects the difference between right and wrong. Today those lines are becoming more and more blurred. Fathers don’t often realize the lessons they are inadvertently teaching as they eschew the laws of the land–acting as though rules and laws of society don’t apply to them. Even minor “cheats” matter, especially if they are repeated over and over again. Have you ever parked where you were not supposed to park? (“But, daddy, the sign says ‘no parking’ here!”) Sometimes dads forget that little eyes are always watching…little eyes that will become big people…functioning in society the way they were raised. And, as society drifts farther and farther from he truth of God’s Word, it is up to you to teach your children what is right. As your children reach the age where they can understand some of the cultural issues that are in the news and all around us, talk about them. They need to know where you stand on things and why. Show your children how to treat people fairly. Obey the rules and laws of the road. Be a man of your word–if you say you will be home at a certain time or show up to a game or performance…be there! Don’t fall into the habit of telling little white lies just because your children are small and will believe them. Be honest, true, faithful, and consistent.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18 (KJV) Vision is so important to a family. Good leaders know how to get everyone on board by casting a vision. Dads: get us excited about where we are headed as a family. Talk about the future. Make plans with us. Whether you have a vision for a future vacation, a mission trip, a family service project, a new home, or adopting another child some day…tell us about it so that we can work and pray together as a family to see it accomplished. Have your family work together to come up with a mission statement that encapsulates your dreams and vision for your family. What are your core values as a family? Work together to establish some. Casting a vision will not only strengthen your family, but will help to solidify and define your place of leadership in the home. Let us see where we are headed so that, as a team, we can move forward with anticipation and joy.
Some who are reading this post may feel like they are a long way from exhibiting these characteristics. For now, just choose one and get with it. It is not too late even if your children are already teenagers. Seek God’s help to become a dad they can be proud of–one they can follow with confidence. Why not just tell your wife and kids you want to be a better dad and that they may see some changes within your family? Pray with them and seek God’s guidance as you strive to become a dad who exhibits leadership, integrity and vision. You will certainly see a positive change in your family that will have far-reaching effects and will bring honor and glory to God as the world looks on in wonder.
And, to those young men who are just starting a family or who will be in the next few years, (my own sons, for example) consider starting out on the right foot and putting these ideas into practice right away. Be a man who exhibits leadership, integrity and vision from day one–you will not regret it!