What Every Father Should Tell His Kids
What Kids Need to Hear from Dads
The role of the father in our culture has been under attack. If you channel surf, and watch some of our society’s most beloved TV sitcoms, you’ll find this battlefield. Fathers are displayed as inadequate, lousy, uninterested in raising kids, and men with no clue of the basic things around them. Sadly, the media (TV shows, music, movies, social media) is shaping the world-view of our nation.
As people firmly rooted in God's Word, we know the importance of the father's role in the family unit. Fathers have been given a role by God to be the head of the family, but we’ve also been given the opportunity to speak into the lives of our kids. Not one father is the same. Some have had a very great experience with a father who showed love, taught, spoke words of encouragement, and challenged them to be a better person. Others may have had a very different experience. However, we have the opportunity of looking into Scripture to see the perfect Father. God is our Heavenly Father and the example to whom we can all look.
As fathers, husbands, employees, and friends, we are pulled in various directions. It is difficult to keep everything in order and make sure we don’t drop the ball in any role or title we have. As a father of a daughter and a son, I want them to know the titles I have are placed in this order:
It is from an intimate relationship with Jesus that I am most fulfilled. It is also from that relationship that I will be most effective in the other titles I hold. My kids need to know that daily devotions, worshiping Jesus, and spiritually leading my family are the most important things I can do as their father.
Healthy marriages create healthy families. My kids need to know that my relationship with their mother comes before my relationship with them. I fell in love with their mom long before they came into our lives! My kids are God’s gift to me and my wife, but my wife was God’s first gift to me. One of the best gifts I can give my kids is to show them what a healthy, godly marriage looks like, so they can see firsthand what a biblical marriage looks like. My wife and I are given the privilege by God to raise our kids, but our kids can’t come before my relationship with my wife.
My kids need to know that after Jesus and their mother, they are next in importance to me. They need to know I value them and love them. They come before my fourth title: pastor. There certainly are times when duty will call, and I’ll unexpectedly need to do something my job requires. However, in no way, shape, or form should that be abused. I can’t just say they are more important than my job; I must show them. The best way to do that is through time.
Your career title may be different, but the three titles listed before that of your profession should remain the same. When I grow closer to Jesus, I’m a better pastor. When I have a healthy marriage, I’m a better pastor. When I’m an engaged and loving father to my kids, I’m a better pastor. God has called me to be a pastor, but before that I’m a Christ follower, husband, and father. In my family, we celebrate the fact that mom and dad get to work full-time at the church, and we serve in God’s house regularly. However, my kids need to know they come before my work and ministry.
Titles. Everyone loves titles. Titles give a description about who or what a person is. Christian, husband, father, pastor. Those are the titles I hold, and it is important I keep them in that order. The best thing I can do as a father is constantly recalibrate my time and passions to make sure this is the order of my titles. We can reclaim the importance of fatherhood from culture, but we must follow the example set for us by God.
When I teach my kids the importance of prioritizing each role, they will learn, see, and prayerfully, with God’s help, do the same.