Recently, I scheduled an appointment to get a haircut. This is a monthly ritual for me, and I
always look forward to spending time with my barber. We always have great conversations
about a myriad of topics but in this particular visit, the discussion drifted toward the topic of
family. We talked about traditions and the things we missed the most from our childhoods. I
then began talking about the new traditions I am trying to start in my home including going on
adventures with my daughters. I call them adventures but they are pretty simple outings
(ADVENTURES! just sounds cooler). As I described some of these trips, he said something like
“Yeah, it’s important for dads to spend time with their kids. You know, for them to have
fun and make memories. When I was growing up, my stepdad was a nice guy, but I
barely spent time with him. He would just work all day, come home in the evening,
and get mad at me about misbehaving.”
As my friend told this story my heart broke for him, but I was also reminded that I too can
easily err in this way with my daughters. Luckily, my friend’s relationship with his stepdad has
improved now that he is an adult. And yet, you could tell that he longed, even now, for a
warmer relationship with him.
As dads, we get the privilege of attempting to father like the Father. How we father our children
will either help or hinder our children’s’ views about who the heavenly Father is and how He
relates to them. I’ve heard so many stories of people who loved the Lord but had trouble
accepting His love for them because of the way their earthly father related to them. I love the
words of Psalm 103:8:
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in faithful love.
Here’s are some questions I must ask myself. Do my kids know me as a compassionate father?
Have they known me to be slow to anger. Do they know that my love for them is permanent and
will never change? Unfortunately, I fail in these areas often, and it breaks my heart when I
realize it. I personally struggle the most with being quick to anger or quick to frustration.
However, with God given repentance and growth, I know that I can mature in this area.
Yes, discipline is a biblical idea (Proverbs 13:24 & Hebrews 12:8) but even in the midst of
difficult moments do my kids view me as safe? Do they view me as warm? Do they know that
I’m their biggest fan?
Dad’s, today think of one fun thing you could do with each of your children. This does not have
to be some big elaborate thing. Maybe a simple trip for frozen yogurt or to the movies. Whatever
you know your kid likes to do would be great. Select a day within the next week to do it, and
surprise them with the plan. Also, consider taking them to do something that you like to do and
teach them about why you like it so much. This time won’t be wasted, and regardless of how
they react to it, you will be investing in a heart connection that is worth more than silver and
We can’t father like the Father in our own strength. We are totally reliant upon His mercy and
grace. However, I believe He wants to make your home into a place where your kids, and your
kids friends, know that they will be safe, warm, and cared for regardless of what’s going on in
the rest of their lives. Your home will feel this way, in part, because you set the tone in the way
that you treat them and the way that you treat their mother. I’m praying for each of you reading
this today. That God would heal any wounds of hurt that may have come from your earthly
father and replace that hurt with joy for what He could do in the relationship you have with your