Your role as dad is more important than you may realize, so follow the rules. Surely there’s a rule book someplace. Don’t they give those out at the hospital when your little cherubs are born? Perhaps in your haste to grab mom’s and baby’s things, you left it in the room — hidden from view where no new parent could ever find it. Perhaps it was there all along, tucked away in the night stand drawer, but you didn’t realize it contained rules for parenting. Just in case you missed it, here are a few rules to get you started.
Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. ~ Proverbs 22:6
As your child’s first teacher, it’s your responsibility to show him or her how things are done. You’re the leader of your household, so lead. No one else can do your job — not even Mom. Teach your boys to be strong and courageous. Teach your girls to be ladies and helpmates. You’re teaching even when you’re not saying a word, so be cognizant of that. They watch your every move–even when you’re sleeping. Live your life in such a way that your son will know how to be a father and husband. Be an example for your daughter so that she will know what to look for in a husband.
A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, And the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous. ~Proverbs 13:22
Teaching your children to be financially literate and independent is a life long lesson. It may start with a piggy bank as a means of saving, but let it not end there, lest your children will struggle to make ends meet — surviving rather than thriving. Here are three things you should probably do the day they are born: 1) Start a college fund, 2) Buy a life insurance policy, 3) Start a savings account for each child as an allotment from each pay period. Trust me; they’ll thank you. Giving generously to your children without teaching them the importance of tithing and helping those in need is a waste. So refer to Rule #1. Teach by example.
Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. ~Psalm 127:3-5
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. ~ Matthew 22:37
For some, this is easy; others may find it difficult to teach this life long lesson. If you weren’t raised to love the Lord, you can learn this lesson along with your kids and your help mate. I remember being told I had to teach Algebra many years ago, and I could hear myself screeching “I’m melting!” like the wicked witch from The Wizard of Oz. Hopefully, that won’t be your reaction to learning what’s in the word of God. Start with a verse per day. Share it with your family, and pray with them. If you haven’t yet figured out how to pray, start with The Lord’s Prayer, and tell them what it means. This could be a powerful lesson all by itself. Don’t shy away from the tough stuff because it’s hard for you. It’s your job to build a strong foundation for them and their future children — your grandchildren. See the impact you have? Take your role seriously. I know you can do it. They’re counting on you.
Rule # 5
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate. ~Matthew 19:5-6
If you have not married the mother of your children, that’s your business — not mine. My words are meant to build you up and give you a few things to reflect on as you grow as a father. Whether you are married or not, treat your children’s mother with respect. Kick your pride to the curb, and think of those little guys and dolls who are watching your every move. If they see you offer kindness to her, they will do the same. Likewise, if they see you treat her with antipathy, they will do the same. Remember your role. You are a leader, a role model, a teacher. If you are married, however, love your spouse with all your might. Let no one come between you and the person God has chosen specifically for you. You are partners, so partner up! It’s hard work, but it becomes easier as you work in tandem and learn to rely on each other, trust each other, and agree with each other on what’s best for your family.
May God bless all fathers today and always. Revel in your role as dad. Live boldly. Love without limits (to the moon and back is really a short distance). Die to self daily. Encourage other dads to be the best they can be.