Dad’s Love

“You’re the best thing this old man ever did.”

There is nothing like the love and pride of a dad. He is his kids biggest cheerleader, advocate, and great friend. His love will never be matched.

The Man Who Loves You the Most by the Zac Brown Band poetically puts a father’s feelings to music. Perhaps dads are quiet, but their love for their kids endures.

Choosing Fatherhood

“We went from something is missing to a family.”

A single mom went out on a date, and wondered how things would go. Her son was at home. The mom and the man she was dating hit it off, and a relationship led to a marriage proposal. She said yes, and the two were married. For the man, he suddenly became a husband and a dad. The man chose to fall in love with both the mom and son.

A girl finds herself yanked from everything she knows because of decisions others made. Their decisions placed her in danger, so she needed a new home. Frightened and young, she found warmth and love in the home of a couple who did not have kids, but lots of love to give. The husband suddenly became a dad.

Some become dads and have 9 months to prepare, while others take on the challenge of fatherhood almost instantly. Their new bride already has a child or they accept the call to become a foster home. They take on the challenge of fatherhood with grace and love.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads that didn’t have to be. Thank you for the influence you are having on your child’s life.

Influencers

Everyone can have a positive influence.

As we celebrate fatherhood, there may be men who feel left out. They are great individuals who have tremendous influence in others’ lives, but they are not dads.

They may serve as coaches and mentors, and we owe them a thank you. These individuals are living out the challenge of Romans 14:7-8. “For we do not live for ourselves or die for ourselves. If we live it is to honor the Lord and if we die it is to honor the Lord, so whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”

Thank you to those men who are having a positive influence in our communities even though they do not have kids.

  • They are helping set a Godly example.
  • They are encouraging the people with whom they interact.
  • They are reaching out and helping when they see others in need.

Thank you for taking advantage of the influence you have to make the world a better place.

4 Take-Aways for Dad

A challenge from Ephesians.

There are many times in the Bible in which a challenge is issued to dads. Paul challenges fathers in Ephesians 6:4.

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.”

Here are 4 take-aways.

Keep love at the front

God does nothing apart from love. The discipline and instruction he offers is given in love. The decisions he makes are made in love. The actions he takes are taken in love. God is love.

As dads, we should strive to model this behavior in our own lives.

Take their feelings into consideration when making decisions.

Being the leader in your home does not mean you move forward with your decision no matter what. Good leadership takes others into consideration. Before making a decision, fathers need to weigh the pros and cons. This definitely includes the feelings of our kids.

Encourage and advise

A good dad is always willing to offer encouragement and advice at the proper time.

Keep expectations realistic

We should encourage our kids to improve in their hobbies, but not place unrealistic expectations on them. Hobbies encompass many great activities but few hobbies turn into professions, so be sure to keep those expectations realistic while offering encouragement.

Paul rewords his challenge in Colossians 3:21, “Fathers, do not aggravate your children or they will become discouraged.” Are you meeting the challenge?

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8 Questions Every Dad Should Ask

Fatherhood is not a responsibility to be taken lightly.

Father’s Day is a time to celebrate dear old dad, and for dad, it can be a time to challenge himself to improve as a dad. Here are 8 questions every dad should ask.

1.  Am I setting a good example? 

Like it or not, dad, you are being watched.

A father and his young son were driving down the road one day when the car they were following suddenly stopped.  The dad slammed on the brakes causing everything the boy was holding to fly back in his face.  Amid the French fries in his lap and drink running down his face and shirt, the young boy said a word no one his age should ever say. Dad asked, “Where did you hear that?”  “I’ve been watching you,” the boy replied.  Rodney Atkins’ song goes on, “I’ve been watching you, dad.  Isn’t that cool?” 

2.  Do I express my love? 

Tradition has taught men showing affection is a sign of weakness, but that is not true.  Showing affection is actually a sign of strength.  The most powerful statement a dad can make to his son or daughter is “I love you.”  Every person has a desire to know he or she is loved, and hearing it from dad can be a life changing experience.

3.  Am I involved in my child’s life?

Take a quick quiz.  What are your child’s interests? His or her current interests may not be the most exciting for you, but it is not the activities which are exciting. It is the opportunity to spend time with your child and show an interest in his or her life that are exciting for dad. Value the time you have with your child and make the most of it.  Taking an interest in your kid’s interests gives you the opportunity to teach a lot of life lessons. 

4.  Am I helping develop self-confidence? 

Encourage independence, and allow your kid to make decisions and choices.  This will help develop self-confidence which is vital to survival in life.

5.  Am I teaching my child to have a voice? 

Having a voice means you say what you need and speak up when you are not being treated fairly.  Encourage your son or daughter to do this and be sure to listen when he or she does.  This is most important if your kid is introverted or has special needs.  Standing up for oneself is crucial to surviving in the arena of life. 

6.  Am I granting freedom to fail? 

Many lessons are learned in moments of failure.  It can be argued this is the hardest part of being a dad, but sometimes, giving a child freedom is best.  Failure is one of the greatest teachers in life.  Many of today’s successes are the result of yesterday’s failures.

7.  Am I modeling respect? 

Respect is learned by observation more than any other way.  Take another quick quiz.  Do you respect other people and their opinions?  Do you respect individuals who provide services to you such as a waiter or waitress?

8.  Am I teaching the value of hard work? 

Booker T. Washington said, “Nothing comes to one that is worth having except through hard work.”  Reaching a goal requiring hard work feels good.  Hard work pays off.  Encourage your son or daughter to work hard to reach goals and see dreams become reality.

How did you measure up?  If you are not pleased with your answers, you can take action this week by picking one of the questions and changing the way you answer it this week.  Share your experience in the comments below. 

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Leaving My Example

“Do what I say, not what I do.” Does setting an example work this way?

 

A father and his young son were driving down the road one day when the car they were following suddenly stopped. The dad slammed on the brakes causing everything the boy was holding to fly back in his face. Amid the French fries in his lap and drink running down his face and shirt, the young boy said a word no one his age should ever say. Dad asked, “Where did you hear that?” “I’ve been watching you,” the boy replied. The lyrics continue, “I’ve been watching you, dad. Isn’t that cool?”

 

 Whether we like to admit it or not, we are being watched. Our attitude is a pattern for others. Saying, “do what I say, not what I do,” will not work. We are being watched, so it is essential we model the right example in our actions and speech.

 

Actions

 

Look closely at what is said in Philippians 4:9. Basically, “use my example as an illustration for how to live life.” For most anyone, a statement like this would be a mouth full. Paul, however, can get away with it. His actions show us the type of attitude he desires for us to possess.

 

Scan the scenes of his life, and you will discover Paul experienced some adversity. Scenes include imprisonment, stoning, surviving a shipwreck, and living in a dungeon. His actions in each scene testify loudly of his faith. Guards and men on the ship became believers because of his actions. Take just a moment and evaluate your actions. What do they say?

 

Speech

 

We are also impacting others by what we say. I recently watched a video from Life without Limbs ministries.   Nick Vujicic was born without arms or legs. When people looked at Nick, they said, “He’ll never be able to do this.” Or, “He’ll never be able to do that.” Some people even avoided Nick because he was different than they were. People were sending Nick a negative message.

 

Nick was receiving so much negative feedback that he became overwhelmed. He said he began to wonder if anyone even loved him. He later discovered Jesus had a few words to say about this like “I love you. I love you enough that I died for you.”

 

During his earthly ministry, Jesus talked to all kinds of lost people. He talked to beggars, lepers, prostitutes, and the list goes on, but he always had the same approach. He always did it in a compassionate, sensitive, positive way. Take a moment and evaluate your speech. What are your words saying?

People are impacted by what we do and what we say.

 

Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” In other words, do everything in a way that brings glory and honor to God so others can learn from you.

 

An Illustration

 

A good example of someone who has a peaceful, positive attitude is Job. Let me tell you Job’s story. Scripture tells us Job was a man of enormous wealth; he had a large amount of livestock and several servants. Job was also a man who was holy and respected God. There was a time in Job’s life, though, when it looked very bad. He was subjected to two tests of his faith.

 

The first test was a day in which Job was visited by a series of messengers. The first messenger told Job a great deal of his livestock had been stolen, and several his servants had been killed. While he was still speaking, a second messenger came in and said the rest of Job’s livestock had been stolen, and the rest of his servants had been killed. While this man was still speaking, yet a third messenger came and informed Job his sons and daughters were killed in a mighty wind. Job responded to this test by saying the Lord gives and takes away; may the name of the Lord be praised.

 

During his second test, Job was infected with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. This would be like having cold sores all over your body. During all his trouble, Job took a positive outlook. He said, “I know my redeemer lives, and someday I will see him.”

 

That is a powerful statement from Job, because he knew that things on earth may not get any better for him. They might even get worse, but Job knew at the end, he would be victorious because his redeemer lives. Guess what! Our redeemer lives too. If you have been obedient to Jesus Christ, and have accepted the grace that he offers, you are going to be victorious just like Job. As Christians, we share in the victory that Christ achieved through his death and resurrection. The song title puts it well when it says there is victory in Jesus.

 

Acting

 

Do your actions or speech need to change? Act by saying something positive to someone this week. Share how it goes in the comments below.