I’m a wannabe great father! I have been a father for only the past seven months now, but I desire to excel in this calling. I see my calling to be a father to Zahal of more priority than being a pastor to my church, among many other.
This pursuit to be a great father is, of course, hard work, but it does come easy as we surrender to the work of the Holy Spirit. Here are few things that are on my heart as I dwell on this desire of mine to achieve my lifetime goal of being a great father.
THE DOS AND DON’TS
Everybody will know a list of Dos and Don’ts as fathers, which I think are what we try to impose on our children. We want them to do certain things and not do others. We try to communicate those in the best way possible, often times getting crude or blunt with our words.
But what our children need most is not the knowledge of what they should or shouldn’t be doing. What they need the most is the knowledge of who they are!
The greatest responsibility of a father is to help their child discover who they are, to be more specific, who they are in Christ. Every father should labor day and night, if need be, to help their children see themselves the way God sees them.
RESPONSIBILITIES – THE BIG LIST
Yes, the list is definitely big! We have the desire to nurture, protect, educate, and raise our children in the best possible way. We’ve a great dream for our children which we’re already working towards. In all of this, one thing we should never forget is that we are just a steward on God’s behalf taking care of our children and fathering them in a way that will reflect the love of the Father in heaven.
So, technically the responsibilities are never really ours, they are God’s.
By that, I don’t mean we should quit work, sit lazy and expect God to divinely send groceries home. It’s just to say let God shoulder the responsibilities while we work and dream big. By letting responsibilities weigh us down, we would begin taking credit for all that our children achieve or blame ourselves for all that goes wrong. Neither of these is good.
It’s good to plan ahead and to dream big, but let God carry your responsibilities.
IMITATING THE FATHER
My greatest inspiration in my goal to be a great father is the revelation that I have of the Father in heaven. There can be none more greater or better a father than Him. He is the Father of all creation, the Father of lights, the everlasting Father and our Father in heaven. Nothing outdoes the goodness and the perfection that He displays. Our greatest perfection would be weakness when compared to the perfection of the Father.
Imitating the Father every step of the way, being led by His Spirit, keeping our eyes on Jesus ourselves is the best way to be a great father! That’s one legacy we can leave for our children to carry on for generations. Everything else is temporary and flexible, but walking with God ourselves is the most important aspect of being a great father.
We cannot teach our children to be someone we aren’t. Let us be fathers that will always yield to God.
PRIORITIZING – QUALITY TIME
We all know that children should be next, after God and spouse, in the line of priorities. Most of us claim to be doing just that. But the hard question is how much of quality time do we give our children?
Quality time would mean, time when they have our exclusive attention, when we allow them to be themselves as much as we are being ourselves.
The greatest of the psychological and emotional issues that youngsters in our generation face is due to lack of adequate loving attention from their parents. Fathers play a major role in the same, since in most cases, it is the father who is out of reach and is not available to be there for the children. It would make a world of difference to us and to them if we could be there with them through all the seasons of their and our lives. Being away from them can never be justified except when you have no way out, like being in the armed forces.
My strong resolve among others is to be there as a friend to my children as long as they are around and every time they need me. I don’t mind giving up on anything or going to any extent for the same reason.
INSPIRE VS. IMPRESS
A father’s mandate is not to impress his children to get them to say that he is a great father. His greatest goal is to inspire his children. Hiding our weaknesses from our children is never a solution. When we are wrong, never ever shy away from excepting the mistake and asking for forgiveness. We would be able to inspire our children only if we are real with them, instead of wearing a mask or being a hypocrite in any way.
Being an inspiration is more than just lecturing. It’s about being a leader and the head of the house in such a way that every person in the house would desire model the role you exhibit. And the more we inspire our children, the greater will they be able to grow in what God has in store for them.
What are the other ways in which we can achieve greatness in our role as a father? Do you agree with the above five points? How has your expectations and aspirations of being a great father been so far? Please share with us, we would love to hear!