It’s not enough just to know the characteristics of a good father. We need to see what we need to do to BE a good father.
1.- A GOOD FATHER LOVES HIS WIFE
Your children watch how you treat their mother. They WATCH … and they are LEARNING and FORMING their concept of marriage from YOU. You are creating a PATTERN, a BLUEPRINT for marriage with your children.
Men, listen to me carefully because if your son sees you show disrespect for your wife, he will inevitably carry that into his marriage. If you verbally or mentally or physically abuse your wife, your daughter will expect that in her marriage. If you treat their mother like she isn’t worth very much, you are degrading the home, the family, and marriage which your children will carry into their future homes, families & marriages.
But, on the flip side, if your son visibly sees you show love and respect to their mother, your son will learn how to be a good husband and father himself. If you honor your wife, your daughter will never be satisfied with a man who dishonors her. If you cherish their mother as a valuable part of not only your life, but their life, they will carry that model with them for the rest of their lives.
So what’s it going to be?
Will you love your wife or not? Will you love her even when she is not very lovable? Answer this and you will know what you need to do. Will you honor her even when she is being difficult? Will you cherish her every day of your life? Remember that Ephesians 5:28 reads like this: “So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;”
HOW TO BE A GOOD FATHER … Love your wife!
2.- DON’T EXPECT PERFECT CHILDREN
Just like there are no perfect fathers, there are no perfect children. Do you agree?
Fathers, don’t EXPECT your children to be perfect. Don’t expect them to meet all of your expectations, to fulfill all of your goals for them or to be what you want them to be.
Too many fathers try to live out their own lives through their children. They want their sons to be the football stars that they could never be. They want their daughters to marry into money & success that they never achieved.
Every child is different! Remember, they are not a clone of you (Thank God!). It’s natural for a child to make mistakes, to spill their milk, to accidentally break things, to do poorly on a test and to get angry!
They’re not perfect, they are like YOU were when you were a kid! ACCEPT your children for who they are, whether they are clumsy or athletic, scatterbrained or brainy, shy or a motor-mouth, goofy or sophisticated. It does NOT matter!
Instead of constantly criticizing their imperfections, acknowledge their imperfections and love them. They aren’t perfect, they will never be perfect so don’t expect them to be perfect.
God’s word is very clear bout this. Col. 3:21 – “Fathers, don’t make your children resentful, or they will become discouraged.”
HOW TO BE A GOOD FATHER … Don’t expect perfect children.
3.- ENJOY YOUR CHILDREN
Psalm 127:3 – “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; The fruit of the womb is a reward.”
Children are given to us to ENJOY, not to be a burden, not to avoid, not to ignore, BUT TO ENJOY! In order to ENJOY them, you’ve got to be with them, have fun with them and share your life with them.
Don’t use this stupid excuse: “The QUALITY of time is more important than the QUANTITY of time.” The QUANTITY of time you spend with them tells them how important they are to you. It tells them whether they are just an afterthought or an inconvenience or a disruption in your busy schedule. Don’t just give your kids your leftovers.
Listen men, you need to enjoy being a father, and make sure that they enjoy having you as their father. Spend some time on the floor with them, giving them horsey rides, take them to fun places, do fun things, laugh, play and give them some memories of Dad being FUN to be around.
HOW TO BE A GOOD FATHER … Enjoy your children.
4.- LISTEN TO YOUR CHILDREN
Give them your undivided attention! You can’t do that with one eye on the TV and the other eye on them. When they have a problem, when they are worried, when they are sad and when they are lonely, they don’t need cartoons, or a video game, or their best friends Dad. They need YOU!
Get involved with your children, and know what’s going on in their everyday life. Listen to them, even when they‘re not saying anything, they are speaking volumes. Be the kind of father that they can come to and say anything that’s on their mind without being criticized for it.
If you listen to them when they’re small and their problems are small, they will come to you when they’re bigger, and their problems are bigger.
God’s word tells us in Proverbs 1:5 – “A wise man will hear and increase in learning …”
HOW TO BE A GOOD FATHER … Listen to your children.
5.- PROVIDE FOR YOUR CHILDREN
1 Tim. 5:8 – “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever.”
Even the LOST provide for their families. Men, you can’t be a GOOD FATHER and not provide for your children.
I don’t mean that you have to give them everything they want! That’s one of the WORST things you can do. We are living in a generation of children whose parents have robbed their children of the blessing of WANTING, WORKING & WAITING for material things. We have spoiled our children by giving them INSTANT SATISFACTION and they will carry on this tradition by charging whatever they want and accumulating enormous credit card debt.
Too many fathers think they can BUY OFF their children with THINGS, thus relieving themselves of the guilt for not being the kind of father they ought to be. They think that they can BUY their way out of Biblical fatherhood.
PROVIDING for your children by giving them TOO MUCH, is just as bad as NOT PROVIDING for them by giving them TOO LITTLE.
HOW TO BE A GOOD FATHER … provide for your children.
6.- TRAIN YOUR CHILDREN
Ephesians 6:4 – “And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
We must teach and train our children to respect authority in the home or they won’t respect authority at school or in the world. We need to teach our children that there are BOUNDARIES, rules & regulations. That there is a line that they will not cross.
Your children are going to test you. They are going to see how much they can get away with. They are going to see if you mean what you say and if you’re going to take a stand, or if it’s just an idle threat.
Every time you back down from Godly instruction, you will have to draw the line further & further away from God’s standard. If you’re not careful, after awhile, THEY will have become the authority and you will have become the one in submission to them.
Train your children to respect authority. Earn their respect, be consistent, discipline them with love or they will never respect the authority of God in their life.
HOW TO BE A GOOD FATHER … train your children.
7.- PRAY FOR YOURSELF
1 Chronicles 16:11 – “Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually.”
Men, admit that you don’t have all the answers to their questions, that you can’t solve all their problems. You don’t have all the wisdom, love and patience to be the father you ought to be. Without God’s help, you can never be the father God wants you to be.
You need help! You can’t do it by yourself!
HOW TO BE A GOOD FATHER … pray for yourself.
8.- PRAY FOR YOUR CHILDREN
Psalm 55:17 – “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.”
You can’t be with your children all the time, but God can. You can’t protect them wherever they go, but God can. Are you understanding this? You can teach them right from wrong, but you can’t be there when it’s put to the test, but God can.
Pray for your children! Lift them up to God to do for them what you can’t do. As parents, we aren’t perfect, and we make mistakes. If we had to do it all over again, we would do things differently. Maybe we’ve done the best we could, we did what we thought was right, we raised our children the best we knew how.
NOW YOU MUST PRAY FOR THEM! Pray for them because your Heavenly Father loves them as much as you do and He has more experience than you do. Pray that God the Father will take your well-intended efforts at fatherhood and use them to bring your children into His loving arms.
HOW TO BE A GOOD FATHER … pray for your children.
9.- BE A POSITIVE ROLE MODEL
Proverbs 22:6 – “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Men, you are a role model for your children. Like it or not, good or bad, they will, to one degree or another, model their lives after you. You have inherited some of your father’s characteristics and your children are inheriting some of yours.
Whether you know it or not (or mean to or not), you are influencing the lives of your children, and your children’s children.
You ARE a role model … a good father will be a GOOD role model.
10.- PREPARE YOUR CHILDREN
Proverbs 23:24 – “The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, And he who begets a wise son will be glad in him.”
You are preparing your children to leave home! Remember this! Some day, they’ll take what they’ve learned from you, and begin to apply it out in the real world. You’ve only got approximately 18 years to get them ready.
Preparing them for life away from you is only part of the picture. If you haven’t spent your time preparing them for eternity, you have failed as a father. God didn’t give you your children just to prepare a doctor, a teacher, or a plumber. God gave your children to Christian fathers to prepare them for eternity.
You can’t choose which eternal path they will take, but you CAN choose to show them the way to Heaven OR you can choose to just ignore their spiritual destiny. They have to decide for themselves the path they’ll take, but you can have a Godly influence on their choice.
HOW TO BE A GOOD FATHER … prepare your children … for eternity.
It’s not easy being a good father, is it? BUT it’s NOT IMPOSSIBLE, either. It takes hard work, hard praying, and making hard decisions. You can’t do it alone. God doesn’t expect you to. God doesn’t want you to. Don’t leave Him out of your adventure in fatherhood.
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