Who is a father? Or what makes a father?
Is it bringing children into this world and providing for them? Is it to give our children the things that we didn’t have?
All those things are good, and oftentimes we do those things well, but, what truly makes a father is his loving character, his nurturing ways and his involvement in the raising of a child.
Research shows that a loving and nurturing father improves outcomes for children, families, and communities. Fathers who live with their children are often more likely to have a close, enduring relationship with their children. Even if you do not reside in the same home as your children, you can still play an active role in their lives and form a close bond. Studies suggest that children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, have a healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior, and avoid high-risk behaviors including drug use, missing school, and criminal activity.
A father’s involvement in their child’s upbringing makes a huge impact on their children. Unfortunately, some of us didn’t have a father role model that showed us how to be fathers. Some of our fathers were distant, didn’t really talk to us or care about the things we enjoyed. Some of us grew up without a father. Even during all those challenges, we have someone who has been with us from the very beginning and that is our Heavenly Father. The Bible is full of passages of God telling us He is our father and filling that void a father left in us.
Psalm 68:5 says, “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.
Isaiah 34:8 says, “Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”
2 Corinthians 6:16-18 says, “As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” . . . “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
Even though we didn’t have a father role model growing up, we have our heavenly father who has set an example for us on how to be Fathers. God cares about you, God loves you that He sent Jesus into our world so that we would not die but have forgiveness of sins, life and salvation. God is involved in your daily life. He is there when no one else is.
I encourage you that just as God is involved in your life, to be involved in the lives of your children. Your children don’t need the latest toys, or the latest electronics. What they need is you to be present in their lives. Ask your children, what their favorite color is, or their favorite things to do. Talk to them, even for 5 minutes, about what they enjoy and who their friends are. Listen to them.
We live in a world where communication is at the tip of our hands, yet we often miss the opportunity to communicate with our loved ones. Let us put the phone down and listen to our children. Disconnect from everything and stay connected with your children.
As your children grow up, they won’t remember the latest toys you gave them, nor the latest electronics they had or the places you took them. Your children will remember how you were there when they were anxious or hurting. They will remember how you listened to them and knew their favorite color and their favorite things to do.
Fathers, I encourage you to be the father God created you to be. You and I can do this with God’s help.