Mark Merrill, of Family First, has given us some great advice for being a great Christian dad. With Father’s Day just two days away, I thought I’d share with you some of his thoughts.
1. Love your kids’ mother. This is the best thing you can do. A husband and wife who love each other provide a secure environment for their kids.
2. Spend time with your kids. How you spend your time with your children reflects what is important to you. No matter what you might say to make up for lost time, if your children feel you are not as concerned about them as you are with work, they get the message that they are not valuable.
3. Earn the right to be heard. That means showing a genuine interest in their views and interests. Children want to be led, but the successful father earns the right to lead.
4. Discipline with a gentle spirit. True discipline is a function of a father’s love for his children, which is why it should never be harsh.
5. Be a role model. Fathers are a role model, whether they want to be or not. Being a living example of Christ is worth more than anything you ever say to your kids.
6. Teach the lessons of life. For far too many fathers, teaching is something someone else does. But God has given you the first-line joy of instructing your kids in the ways of the Lord.
7. Eat together as a family. Most children today don’t know the meaning of a family dinner time. But this is your best time to be with your kids and listen to their hearts.
8. Read to your kids. In a world wired for sound, it is important that fathers make the effort to read to their children. Kids first learn by seeing, then by hearing and reading.
9. Show affection. Children long for a secure place in this fast-paced world. They find it most often in the warm embrace of a parent.
10. Realize it’s never too late. Some of your best parenting will come when your kids are grown. They still long for the approval of their dad. It is never too late to be a great dad.