On Fathers Day I thought it would be a good idea to share some thoughts on being a good dad. Because, from what I see out in the world – we need a lot more good dads. Keep in mind: I am a believer in Christ so my thoughts and advice are in that vein.

Funny thing, I sit down to write a few words about Fathers, share some of my ideas on being a good Dad and guess what, my youngest daughter comes up and says, “Dad can we go outside and toss the football?”

So writing this got delayed. I went and had a great time tossing the football with my little girl. And she can throw a perfect spiral a good twenty yards. It was great fun!

I certainly do not claim to be the perfect dad or even have all the answers, because I do not. I still have a lot to learn from the Good Lord. However I just wanted to share with all the dads a few of my thoughts.

Hope they help. Keep in mind I am a girl dad. I have three great daughters who are 13, 11 and 8.

  1. Love Christ first
    Build your personal relationship with Christ and get to know Him. When we do this then and only then can we truly    love our children and be the dads we are called to be. If we try to do it on our own – well just look at our world today- many kids are in a sad state of affairs. That is for a different post one day.
  2. Love your wife as Christ loves the church
    Men, there is nothing more important that you can do then to love your wife as Christ loves the church. This is HUGE! And I encourage you to dig into the scriptures on what this really means. I could tell you but then it would not stick. Go and read the word, study it and watch your marriage grow and your children blossom.
  3. Show your love for Christ
    One of the strongest memories I have as a child is seeing my father read his bible at the kitchen table. It is forever imprinted on my mind. We can tell our kids about Christ, but it is far more powerful to show them how to build a relationship with Him. Let your kids see you read the word, pray, and even struggle with your relationship with Christ.
  4. Teach them to learn how to trust the Lord
    Only God has all the answers. In my opinion this is critical to teach our kids. As parents we will fail them, their teachers will disappoint them, their future employers or employees will let them down, and their friends will abandon them. Only the Lord will be there for them all the time. If we teach this to our children their confidence will soar and life will be good for them.
  5. Spend a ton of time with them
    Ok – so I have more then likely upset a few folks – especially if you are not a believer – but now I will upset the rest of you – even the believers.

    We are ripping our kids off. I watch many dads spend hours and hours at work or other activities – even good ones like men’s groups at church – and completely ignore our kids. We justify it in many ways, “I must provide”, and “I spend quality time with my kids”. That is just hog wash. There is only one way to spend quality time with your kids and that is to spend a ton of time with them. You can not schedule quality time. It does not work that way and you know it. You must simply spend as much time as you can with them. Your kids need to spend time with you – not the TV or the internet. Dad’s, cancel your next business meeting and schedule your kids in – and watch their faces glow. I dare you.

  6. Discipline them
    How many books have been written on this subject? Way too many in my opinion. My take is this – each child is different – thus they need different types of discipline. But the key is be their parent, not their friend. Do not care if they like you. Yes you read that right. If it matters that they like you, you will not discipline them in the manner that you need too. They will love and respect you when they are adults.
  7. Pray for and with your children
    If you do nothing else – PRAY. This is how we communicate and work out our relationship with God. If you can teach your children how to pray – wow, look out. If you really want to get to know your kids pray for them and with them – then and only then will the Spirit of Christ bring you together as one.

So there you have it.

A shout out to my dad: Much of what I know today is because of my father, Matt Small. His devotion to his relationship with Christ has been and continues to be an incredible impact in my life.