Summary: It’s not enough just to know "What Is A Good Father" ... Here are 10 helpful ways to BE a good father ... the kind of father God would have you to be.
“How To Be A Good Father”
Many sermons on Father’s Day deal with “What Is A Good Father?”. This is good to preach, but today, I want to go a little further. I want to deal with “How To Be A Good Father”. 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.- LOVE YOUR 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.
o If they see you show disrespect for your wife … your son will carry that into his marriage.
o If you verbally or mentally or physically abuse your wife … your daughter will expect that in her marriage.
o If you treat their mother like she isn’t worth very much … you are degrading the home, the family, and marriage … which they will carry into their future homes, families & marriages.
o If they visibly see you show love and respect to their mother … your son will learn how to be a good husband and father himself.
o If you honor your wife … your daughter will never be satisfied with a man who dishonors her.
o 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.
Ephesians 5:28 – “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 … AMEN?
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 … 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 … they are not a clone of you (Thank God!). It’s natural for a child to make mistakes … spill their milk … accidentally break things … do poorly on a test … get angry …
They’re not perfect … 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 …
Instead of constantly criticizing their imperfections, acknowledge their imperfections … and love them. They aren’t perfect … they will never be perfect … don’t expect them to be perfect.
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 … share your life with them.
None of this: “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 … whether they are just an afterthought … or an inconvenience … or a disruption in your busy schedule. Don’t just give them your leftovers.
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 horsy rides … take them to fun places, doing fun things … laugh … play … 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 … not 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 … 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.