Title: The Importance of Dads, Part 1
The Importance of Dads
Over the next two months, I want to talk about the importance of dads. I grew up in a single parent home and remember what it was like to not have a full-time dad in my home. It put a lot of pressure on my mom to raise my older brother and me by herself. As I got older and became a dad myself, I began to really understand the importance of being a father. It isn’t an easy job, but it is an essential one. It is important that all of us become intentional and purposeful about our roles as fathers
When I became a dad, I didn’t know what to expect. Since I grew up without a father in the home, I had no idea how to juggle a 50-60 hour work week and then save enough energy to come home and be a good dad. There were a few years when I sacrificed my role as a dad to climb the ladder at work and I rarely saved the energy needed to take an active role at home.
To this day, I still regret that.
In my mind, I was the perfect husband and father because I worked hard, provided for my family, etc. Isn’t that what I was supposed to do? The only problem was I wasn’t being purposeful and I wasn’t taking advantage of the opportunities of being a dad.
Here are two tips that I learned to help me become a better dad.
Pray before you enter the home
When my kids were little, I shared with a friend of mine that walking in my house was the most stressful time of my day (I was a trauma nurse in a busy ER, so that is saying a lot!). I told him that the kids demanded my attention, my wife needed a break, I had to discipline the kids, praise the kids, I had to hear about their day, etc. All of this took place in the first five minutes of being home when I just wanted to sit down and put my feet up.
That friend gave me some great advice. He told me to try sitting in the driveway for a few minutes and pray before getting out of the car and walking into the house. I tried it and it was amazing! I simply asked God to give me patience, wisdom, and the abilities I needed to be a great husband and a great dad. I noticed that I wasn’t as stressed out and I even began looking forward to walking in the door. Sometimes, it just takes a different perspective and some help from God.
Be purposeful in your role as a dad
Many times we spend all of our energy at work, so when we come home, we are tired and exhausted. If we purposefully save some of that energy, we are more prepared to take on those great dad opportunities at home.
Being there as a dad is extremely important. In a recent study from Modern Parenthood, 46% of dads with kids under the age of 18 felt that they spent too little time with their kids.
Time is of the essence
Lives are busy and there are not enough hours in the day to do everything that we want to do plus work, fix things around the house, cut the grass or shovel the snow, etc. The one thing we tend to sacrifice is our family responsibility because, after all, our wives that handle that until we aren’t so busy.
The problem with this kind of thinking is that the busyness never ends and before we know it, the kids are grown up and we have missed part of their lives.
As dads, we play a pivotal role in raising our kids. We provide our daughters an opportunity to learn how a man should treat them based on how we treat them and their mother. We also provide a guide and example for our sons to follow. These are huge responsibilities and there is no reset button.
Next month, we will discuss in detail the ramifications of fatherlessness.
Your partner in ministry,
Family Life Pastor