I am at this stage in my life where I see the huge importance of being a great father and a great son. Being a father of two beautiful girls, I want these girls to know what a real godly man looks like. The weight is heavy. I don’t want to drop the ball. I don’t want to put a stumbling block in their path later on in life. I don’t want them to deal with emotional junk later on in life because I didn’t step up to the plate and be the man I was supposed to be. If I’m honest with you, being a dad is scary. And I’m saying this as a person who has a great dad in my life. So, what do I do? Because I know that even though my girls aren’t males, they do a lot of the things that I do. My daughter Nyomi especially looks up to me. It’s like she wants my attention every second of every time that I’m in her presence…always trying to show me something new that she learned or did.
The responsibility is huge..and like I said before…scary sometimes. But I had to ask myself the question, “Why does it seems scary?”
The answers are pretty simple:
1. Because there is a lot to lose if I fail.
2. Because I don’t know everything there is to know about being a dad. What if I miss something important?
I’ve noticed something about myself though. As with anything, If I feel like I have the right tools for the job then I feel like I have the confidence to do it. So I had to look at my tool bag. Do I really have the right tools to be a great dad (and to be a great husband to the mother of my girls)? I think I do.
Here are the tools I need while I’m trying to figure out this dad thing:
1. I need the bible. The bible is the Word of God to me. My blueprint for being a great father (and husband) is found in the scripture. (Also, a great relationship with the Holy Spirit will help you to make the day-to-day calls that need to be made as a dad.)
2. I need a father. Even though I have the bible, I need to see a real life example of what this thing looks like on a daily basis. It’s hard to father if you haven’t been fathered. I’m thankful that my dad can double as a spiritual and physical example of fatherhood. but if this is not the case for you, then you definitely need to take this last tool to heart…
3. I need community. Not a lot of people. Just a few dependable ones. I need to surround myself with people that will ask me the hard questions. “Are you spending quality time with your girls?” “Are you leading your family or is your wife leading the family? Are they following you?” “When are you spending time with God?” “How are you doing in your fight against pride, sexual temptation, envy, etc.?” If you are one of the many men who is lacking a father figure in your life, then please believe this: God has placed your father figure somewhere in the body of Christ…probably somewhere in your local church.
Now if you feel like you’ve got this fatherhood thing down (which really translates to you being insecure in your manhood), you might be thinking “I don’t need another man to teach me how to be a man.” Please understand that this is not biblical. Also understand that you don’t even believe that craziness. Look at your life. Most of the fears that we face are there because of a lack of a father figure teaching us HOW to do something. Just because you’re good at pretending that you’re not afraid doesn’t mean that you really aren’t. Truth is…we all have fears about leading and we all need to man up!
If there’s one thing I’ve noticed while doing youth ministry over the past 9 years it’s this: wherever the man goes, that where the family goes. Women can be as strong as they want to be. But unless a man steps up to the plate, the family won’t get very far. We’ve got to be good fathers. And we can only do this with the right tools: the Word (and Spirit) of God, a father figure, and a tight community that we’ve allowed to hold us accountable.
Thanks for reading. I hope you’ve enjoyed.