I welcomed my fourth kid into the world this week! My beautiful wife and handsome new son are happy and healthy, and we are adapting to the new reality of having four kids.
This time reminds me that this child, all children, are gifts given to us in trust by God. We have the opportunity to improve ourselves so that we become better every single day, and it’s not just for ourselves! It’s also so that we can show the next generation exactly what right looks like. I take my role as a father very seriously, and while I still make many mistakes, at the end of the day I can say that I tried my best. I want them to know why I do what I do and how important their own faith is. “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4). I will never stop training them and showing them the action that my faith produces. The way we raise them up now will directly influence what the world looks like in 20 years. Don’t like the direction we’re heading? Then fix it, one kid at a time.
How do you become a good father? You learn the Bible, you find the lessons, apply them to your own life one at a time. The little ones see you working on these things, it shouldn’t be daunting to them because they know it’s ok to make mistakes. You are there to teach and correct, and if they screw something up along the way God will forgive them and you will too. Stay intentional, honest, and practical, don’t overthink this. All the lessons you need to learn are in the Bible.
I do my best to show my boys how to treat a lady by how I treat my wife, and this way my daughter also sees how she deserves to be treated as a wife and mother someday. I show my kids that I need help and how I pray to God for support. I show them what hard work and proactiveness looks like by living what I preach. I say I’m sorry when I screw up, and I try harder next time. The point I’m trying to make is that every day I have to decide that I will be a good father. I hope I can encourage you to do the same.
To empty nesters, singles, or anyone else who isn’t in the diaper changing days of life: you can start with your own kid, but it can also be a nephew or a neighbor. You don’t have to be a biological parent at all! Taking someone and showing them what right looks like by living it is the key to showing them that there is more to being on Earth than squeaking out an existence for 80 years.
You don’t have to be perfect to be a parent, but you do have to constantly learn and improve. Commit to becoming the father your kids need you to be today. Be encouraged because tomorrow morning you have a new chance to try again! It’s never too late to end average (or bad) parenting ruts and habits.
Let’s end average together.