Why dads are important

Posted by [email protected] on January 20, 2012 at 1:45 AM


There's something magical about the name.  The word.  The person.  Dad.  It's true for little girls. Their Daddy is their first boyfriend.  A girl's relationship with him, I believe, affects a young woman's relationships with men for years to come.  However...

A boy's relationship with his dad affects a young man's relationship with himself, the world, and God.

Himself -- When a father affirms a boy's worth and masculinity, when he reaches out to touch his son and say with words, high-fives, laughter and nods "I'm proud of you," the boy in turn believes it's true and inherits a healthy self-esteem.  O Moms, I know we are important in this too, but honestly the kids think of our praise as part of our job because we dole it out liberally.  But a Father's praise really means something because, for most young men, a father's affirmation is hard earned.  

The World -- When a father models for his son true Servant-Leadership in the home and in relationships with others, the boy learns to esteem others.  He sees a man as someone who cares for, supports, and champions the needs of those around him.  Likewise, when a young boy is modeled selfishness and pride in light of the needs of others, the boy will have an unhealthy self-esteem, just as his dad doest.  As the father demonstrates... so does the son.

Do you see a theme here? Whom do we esteem?  If a father esteems a son in a healthy way, the child will have healthy self-esteem.  And when the father esteems the needs of others, a son will learn to esteem those around him.  But if the father only esteems himself above all others, then the child will suffer; he will learn likewise to esteem himself selfishly, and reject those around him who are in need of lifting up.  

My husband and I heard this quote in our Sunday School class last week:"The person who has the most power in the family has the greatest right to be selfish."

When someone at our table discussion mentioned how important modeling selflessness is, I shook inwardly.  I've come to see, time and again in families, Mothers who model selflessness, but the result is raising families who learn to be selfish, taking from the mom who simply gives and gives.  But when I look back to the above quote I see the words "the person who has the most power in the family..."  And like it or not, that is "Dad".  

Just like our husband's praise means so much more to our young developing little men, so does his example of service and sacrifice.  When our men lay down their power to lift up those around them, our entire family learns selflessness and service.  

And God - If a father is good and kind, his sons will come to honor him.  In time, the child will not be fearful when he is taught about a loving God.  Our sons will learn to trust, love, and honor their Heavenly Father in the same way they learned to trust, love, and honor their earthly father.  But if their earthly father is proud and belligerent, never giving praise, delight or affirmation, if the child fears their father, and thinks of him as unjust and selfish, they will see God in a similar light.  

I remember our Pastor friend encouraging Matt with this picture:  "When your wife and children get to Heaven, you want them to recognize Jesus because they saw so much of Him in you."

What does this have to do with us, Moms?  I'm not suggesting we start a comment-line below listing our complaints, instead I encourage us all to PRAY!  Pray for our husband fervently... as though the lives in our home depend upon it.  Pray specifically and heartily for the hurts in his own upbringing; pray that generational sins passed down from his own father would come to the surface and that God's Spirit would be near to our beloveds, granting them freedom and joy in the present.  "Pray for me", has always been my husband's chief request of me.

Other than that... respect him, forgive him, respect him, forgive him, and then respect and forgive him again.  And then pray for him some more.   Remember ladies, that they receive the same measure of grace in their weakness' that we do in ours.  And Fathers of the world, I share in your Joy that we've received forgiveness and help in our frailties, both in parenting and in every other aspect of life.  Press on!

More on Amazing Grace here.

Categories: Marriage, Character Counts

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