March 3, 2024 | Doug Sauder
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Dad’s, we can’t do this without you! We know you’ve got a big role to carry—and we’re here for you! We know you’re carrying quite the load, and we just want to say, “Thank you!”
As your family prepares to celebrate you this Father’s Day, let’s pause for just a few minutes to seriously consider the role of fatherhood. You’re being honored for one of the greatest gifts and privileges known to man on the earth. In the midst of celebrating, we’d like to challenge you to stop and give thanks to the Lord for giving you the opportunity to have children, to lead them, guide them, teach them, provide for them, and love them well. What’s your end goal to all of this? Think about it for a few minutes.
What did you come up with? We hope it’s along the lines of raising confident children who know they’re loved—loved by you and by God. We hope your end goal is to raise adult children (and that’ll happen before you know it, as high school graduation is just around the corner), who know their identity is in Jesus Christ because of the legacy you’re creating now. Adult children who, because of your example and how you lead your family, will know how to love their spouse well and parent their own children with intentionality directing them to follow Christ. Adult children who can ultimately change the world around them because of the foundation created in their home of loving others, being generous with their time and resources, and having healthy authentic relationships.
We also hope one of your goals is to raise children who will want to come back home. That’s right, as our very own Pastor Doug Sauder has said, one of our goals should be to create a home where when our kids grow up and go off to college, they want to come back home.
We know all of this doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s formed by being intentional day after day, by seeking the Lord, and by letting Him guide you—not by just going through the motions day after day of working and providing, although that is also necessary!
Look at it like this: When you take the time to build relationships with your kids, you help them develop their identity and confidence as they grow up and enter into adulthood. As a dad, you have the ability and opportunity to shape your children’s faith by praying with them, over them, and by cultivating a love for and belief in God’s Word. You can create a bond with your children as they continue on their journey to becoming responsible adults so YOU can be the greatest influence and voice in their lives.
It’s not what you do that matters, it’s how you do it! So, let’s start with the basics! Your children need to hear these three small words—I love you—on a regular basis. Here’s a challenge for you: Look them in the eyes tonight and tell them you love them. Tell your son how proud you are of him and why. Tell your daughter how beautiful she is and what you see in her. Let them know how valuable they are to you and to God; that they were created for a purpose with unique gifts, talents, and plans the Lord has for them. Encourage them—life is tough, and they need you! Be the one they want to come to for advice, not TikTok.
Dads, don’t miss it! This is important. Don’t miss out. Don’t miss the game, the recital, the school play. Don’t miss the late night conversations. Be the safe place for them to talk and ask questions. Don’t miss the opportunity to tuck your children into bed and to read them that bedtime story for the hundredth time in a row. Don’t miss the small daily opportunities to speak into their lives. Miss a day of work, miss a game on TV, miss Netflix, miss a workout or a golf game, but don’t miss this. There will always be more days to golf, always another NFL or NBA game, and plenty of days to workout. But today, your children need your presence in their lives as they develop their values and grow into who God created them to be. Remember, they’re here today and gone before you know it.
So, the next time your children want your attention—and yes, often the request for a dad’s attention comes at the most inopportune times—make fulfilling these requests and needs a priority in your day. These are the invitations you should not deny. These are the requests you will miss one day.
Remember, your children will develop their primary image of God by their relationship with you. The grace and love that our heavenly Father leads us with needs to be evident in our relationships with our children. The role of a father is a huge responsibility and a holy privilege that has an eternal impact. Never underestimate this. Is it authentic? Are you leading with love in your home? Are you the same man at home as you are at church, at work, at the ballgame?
We’re here for you, and we’re cheering you on as you embark and continue on the wonderful journey of fatherhood! For more parenting resources, check out our website at CalvaryFTL.org/Parenting.