Friday, June 17, 2011

The Importance of a Father

A pro golfer was conducting a clinic at an upscale golf course. His fourteen-year-old son accompanied him. In the middle of his presentation, he asked his son to come forward and to demonstrate something that his father had taught him. The son slowly moved toward the golf cart to retrieve an iron. He took the iron out of the bag and slung it as high and as far as he could. This may not have been the demonstration that the father had anticipated but it demonstrates the fact our children are watching and learning from the good and the bad we model for them.

Men, whether we like it or not, we are models for our children. They are watching every move we make. The do as I say not as I do philosophy that many of us were taught does not work. It is no accident that children of smokers are more likely to smoke. Children of addicts of any kind are more likely to be addicted. Children who see abuse modeled in the home are more likely to grow up and to be abusive. On the other hand, children who grow up in a home where the rights of others are respected and where there is an open demonstration of genuine care are more likely to grow up with a loving, caring, nurturing personality. There are always exceptions to the rule but the odds are greatly increased a child will turn out well, if he/she has had positive modeling in the home.

As fathers think about being a successful model, they would do well to listen to the following poem.
You can use most any measure when you are speaking of success,
You can measure it in fancy home, expensive car or dress;
But the measure of your real success is one you cannot spend,
It’s the way your son describes you when he’s talking to a friend.
(Author Unknown)

With this in mind, here are some things that fathers would do well to model before their children.

F aithfulness
A father would do well to model faithfulness to God, family and job
in that order.
A ffection
A father should not be ashamed to model affection to his wife and to his
children. A strong hand of discipline needs to be tempered with a gentle
hand of comfort and care.
T hankfulness
A father teaches his children to be appreciative by demonstrating
appreciation to those closest to him.
H eart for God
It is a father’s responsibility to demonstrate leadership in the spiritual
life of his family.
E ncouragement
Father’s would do well to heed the words of Paul, “So then let
us pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one
another” (Romans 14:19 NASB). Positive reinforcement normally works best
in the long run.
R epentance
A father should never be afraid to admit he is wrong. He should be
willing to accept responsibility for mistakes and to teach his children
that it is all right to say I am sorry.

If fathers would be faithful to model these characteristics they would have little to worry about when their children are describing them to a friend. More important, they will be laying a foundation of learning that can help their children grow to maturity and to become responsible adults. There are no other accomplishments in life that can surpass these.

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