These Two Words Made Me a Better Dad
By Brian Goslee
Some days it feels like we just “have to.” We have to get up for work. We have to have that difficult conversation with someone. We have to come home and fix dinner. We have to go to that evening meeting or coach that ball game.
If we are honest, sometimes we think we have to when it comes to parenting. I have to be present for my children instead of doing what I want to do. I have to sacrifice my time for my children. I have to provide. I have to discipline my child and stand up for what is right (certainly true at times!).
The truth of the matter is that God gave us the role of fathers; the role of coach; the role of being a son of God, made in His image.
Guys, we “get to” be dads!
When we change our perspective to one of gratitude to God for our role as dads, we realize that we get to spend time with our kids. We get to coach ball games. We get to model leading at church. We get to influence positively in the workplace. And we get to provide. Not only to we get to provide a home, food, and safety, we also get to provide love, encouragement, and being present with our kids-let’s not forget these things!
Another thing we get to do is offer grace and forgiveness to our kids. God extends unconditional love and forgiveness to us when we change direction and ask for His forgiveness. We are grateful for that!
We should imitate God’s willingness to forgive and extend that forgiveness to our own children. After all, we enjoy it when God forgives us, right? So how dare we not forgive our own kids and really show it! We should imitate God’s willingness to forgive and extend that forgiveness to our own children.
Remember to take time and truly enjoy every second we get to spend as a dad. Whether it is during tough times of forgiveness, or great times of celebration, let’s remember that being a dad is a privilege and honor that God gave us.
The tough times can be times that God is lovingly teaching us something that strengthens and improves us. The great times are times that God may be saying “Enjoy! You GET TO do this, because I made up this whole DAD thing.”
- Think about one thing you do not like to do as a dad. Spend some time in prayer this week, asking God to help you think of this task as something you get to do! With that new attitude of gratitude, actually enjoy doing the task this week!
- Reflect on your parenting this week, especially about the love and forgiveness you show (or maybe don’t show) to your kids. Are there some areas where the love and forgiveness you show to them are dependent upon their performance in a certain area (e.g., sports, academics, etc.)? If so, remember that you are loved and forgiven the same by God no matter your situation, and try to apply that to your relationship with your children. They should know and feel that they are the same valuable child of God and child of yours (i.e., loved, forgiven, and accepted), whether they succeed or fail in their endeavors in life.
Brian Goslee is an author, speaker, and founder of Changed Through Faith Ministries (changedthroughfaith.com). Their mission is to help fathers and sons grow closer to God and each other, using fun and relevant faith-infused events and resources. Brian’s life has been radically changed through active faith in Christ and he has a heart for helping others experience this in their lives.