An Open Letter to young dads on Father’s Day


There is no greater responsibility on the face of this earth, like being a father.  The power and influence on our children is astounding.  I have had so many failures at being a perfect dad, but I realized the Lord wants us to be great dads not perfect.  The example we live in front of our kids they will most likely embrace.  Our values will be their values, our faith their faith, our speech, their speech. It is a glorious but serious responsibility.  Don’t diminish that, or deny it. You play the most important role in your kids lives.  Your blessing, will be the fuel to carry them through life.  The lack of blessing, will be their burden.

May I offer you a few words of encouragement that  I have learned as I fathered my 3 kids these past 2 decades?

  • Be an example you want them to follow.  They will be like you. Your behavior matters, don’t think it doesn’t. More is caught than taught.
  • Talk with honor to your wife and they will treat their mom right, and their future wives.
  • Get control of your temper and your tongue.  It can wound deeply.
  • Make God a priority, and they will also. Skip God, and they will too.
  • Compliment them about everything. Constantly build them up. The world, friends at school, and the media will be tearing them down all the time. Your words will combat the demeaning messages they hear all the time.
  • Encourage them to try new things, never quit, and to never give up.
  • Pray to Jesus for more patience than you have ever had in your life.
  • Live with integrity.  Grow in the Lord so your character is seen.
  • When you are home, be home, not on your phone, etc.
  • Make family time and family vacations a priority.  The memories will never leave them, and they will do this healthy thing with their families.
  • Try and have meals with the whole family as much as you are able.
  • Talk to them. Ask questions. Don’t let them live in their rooms.
  • Be quick to admit mistakes, and ask forgiveness from them when necessary.  Let them know you blew it.  They love you and are quick to forgive.
  • Show your love to them, and always daily tell them you love them. It makes a difference. Make sure they never wonder if their daddy loves them.
  • Never run them down, call them names, tell them they are fat, stupid, worthless, lazy, etc.  It’s like sucking the life from a child, and can be worse than physical abuse. They will suffer and hear your voice saying this crap for years. Don’t do it.
  • If your dad did things that hurt you, don’t repeat that curse. Jesus breaks curses.
  • Make time.  Delay your hobbies at times, and desires, and pour into your kids. Don’t leave selfish with your time. Sacrifice financially for them.
  • Support their interests, be there as much as you can, for them.
  • Love their mom, and show them how to love and treat a lady. Yes, show them “in front of the kids” that you love their mom.
  • Don’t give them everything they want. Make them do chores.
  • Teach them to give to the Lord’s work and to missions.
  • Pray with them, even if it’s not profound, seems short, or awkward. Do it anyway.
  • Encourage them to read the Bible, go to church together. . Let them see you worship, pray, and seek God.
  • Listen, listen, and then just listen.

Being a dad is great!  A great challenge. A great reward. Greatly confusing at times. I have learned great dependence on the Lord, and great humility being a father.  It is the greatest blessing God has given me. I am not perfect.  Don’t give up dad.  Keep at it. Happy Father’s Day. Here’s a good video, that speaks a lot of truth.

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