Wednesday, June 20, 2007

More Father’s Day Thoughts on Parenting

Since we recently celebrated Father’s Day, I have some more thoughts regarding being a good father. Although these apply to any parent, they are aimed at fathers and their importance in the family:

1. Fathering must be intentional. Parenting of any value does not leave the results to chance. Dads must take seriously the development of their family.

2. Fathering must be patient and loving. Dads need to be involved. That means we are called to show love in such a way that our children can model our behavior. Showing love to their mom is a great start — loving them is “priceless.”

3. Fathering must be spiritual. For a child to properly develop as a whole person, he or she needs a dad with biblical values, and one who puts into practice his faith. Statistics prove that families with godly dads, in the end, have a better result. The bottom line: “Dad” — you’re important!!

The Importance of Fatherhood

When I was working at the hospital as a chaplain intern, I learned an important lesson. That lesson was, my visit as a chaplain could make a big difference in a patient’s day and even their whole stay in the hospital. It didn’t matter who I was – it mattered what I was. Most people coming into their rooms were sticking them with needles. A chaplain comes in just to spend time with them, pray with them, and to listen to what they have to say. Nobody else in the hospital has time for that sort of thing.

There is a similar situation with fathers. A father’s presence in a child’s life is important precisely because he is their father. Of course if a father is missing from the home, then some other male figure such as an uncle should spend time with the kids. Despite the importance of a father’s presence in a child’s life, we often don’t spend the time we should with our kids.

The Importance of Love, Acceptance and Discipline

While our kids can be annoying at times, it is critical that we show them that they are loved and accepted despite occasional bad behavior. Sometimes that love comes in the form of discipline. Discipline should be both appropriate to the age, and appropriate to the transgression. Some parents want their kids to be perfect, and are constantly yelling at them to shape up. Some parents are too laid back, and their kids aren’t disciplined as they should be.

Finding that middle ground isn’t easy, because you want to both discipline them as needed, yet still show love and acceptance to them as people of worth. Pray to the Lord for wisdom and guidance in your parenting. God the Father, our divine parent who has his share of problems with his children (us), will guide you. Trust in the Lord, and he will show you the way.

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