Here are five important qualities of a Christian father.
A Loving Father
Without love, a father is only a relative of a child. Anyone can be a dad, but it takes a special man to be a father. A loving father is one where he loves his children much like their mother does; in an unconditional way. A father’s love doesn’t waver or it doesn’t come and go. It is there to stay, no matter what happens. If you’re a father, never base your love for your children upon what your children have done. God the Father doesn’t; neither should we. You can be very displeased with what they did, but never displeased with them.
What I mean by being approachable is this; children feel that their Christian father provides them with a “safe zone” to come to when they are in trouble or have a question. A safe zone is where the children can come and talk with their dad without fear of him blowing up. They love the comfort in knowing they can share anything and everything with dad, but without the worry of him getting angry about it. The more your children feel they can tell you anything, the less likely they will keep serious problems from you in the future.
An Ear to Hear
Tickle time is one of the most wonderful memories that I have of my children when they were young. Even my grandsons loved wrestling with grandpa. They couldn’t get enough, but it’s not just “tickle time” that’s precious to them…it’s all of your time. If you sit patiently with your children, after a while, they’ll tell you things that they’ve kept inside and may have told no one else. They’ll ask questions about things they don’t understand, and they’ll have the blessing of being able to share your experiences and wisdom. Time with children is an investment in the future. Better to spend time with them today than to spend time in a court of law, tomorrow.
The Treasure of Time
When you are spending time with your children, you are, hopefully, spending time listening to them. It’s so easy to cut them off or finish their sentences when they’re talking, but when children are allowed to have your time and attention, they know that you really do care about them. Be patient…sit quietly with them…and give them a chance to talk. They may not really want you to solve their problems as much as sharing their life with you. Don’t allow the world to make you bypass this precious moments.
Every father should discipline his children because they’re commanded to (Prov 13:24), but also because they love them. What loving father wouldn’t discipline their own child when they saw that they were going to hurt themselves? Solomon wrote, “My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights” (Prov 3:11-12). Discipline is love. Hate is not really the opposite of love; it is apathy, where they just don’t care. Not so with a godly, Christian father.
Of course, what applies to the Christian father applies to the Christian mother, whom I wrote about earlier, but one thing is certain. You want a close relationship with your children where they feel like they can tell you anything. That’s because of your love for them is not based upon what they did but upon who they are and that’s your child. And grandparents, you too can see how these are important in your relationship with your own grandchildren. A good, Christian father should give his children his love, his time, his attention, and his discipline.