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How To Be An AAA Rated Father (Part 2)
“And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s venison, that my soul may bless thee” (Genesis 27:25 KJV).
Fathering is increasingly important because children are increasingly being born into either fatherless homes or homes in which the father is present but not active in the life in the child.
Men have been appointed by God as the head of the home. I understand that many women find this troubling, and the Bible is full of stories of courageous women that have served the body of Christ. The truth is that many men have done a terrible job of leading their house in any capacity, particularly spiritually. Many men are not even physically present in the home or if so, they do not recognize Jesus as their Lord and savior and will not even attend church on Sunday.
The article, “The Daddy Factor: The Crucial Impact of Fathers on Young Children’s Development” by Claire Lerner provides some eye-opening results from new research regarding the impact of fathers on the development of children. For example, when fathers use more words with their children during play, children have more advanced language skills a year later. This is especially important because language skills are correlated with academic success. Also, the more time fathers spend in enriching, stimulating play with their child—such as playing pretend or sharing stories—the better the child’s math and reading scores are at 10 and 11 years old.
I previously wrote a blog titled “How To Be A AAA-Rated Father,” which focused on three attributes that are needed to be a good father – affection, affirmation, and attention. This current blog deals with the result of a fatherless child. A fatherless child will be missing three key attributes as he or she goes trough life. This void will be a huge obstacle for a happy and successful life.
First, a fatherless child will be missing accountability. The father serves as a daily life coach. Even the best of children will lie, steal, disrespect, destroy, and cheat. The father will unconditionally love the child and because of his love will discipline the child as needed. The father will hold the child accountable. Accountability is like walls in that they provide protection. “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls (Proverbs 25:28).
Second, a fatherless child will be missing apprenticeship. Historically, many jobs were learned as an apprentice. Similarly, fathers teach valuable life skills to their children. A father trains his children to prepare them to become self-sufficient. Each move a father makes, good or bad, is training his children. Most lessons are caught and not taught, which means that children are much more keenly focused on what we do rather than what we say. Fathers establish the norms in the family. I was blessed as a child to have a father that established norms of going to church on Sunday, family, hard work, education, fiscal responsibility, respect for authority, humility, and more.
Third, a fatherless child will be missing affirmation. As a child, I wanted nothing more than to please my parents. I wanted their approval and affirmation and I received it. Can you imagine the psychological damage to a child if they never hear words of affirmation from their father? What if instead the child hears the opposite: “Why are you so dumb? You are a disappointment to me!” The identify of the child becomes one of failure. How can they face the challenges of life with strength and courage?
The need for a child to receive the blessing of his father is illustrated in Genesis 27. Jacob went to great lengths to receive his father’s blessing. Be sure that each of your children receives your blessing and help them to have accountability, apprenticeship, and affirmation.
Prayer: Dear God, Thank you for the blessing of children. Father, help us to be more like you and to instill positive attributes into our children. Amen.
Meet the Author
Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
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