Answers

Topics: Parenting

Q:

How can I be a good father? My own father walked out on us when I was about seven, and I have this terrible fear that I'm not going to be a very good father either. How can I prevent this?


A:

Have you ever asked yourself why you have this fear? One reason is probably because you didn't grow up with a father - and as a result, you have no example to follow, and you're afraid you don't know what fatherhood is all about.

But I can tell from your letter that you want to be a good father - and that's an important first step! God wants you to be a good father and will help you as you depend on Him. After all, He is our Heavenly Father and is the supreme example of what it means to be a father. Make Christ the center of your life (and the life of your family) and trust Him to help you be the best father you can be.

How can you be a good father? Let me suggest four brief guidelines (although we could say much more). First, love your children - and let them know you love them. The Bible says, "As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear (or respect) him" (Psalm 103:13). Second, provide for them. Don't give them everything they want (or you'll spoil them) - but don't be harsh or tight-fisted either.

Then guide them. Teach them right from wrong, and point them to God and His will for their lives. Finally, pray for them - not just for their protection but also for their spiritual growth. This Father's Day should remind us not only to honor our fathers, but to thank God for the privilege He has given us of being fathers.