June brings a flood of media reminders to buy things for Dad. One TV ad was especially appealing because it pointed out several of Dad’s roles. The very first one listed was ‘teacher.’
As you pull up memories from your childhood, you probably remember your Dad deliberately teaching you something – how to swim, for instance, or how to ride a bike – those kinds of things. You’ll also agree that you learned some things by mimicking Dad. And finally, you learned by absorbing and responding to what your Dad did with you and how he did it.
The old adage, ‘parents are a child’s first teachers,’ is true. It’s also true that young parents can get so busy with things in life not directly related to their children that they let the years slip by without intentionally ‘teaching’ them practical life skills, positive attitudes, character and faith development.
Still, many Dads are now taking their God given role as ‘spiritual leaders’ for their households seriously. They work in partnership with their wives where the families are intact, with both parents actively engaged. They benefit from abundant resources that help them do well as the major influencers in their children’s lives. Praise God for this!
You can count it a blessing if this describes your Dad. And, if you intentionally take your role as teacher with your kids, you are a blessing. If you’re part of a faith community that supports the families in their midst, equipping the Dads (and Moms) in multiple ways, we cheer you on.
Finally, the kind of parent you’ve become is strongly influenced by the parenting you received as you were growing up. So Dads, today, you are building tomorrow’s Dads as you teach your sons now. This is one way of explaining ‘generational faithfulness’ referred to over and over again in the Psalms. Psalm 78:3, 4 is just one of many examples: “what our fathers have told us…we will not hide from our children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord…” NIV
Even though Father’s Day has passed, you can still send a word of encouragement to some Dad we know. He may remember this longer than what shirts or tools he received. Consider Paul‘s benediction, “I fall on my knees before the Father (from whom all fatherhood, earthly or heavenly, derives its name), and I pray that He will enable you to know the strength of the Spirit’s inner reinforcement…”taken from Eph 3:14-21, J.B.Phillips.