I truly believe that every society would benefit if dads were integral in the positive upbringing of children. It’s a big task and a big calling to be a husband and a father. It’s not to be taken flippantly. Just as Uncle Ben told a young Peter Parker, “With great power comes great responsibility”, fathers hold great power over their children and that power must manifest in responsible actions and parenting.
I want to give you my Top 10 Reason why I love being a dad.
1. Responsibility: I love having the responsibility of rearing five children. It’s not always easy (it rarely is easy), but I love being the protector and provider for my kids. So many in our culture shy away from responsibility, yet I am drawn toward it. You see the affect of absent father’s in many teens and young adults because they haven’t observed responsibility in their father’s. What we, as fathers, shoulder for our family will impact how our children handle the pressures in life.
2. Independence: This one is even hard as I write this because our oldest, Michaela, is at a weeklong camp. It’s the same camp that I attended when I was her age . . . 24 years ago! Amanda and I have had a hard time letting her go somewhere other than her grandparents home. We've had no contact with her since Sunday afternoon when we dropped her off. Tears fell from our checks when we were driving away, but as a father, I must do all I can to prepare my children to be independent. . . even if it means dropping them off at camp where she doesn't know anyone. To be able to think on their own and make the right choices away from their familiar surroundings is imperative in teaching our children independence.
3. Work: When I was young my father made me work in his garage every Saturday. I would be cleaning the tools, helping to change oil or grease a machine, or help with a number of other tasks. Honestly, I complained and had a poor attitude toward the work, but having those responsibilities instilled a strong work ethic in me. Again, it’s not easy, but I love seeing a completed job that one of the kids did. Even if it is Jana cleaning her room by herself! As a four year old she takes great pride in her job well done. Teaching the kids how to mow, cut/stack wood, change a door knob, or work on the vehicles a little will equip them to work hard in the years to come. (they also have daily and weekly chores)
4. Laughter: I love to see my kids laugh and smile. Dad’s often set the tone of the household. I know father’s that just seem to never enjoy life and are always down in the dumps. You know who else I don’t see very happy in their household? The kids. The kids often reflect the tone set by dad. Our family laughs a lot. Daily we have laughter in our house. Our joy for life rubs off on the kids and then they often say and do some of the funniest things! All five kids have a great sense of humor and our household benefits from laughter. A joyful heart is good medicine.
5. Discipline: You may wonder how discipline is something that I love. The root word in discipline is disciple. Discipline is to be a time of teaching (discipleship) and it doesn’t always mean that it is a consequence of a negative behavior. To be honest, I do fail at this one more than I would like to admit because I need to be more focused on the teaching part of the discipline, but when I see and hear it “click” in my kids, I know that progress is being made.
6. Selflessness: Many fathers miss the mark here because they themselves haven’t grown up. As a husband and father the welfare of my wife and children comes before my own. I enjoy putting all of myself: emotionally, physically, spiritually, resource wise, into my family. I also want them to live a selfless life where they are not only thinking but living a life that is to help others.
7. Uniqueness: All five kids are different. They have unique personalities and gifting. As their father I have the privilege to help guide and direct them to discover the strengths within them. As a parent who has a physical condition I have a wonderful opportunity to guide them to understand that no one is exactly the same, yet all are valuable to God.
8. Love: I love LOVING my kids exactly who they are.
9. Teamwork: This is what Amanda and I have to be . . . a team. I love being a dad because I love being a husband FIRST. Amanda came before the kids did and I am so blessed to be on the same team as her. Being able to show (good and bad) how to have a marriage where the husband and wife work together with the same vision and goals for the kids will prepare them for the time when they are looking for a spouse.
10. Faith: This is actually the most important and vital area in my life as a father. The greatest desire that I have for all five of my children is for them to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. Everything else previously described can only be fully accomplished by having a strong Christian faith. I love being a dad because I can’t wait to see what my children will do with their relationship with Jesus. I don’t care what they do when they grow up as long as it is exactly where God wants them to be.
That’s my Top 10. I know I fail so much as a father, but with God’s help, I will do my best to prepare my children to be adults who can change the world.