A Father's Role in the Family Can Leave a Huge Impact on His Children
If you haven’t heard yet – Father’s Day is coming this Sunday, June 21. Truth is every one of us has a father. Your father may leave you with sparks of excitement when you think of honoring him on Father’s Day. Others have dread, bad memories or perhaps no personal memory of their father at all. A week ago, my dad underwent open heart surgery & then a pacemaker. I am so thankful to still have my dad walking this side of life with me. So, the emotions associated with Father’s Day can run deep. And, the dads out there who truly deserve the honor, this one’s for you.
So, what’s a father to do to help in raising his children? For starters, fathers have a great impact on their children. I will admit, my husband went a step beyond what most husbands or fathers would be willing to do or what is even really expected of them; in that he, unexpectantly, delivered our third baby without the help of a doctor or paramedic. But, the influence of a father doesn’t need to include delivering his own child to have an impact. It doesn’t even have to involve spending the entire day and a lot of money for this impact to be successful. It’s just something that is part of fatherhood. In our house.
A father can set a tone for the family. The values that a father holds to be important is passed down to his child whether he wants that value upheld to the next generation or not. Children naturally want the acceptance and love of both of their parents. But, a father can hold a special role of honor and respect. If a father is loving toward his wife, it will show through to his children. Children tend to mimic what they see as part of learning how to do new things.
I received one of those emails today which don't seem to have an author who originated it, but is forwarded on and on. When some read this they may think about how little aware the dad is of his environment – that it was the mom who knew everything; or that he is a blithering idiot that so many sitcoms and movies portray dads as being nowadays. When I read it, I thought that this is the kind of dad that makes a difference in his children’s lives, so absorbed with the sweetness and gentle love for his daughter that it didn’t occur to him she would do anything to harm him. The email reads:
One day my mother was out, and my dad was in charge of me. I was maybe 2 1/2 years old. Someone had given me a little 'tea set' as a gift, and it was one of my favorite toys. Daddy was in the living room engrossed in the evening news when I brought Daddy a little cup of 'tea', which was just water. After several cups of tea and lots of praise for such yummy tea, my Mom came home. My Dad made her wait in the living room to watch me bring him a cup of tea, because it was ‘just the cutest thing!' My Mom waited, and sure enough, here I came down the hall with a cup of tea for Daddy; and she watched him drink it up. Then she said, (as only a mother would know), "'Did it ever occur to you that the only place she can reach to get water is the toilet?"
Though he was so engrossed by the TV news, he stopped to relish a special moment with his daughter even though it meant his drinking toilet water.
Another way a father can make a huge impact in the life of his children is through encouraging purity before marriage. The father can lay down a vital foundation for his children’s relationships with the opposite sex. Of course, the way a father treats his children’s mother is noticed & imitated by his children. But, many families now, when their child approaches adolescence, have gone a step further. They have a special ceremony of sorts where the father takes the child somewhere special – just the two of them: out to eat, out camping, out somewhere and talks with that child about how he believes God intended marriage. He might even read her the story The Princess & The Kiss, or for his son, The Squire & The Scroll. He then presents the child with a purity ring. It is typically done from father to daughter since little girls tend to see their daddy as their prince charming and will absorb any information relating to their fairy tale dreams that he wants to impart to them. But, a similar “ceremony” could take part between father and son as well. This can be a very casual event or more formal, but the idea is for the father to pass down to his daughter how valuable she is, and that someday her prince will come and her daddy desires that her prince treat her as her daddy has treated her mother. The father imparts to his child his intent to chose before God to cover his daughter as her authority and protection in the area of purity. He pledges to her that he will be pure in his own life as a man, husband and father and that he will be a man of integrity and accountability as he leads, guides and prays over his daughter. The father then puts a purity ring or chastity bracelet on his daughter. The daughter can later give this ring to her husband on their wedding night. For quite sometime, I wore mine on a chain around my neck along with a cross specially designed for my husband and I which we exchanged during our wedding ceremony.
A father can make a huge impact on his children’s lives with major steps like a purity ring. But, everything (big or small) he does or does not do influences his children and wife every single day. Many homeschooling dads have a lot of responsibility placed upon him to support the family financially since the wife is typically – even if it’s just temporarily - not earning an income suitable to keep the family afloat. So, most likely, his time is limited. But, the impact he makes takes very little time. He can put the children to bed, say prayers with his children and read to them before bedtime. This gives a tired wife who has been with the children all day, a nice break as well. He can do the dishes or simply load or unload the dishwasher. This usually takes only about 5-10 minutes but will most likely be very appreciated by his wife who is busy with her hands full quite often making the meal and then onto another catastrophic clean up event somewhere within the house not doubt. He can ask the children what they were excited about learning that day & then listen. He can simply give hugs or say I love you. Not a lot of time is really required for a father to positively influence his family, though it might take some creative thinking.
Whatever creative ideas you decide to embrace, it will be worth the evidence a caring father leaves behind.
Happy Father’s Day! You’ve earned it, dad – Enjoy your day!