I’ve written about things I thank my Dad for, and I’ve written about words I want my sons to understand as they become men. I have an awesome Dad. And I want to be an awesome Dad.
But what, exactly, makes a Dad awesome?
I’m not sure there’s a definitive list or definition what makes a Dad awesome. But as I’ve thought about it, to get the conversation started, here are 9 ways Dad’s can be awesome…please add your ideas to the list in the comments:
1. Love God with all your heart.
Deuteronomy 6 talks about passing on our faith to our children. But, before we can do that, it says we must love God with all our heart, soul and strength. We talk about this idea in A Primer For Parenting.
Suffice it to say, an awesome Dad loves God in this way, because he won’t be passing on faith very well if he doesn’t.
2. Love your wife.
This one I’m sure about! Dad loves Mom, and shows it! This, probably all by itself, qualifies Dad as awesome. Why? Because it says a whole lot about who Dad is. And if he loves Mom properly and shows it through his words and deeds, you can probably guess how he acts in a lot of other areas.
3. Engage with your kids.
I’m sure you’ve seen it before. Maybe at the store. Or maybe at the park. The kid is doing everything possible to get Dad’s attention, only to be ignored as Dad goes about his business, whatever that may be.
Unfortunately, for many kids, this is the norm. At home. Away from home. Wherever they may be.
An awesome Dad engages with his kids. He plays with them. He has meaningful conversations with them. He knows their interests – and what they’re not interested in.
He engages with them in a variety of ways, even when it’s not that enjoyable for him.
4. Protect your kids.
It’s pretty natural for a Dad to protect his kids physically. We’ll all jump in a rescue them from danger – it’s just the natural thing to do.
But an awesome Dad will protect them in other ways, too. Emotionally. Socially. Spiritually. An awesome Dad is aware of the dangers in these areas by being involved enough in the child’s life to be alert, and he’s not afraid to jump in and protect them from the looming dangers.
5. Provide boundaries.
Often times in the media Dad is portrayed as the guy who let’s the kids get away with anything and everything. If Mom is gone, it’s party time with Dad!
This isn’t what an awesome Dad does. He may be fun, but he also understands that guidelines and boundaries are necessary for the good of his child. So he provides them, and he’s not afraid to keep the child within those boundaries.
6. Be accepting.
We Dad’s all want our kids to grow up to be just like us. Or we have mental images of what we want our kids to be like (can anyone say “left-handed pitcher”?).
But our kids usually aren’t exactly like us. And sometimes they are very, very different.
An awesome Dad recognizes this fact and is willing to not only accept this fact, but support the child for who he or she is. He’ll support their interests, their personality, and their giftedness.
7. Walk the walk that you talk the talk about.
Few things will derail a child’s character development faster than hypocritical parents and, specifically, a hypocritical Dad.
An awesome Dad is a man of integrity who not only speaks wisely and instructs their children to grow in godly character, but one who displays it everyday through their words and deeds.
8. Be a teacher.
Besides the things of God, kids also need to learn about things to do with everyday life.
An awesome Dad teaches these things. Things like how to do good work. Or how to fix things. Or how to change a tire. Or how to communicate well. Or how to take risks. Or how to talk to the opposite sex. Or “the talk”.
You get the idea.
An awesome Dad teaches their kids how to do life in the real world.
9. Pray for and pray with your kids.
It’s a very hard thing for us Dad’s to accept, but in the end, we all know that we really aren’t in control of our children. We must be dependent on God, and it is by His grace that we raise our children to be young men and women of character, capable of handling what life throws at them. This understanding forces the awesome Dad to his knees, laying his child before God on a daily basis.
Likewise, we understand that they, too, must be dependent on God as they grow to adulthood. The single best way to teach this is through teaching them to come before God themselves. In other words, pray with them.
An awesome Dad immerses his fathering in prayer.
So there’s 9 ways to be an awesome Dad. But that’s just the start.
What would you add to our “awesome Dad” list?
(please comment below)