Encouraging Fathers

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him! – Matthew 7:11, NIV

…children are a reward from [the Lord]…Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. – Psalm 127:3-4, NIV

Being a military family, Daddy has been gone – a lot. Whether he was home or not, he was a wonderful father. He made every effort to stay in communication and involved with our daughter. But when he was home, for ten years, he was either recovering from being gone or preparing to go. We lived life knowing that he was only temporarily home. Ten years of her growing up, having dance classes, tae kwon do, community theatre, soccer practices, church, etc. As a mom juggling parenting, homemaking, ministry, and life, in general, I had a system. So, when it came to many of the logistical, menial, parenting tasks, it was just easier to do it myself, whether he was home or not.

When she was a senior, I asked him if he minded taking her to school. He said, “Sure!” I followed up after a week to ensure if this had been a good fit for them. He replied, “It’s been nice, I feel like I’m getting to know my daughter again.”

His response still brings tears to my eyes. I immediately thought of all the opportunities for him to be more deeply involved that had flown by of dance classes, tae kwon do, community theatre, soccer practices, church, etc. Ten years that I could not rewind the clock and give back. They have a wonderful relationship, but I am saddened that it could have been much more.

As moms, depending on our life circumstances, we can tend to want to stick to a system of accomplishing parenting tasks out of convenience, rather than strive for long-term gain. But we must be mindful to encourage the relationship building opportunities, many times found in those menial tasks, between our children and their fathers. Fathers not only want to give good gifts, but they were meant for so much more than that. God intended fathers to have a loving relationship with their children in the likeness of Christ’s relationship with us. The more involved they are, the more likely they are to develop those deep and meaningful relationships. I highly encourage every mom, so much as is possible for you, whenever you think that it’s just easier to do it yourself, to question if it’s the most beneficial. Even better, ask Dad what tasks he would like to take for that very purpose. He just might surprise you!

-Is there anything you are currently doing that has the potential of robbing your children’s father of developing a deeper relationship with them?

-How can you encourage him to make the most of menial tasks to help them grow their relationship?

~Lisa

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