What It Means to Be A Father

The Family Man
Todd Wilson is a dad, granddad, writer, conference speaker, and former pastor. Todd’s humor and down to earth realness have made him a favorite speaker, each year speaking to thousands of dads and moms.
          As the founder of Familyman Ministries, his passion and mission are to remind dads and moms of what’s most important through a weekly e-mail for dads, seminars, and books and products that encourage parents.
          We had an enlightening interview with him on the Men in the Arena Podcast. I learned things I had never considered and want to pass them on to you as game-changing fathering concepts.
          Here are four things I bet you never knew about fathering.

1. You are a homeschool dad. You are the ultimate teacher.
All three of my sons attended public schools, but we never assumed they were being taught in conjunction with what we believed. In fact. We trained our sons to be, “Wise as serpents and gentle as doves (Matthew 10:16)” We had breakfast most mornings growing up that included time in the Bible, sharing, and prayer.
          A man does not defer his leadership to any teacher, pastor, coach, or lay leader. He takes responsibility for his children. He and his wife must steward their responsibilities as ultimate teachers over their children. Teaching starts and ends in the home, and everything in between must be monitored diligently.

2. Don't give up on fathering.

Todd has eight children. Eight! Every one of them is different. We have three and each brought their special gifts, abilities, learning styles, and responses to discipline. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
          But did you know that a more literal translation could be, “Train up a child according to his bent…”?
          I have struggled, as many who are reading this have, to not give up on my children during times when they make dishonoring decisions, veer off course, or openly rebel. Nothing is easier than to check out on a child and write them off as some sort of “bad debt loss”.
          But God can change a heart in a second. Sometimes that heart that needs to be changed, if I am vulnerable, is mine! When things are at their worst, hold on because your miracle is waiting.
          Never give up on a child. Pray over them constantly.

3. Just say, “SURE!”

All I remember about the years when my sons were children was being exhausted. Welcome to life in the Arena (AKA Stress Bubble) where free time is oxymoronic. But there is nothing sweeter than to be attacked by your children when you walk in the front door. Every minute of their expectant little minds has led up to those precious moments when Dad comes home!
          “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!”
          You are the most famous person on the planet. Exhausted. Drained. Hungry.
          Just say, “Sure!” Never refuse your children when they want to be with you. Those 20 years in the Stress Bubble are the toughest of your life but guess what?
          You cannot redeem them. When they are gone, they are gone.
          Our home is eerily silent at times compared to the obnoxious thundering when our sons were in the home.
          I remember visiting Shanna’s widowed Grandmother for summer vacations when the boys were little, wild children. The louder they got, the more she smiled, “It is good to have some noise in here for once.” She would joyfully acknowledge.

4. Smile at your kids.

When I heard this a knife stuck in my chest and I realized that I do not smile at my sons as much as I should—especially one of them. I love my sons but as they grew up, I started treating them more like men and less like sons. Your children know you love them, but do they know you like them?
          The answer to that question caused me to shudder, and I had to answer, “NO.” I am on a mission to fix that, God willing.
          Our time with Todd at FamilyMan Ministries was rich and rewarding. Check out how his resources might help you be a better dad.

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