5 Mistakes Even Good Dads Make
June is Fatherhood Awareness Month
Did you know that? In a month clouded by the enemy's plot to highlight sexual sin, we want to put fathers on display. And they deserve it. Statistically, when a dad gets it—everyone wins. Good dads are catalysts! Thank you for being one.
Do not misread the title. We are not talking about “Bio Dads” (a.k.a. “Sperm Donors”). We are not talking about dads who are physically present but absent in the ways that matter most. Today I want to talk about mistakes good dads make, many from experience, with the hope that you will not repeat them with your children. (For more on this topic, listen to this week's Men in the Arena Podcast.)
Mistake #5: Disengaged Dad
This is the dad who physically and emotionally separates himself from his children during their teen years when they are seeking independence. Place an imaginary exercise rubber band around each child and only let them move so far before you reengage with them. Stay in tune with their heart during this season.
Mistake #4: Bulldozer Dad
Good dads are often tempted to overly engage in protecting their children—knocking down all obstacles, problems, and poor choices. This is a massive mistake. As hard as it may be, we must allow our children to suffer, fail, and experience the consequences of their own poor choices. Support them through it, but let them learn from life while you are there to guide them through it.
Mistake #3: Kids First Dad
Not making marriage the most important relationship on the planet may be the greatest mistake of dads in their second or third marriages.
“For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man (OR CHILD) separate.’” - Matthew 19:5-6”
Do you want to move from a good to a great dad? Make your bride more important than your children and let them know it.
Mistake #2: Working Dad
Believing the lie that kids only need a father to be a resource provider, good dads are tempted to become absent workaholics. Whatever you put to the grindstone WILL BE remembered on your tombstone. Those who will weep at your memorial service will not be your coworkers but your family members. The question is, what will they be weeping for? A great father who they will dearly miss, or a great provider who was absent in every other way?
Mistake #1: Religious Dad
Many good Christian dads model Christian values without modeling the experiential component of faith in Jesus to their children. Setting spiritual rules and boundaries is great, but without modeling your relationship, you are only creating a religious climate. Moving beyond simple obedience to radical relationship with Jesus is critical for every man to model in worship, in giving, in serving others, in evangelism, in storytelling of God’s goodness, and in biblical hospitality.
It Takes Guts
For more about courageous fathering, I am excited to announce the Audible release of my books Strong Men Dangerous Times: Five Essentials Every Man Must Possess to Change His World, and Guts and Manhood: Four Irrefutable Attributes of Courage.
Happy Father’s Month! We celebrate you, Dad!