The good news is you’re a dad. And there’s nothing more satisfying than being Dad to your kiddos.
The bad news is you’re a dad. And there’s nothing more terrifying than being Dad to your kiddos.
Some days being Dad is satisfying. Big hugs, catch in the yard, teaching your child to ride a bike, or snow-cones on a Saturday are the picture perfect moments you envision as a dad.
Other days dad life is terrifying. One moment you’re teaching your son to ride a bike and the next moment you’re handing him the keys to the car. One moment your daughter runs happily into your arms and the next moment she’s running out the door to hang out with friends.
Unlike school, work, or sports, there’s no grade, salary, or score received for how well you “dad,” and unlike politics, you weren’t voted into the position of dad.
So what’s a dad to do?
If no one is grading, paying, or tracking your “dad score,” and you don’t need the popular vote to keep your position, what should be your priority as a dad? Where do you put your focus on the day-to-day, week-to-week, and year-to-year?
Focus on the seven L’s of dad life.
Believe it or not, you were not designed to carry the weight of the world. You weren’t even designed to carry the weight of your family. Whether you recognize it or not, you need God. Part of dad life (or any life for that matter) is learning to lean on Christ.
“I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
Strong dads know where their strength comes from. It comes from leaning more on Jesus every day.
Remember your first love. You made a commitment to be a husband before you committed to being a dad.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25
Your wife is first priority over your kids. Your kids will grow up and one day move out and start a life on their own, even a family on their own. You will still have your bride. Love her well!
Don’t overcomplicate parenting. Parenting is leadership. You are leading your children somewhere. Are you leading them in the right direction?
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Jesus boiled all the commandments down to two: love God and love people. Dads, lead your kids to love God and love people. Lead first by example.
Because you’re human there will be moments when you fail, and sometimes you may fail big time. Failures don’t disqualify you from being a dad. Failures are where we learn the biggest lessons in life.
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13
Failures do humble us. But in our failures, we should stand firm, seek God, and courageously ask Him to grow us. Those who succeed are not those who have not failed, but those who have failed, learned a lesson, and tried again.
God has uniquely designed you and divinely gifted you for a purpose. Specially, as a believer, you have been endowed with a spiritual gift. Don’t waste that gift, but leverage that gift for Kingdom impact.
“But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.” 1 Corinthians 12:18
There’s a role only you can play in your family, in your church, in your community, and in the world. Knowing you will give an account one day for what you did with what God gave you, leverage your gift wisely! How do I discover my spiritual gift?
Hey dads, don’t just exist in the world and occupy space. Every day is a gift from God. Every moment and breath is directly given by God. You don’t have years ahead to one day hopefully get around to “it.” You have today.
“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” James 4:14
Don’t put off to tomorrow what you know needs to be done today. Give the hug. Make the phone call. Say the words. Decide the hard things. Don’t waste your life. Live it!
Dads, you are leaving a legacy. Your true legacy is not the money or stuff you leave behind. Your true legacy is your impact on others. Your legacy is your fruit.
“By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” John 15:8
You may be a father to others, but don’t forget your Father who lives in heaven. What brings Him glory in heaven is the fruit you produce on earth. Your fruit is visible in your character, your words, your actions, and your impact. Leave a legacy that points others to Jesus.
Remember, dad life is both satisfying and terrifying! No one is grading you, so just be you.
Lean. Love. Lead. Learn. Leverage. Live. Leave.
And don’t forget to Laugh every now and then too!