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How To Be A Dad

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Last time I wrote about how my job is to be the best replication of Christ that I can possibly be. Actually this whole series on being a husband and a dad has been about that.

I ask myself what it means when the scripture says that a husband is to be to his wife as Jesus is to the church. And for me, it comes down to one exact thing. I stand in the gap. How my family is viewed is on me. How my marriage is going is on me. How my children are being raised and the decisions that they make while under my roof is on me.

Maybe someday my son will get in a fight at school and he’ll punch somebody. I’ll get called into the office and they will say, “This is what your son did.” And I’ll look at my son and I’ll look at the school principal and I’ll say, “This isn’t what my son did, this is what I did. This is on me.” I’ll take full responsibility for it, and I’ll address it.

I’ll deal with my son directly. I’ll teach him to take responsibility for his actions and to apologize for his mistakes. But first, I will go to the child’s father and apologize. And I’ll make sure that the child, the one my son hit, will know that it was my fault. As the head of my family, I’ll apologize for it. My son will take responsibility and apologize after he sees me do it.

I think that when my son hurts someone and then sees me, his father, literally turn to that person and say, “I’m so sorry, this is on me,” he’ll want to change. When my son sees me accept shame and embarrassment because of his decisions, he’ll want to make better decisions. So my son won’t see me yell at him or say, “This is your fault.” My son will see me say, “This is my fault.”

And I think anyone who sees that would say, “I need to make better decisions.” Think about it. What would it feel like if someone is always being embarrassed because of you but they never embarrass you back? They never blame you or call you out in front of people. Instead, they always take the embarrassment for you. How would that make you feel? You’re going to want to change.

This is what Jesus did on the cross. On the cross, He took our shame and embarrassment. We respect what He did. His sacrifice inspires us to be different. Because of Him, we want to be better. We’re not always going to make the right decisions, but we want to be better. And I think that’s how our kids will do it. They’ll want to be better because they will see their fathers say, “It’s on me. This is my fault. And I’m sorry.”

I really believe in this. I think if you do this, your kids and your wife will respect you for it and they’ll be better for it. Your family will be better for it.

I also think that when it comes down to it, men aren’t willing to accept this job. And if you’re not willing to accept it, then I say you’re not willing to be married.

Next time, I want to say a few more words about Jesus’ sacrifice for us. See you Tuesday.

8 thoughts on “How To Be A Dad

  1. This is very inspiring. Not to be biased, but a lot of men (not all of them-you’re wife & family are very lucky) are not willing to accept that job. You are a true inspiration!

  2. This is wonderfully well thought out and shared. I love it. As a dad I have learned a lot about God’s love for us from my girls. I have never looked at it in this way. But it is true and a great picture of God’s willingness to take our place completely – guilt AND shame! Thank you Mr. Affeldt for this series and for all of your writing in this blog. God is speaking truth through you. Keep it coming!

  3. Great words Jeremy..I have a son who is somewhat like your description above and well maybe ill try a different approach now..thanks

  4. Jeremy.

    Thanks for writing about larger life issues. It is great to read your perspective on matters and really nice to get to know you better besides what I see when I watch the San Francisco Giants. Thanks for posting.

  5. Good post Jeremy. As the man goes, so goes the family. So true. We are a victim society always placing blame elsewhere. Good word.

  6. Thank you for sharing this Jeremy. Unfortunately our society/culture has minimized the husband/father role so much and the media has dummified him to such a pathetic state that it’s no wonder men have a difficult time taking their responsibility seriously. I appreciate your willingness to speak on the subject. Christ in His meekness (strength under control NOT weakness) is truly our example and gives men and women who trust Him the ability to do this. Without Him we are lost in more ways than one! My husband and I will be married 35 years on Monday and we have been Christians 31 of those years and boy has it made a huge difference, HUGE! I’m so thankful that we took God’s Word for truth in every circumstance with our children and praise the Lord are family has been blessed in so many ways. Prayer has played a huge role in this as well. Tests and trials will come Jeremy, so stay prayed up and keep your eyes on Jesus! (James 1:2-4 and 1 Peter 5:6-10) God bless you and your family!

    Looking foward to watching the Giants this Friday in person! We are very excited! Go Giants!

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