7 Essential Qualities of Successful Dads


Last week I ministered to a group of young adults in a church in Singapore. From talking to some of them I knew that the stereotypical Asian father tends to be strict and demanding. Some Asian fathers, for example, have threatened to disown their kids if they didn’t make straight A’s in school or get high-paying jobs.

So of course when I taught on the heavenly Father’s unconditional love, many of these young Singaporeans came to the altar to receive healing. They struggled to know God’s love because their dads based their love on their children’s performance.

This is actually not just an Asian problem. It is a global problem. Many fathers—even in the church—do not know how to successfully parent their kids. I am certainly not the best dad in the world, but I think my four grown daughters would agree that I belong in the “successful dad” category. In honor of Father’s Day, we should look at seven qualities every dad needs:

1. A dad is present. Statistics show that 39 percent of students from grades 1 to 12 in the United States live without a father at home. This number has been climbing steadily for decades. Divorce and out-of-wedlock births have made fatherlessness normal. But it’s not healthy. A good father does not abandon his kids. He is physically present in the home and emotionally available to support and nurture his children. Psalm 46:1 says our heavenly Father is “a very present help in trouble.” If you want to model the love of God to your kids, be there for them. (And if your marriage ended in divorce and you share custody, make every effort to connect with your kids often.)

2. A dad is protective. A good dad draws clear boundaries. He teaches his kids that choices have consequences, and he warns his children about the dangers of sin. Successful dads teach their sons and daughters the rules of life from Scripture. Good dads say: “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching” (Prov. 1:8). Successful fathers don’t let their kids run wild; they instill discipline, with appropriate punishment, to instill character. And good dads don’t shy away from talking to their kids about sex and the importance of purity.

3. A dad is affectionate. God created us with a need for affection. Scientists have proven that human beings cannot thrive without receiving several expressions of meaningful touch every day. Yet I cannot tell you how many people I have met around the world who tell me their fathers never hugged them or said, “I love you.” If you want healthy kids, hug them often. Bounce them on your knee when they are small and keep pouring on the affection when they are teens. Physical affection strengthens the bond between you and your kids and makes them feel secure and affirmed.

4. A dad is encouraging. Your words have the power to make or break your children. In the Bible we see that a father’s blessing has the power to propel a child into his or her destiny. Don’t withhold the blessing. Don’t remind your kids of their failures; don’t withhold your love when they don’t perform according to your expectations. A successful father knows how to see the best in his kids even when they disappoint him. Your words provide the fertilizer that will cause your children to grow.

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SOURCE: Charisma Magazine – J. Lee Grady

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