by Samuel Knox, Unite Managing Editor
Springfield, MO— There are times for correction & warning when men aren’t doing their jobs, but not right now. There are a lot of dads out there that take their God-ordained roles and responsibilities seriously and strive hard to be good stewards of our families. It’s good to be reminded of the weight and importance of our role, but we also need to be encouraged in it! It is a long, challenging responsibility to be a dad, but the benefits are more than worth it to remain faithful.
Think about it… God allows you the honor of sharing one of His special names–Father. This means that you will impact the way your kids see God as their heavenly Father. That is a big deal! What a great role! What a great title, position, and privilege… Dad–Family Shepherd!
Think of a dad in your life today. Maybe it’s the father of your children, your husband, or your son who is now a dad himself. Maybe it’s your own dad or a brother raising a family just as you are. Think of encouraging him this Father’s Day in a specific way.
Here are some suggestions to encourage a dad in your world using the word LIFE as a guide. Dr. Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, assigned the following acronym.
L – Labor
Think of all the things this dad does. Perhaps he works in the yard, tends a garden, works diligently at his job, keeps the car running or fixes what is broken. All dads are different but all put labor of one description or another into the lives of their family. Polish up the value of a specific labor and tell him what it means to the family. The daily grind can be much easier to take with some affirmation of the effort.
I – Influence
Remind this dad that he is a great influence on his family. Find a positive way in which you see his influence impacting those around him and tell him. My Dad’s job took him out of town a lot when we were little. My brother recently told Dad that he has been influenced in his own marriage and fathering by Dad’s loyalty to our family. The fact that we never doubted if Dad would come home had a tremendous influence that bore long term effects. Be specific and genuine in affirming just how significant and important his influence is. In the daily grind it is easy to forget we are leaving lasting impressions. Gentle affirming reminders help to build positive influence.
F – Finances
No one has a family budget that works all the time. Finances can be a challenge in any home. Let dad see that his contribution is valued. Many men work long and hard with little thanks. Remember that genuine encouragement given away often returns in the most unexpected manner. It’s not so much about money as it is about pulling together in the same direction. Maybe thank him for the way you can work together making the mortgage payment so the family can have a home, or eating hotdogs when you’d both prefer steak. Be creative and find something to say thank you about in this department.
Every man has knowledge in some particular area. If you have forgotten what this dad excels in, listen and watch. Maybe he is great at math homework with the kids. When you watch and listen you may be surprised at all you forgot he knew. Let him know you notice his knowledge in a particular area.
Take the time to consciously encourage the fathers in your life. The daily grind can take its toll on a soul, but a little sincere encouragement can be like sunshine and water to soften and replenish.
You just may be surprised at the reaction you get, not just from him, but in your own heart as well! This Father’s Day look for an opportunity to give encouragement away.