Being a Good Dad and Pointing to a Great Dad

Being a Good Dad and Pointing to a Great Dad

June 15, 2024

Bible Verse

“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (NIV)  Matthew 7:11

Most of the formative moments in my life involve a dad in one way or another. When I was 14, my dad died of cancer, changing my life forever. And my outlook on life changed when I became a father to my son and daughter. There are other moments I could also point to, but these altered my life in such incredible ways that I can’t imagine a time without them. Losing my dad was shattering in so many ways. And being a dad is an incredible responsibility and calling.

Father’s Day is often a mix of emotions for me. It reminds me of the incredible gifts I received from being a dad. It reminds me of what I lost so many years ago when my own dad died. And it points me to the ultimate Father—God in Heaven. Here are a few things to think about this Father’s Day.

Being a good dad is more than playing catch or fishing with your kids. Books have been written on the topic, and no matter what I say here, it will never be enough. So, let me share what it has meant for me lately to be a good dad. For me, it means helping my kids live the best story they can—the story they were created for that God ordained them to when they were born. How do I do that?

  • By helping my kids know who God is and who they were created to be more and more each day.

  • By helping them discover their gifts and talents as they explore the world around them.

  • By walking alongside them as they fail and succeed in life.

  • By not sheltering them from the difficult things but supporting them through those hard times instead.

  • By laughing with them and crying with them whenever the occasions arise.

  • By admitting when I don’t know the answers and saying “I’m sorry” when I mess up.

  • And generally by living life with them every day.

Overcoming a dad’s shortcomings is a challenge for all of us. Maybe you had a father growing up who abused you or ignored you. Perhaps you have been that sort of father in the past. The world is full of so many examples of not-so-great fathers, so much so that some people bristle at the idea of God being Father since they have never seen an example of a good father. None of us can totally overcome the bad things that some fathers have done in this world, but we need to acknowledge them and even recognize our own shortcomings as fathers. Asking your kids to forgive you when you’ve messed up can go a long way to healing any hurts that might exist between you and your kids. And working every day to be the best father you can be helps your relationship with your kids and, in the end, their relationship with God their Father as well.

Pointing to the ultimate Father God in heaven is truly an earthly father’s ultimate goal. If, at the end of our journeys as dads here on this earth, our kids tell us that we pointed them to their heavenly Father throughout our lives, we have succeeded as dads in this world. We are called to be examples of who our heavenly Father is daily in all our interactions with our kids. Take that role seriously and do whatever it takes to point your kids to their heavenly Father each day.

Want to do a deep dive? Check out Family Fire's article Dad to Dad: Successful Parenting

Bret Lamsma

Bret Lamsma

Bret Lamsma is the Director of Faith Formation at First Christian Reformed Church in Denver, Colorado. He has also served churches in California and Michigan. He has a passion for youth ministry and intergenerational ministry in the local church. When he isn’t working at church or writing he enjoys hanging out with his wife and 2 children, hiking, woodworking, and watching movies.

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