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  • Nate Click

Balancing being dad

MONROE – Being a dad is hard. It's one of the greatest privileges we can have, but it's hard. It's hard because no two kids are alike. What specific strategy worked perfectly for your firstborn is all but guaranteed to fail for your second. And once you think you've started to figure out your child, they enter another stage of growth and development, and you wonder when your baby became a young adult.



This is on top of all your other responsibilities. In the life of the godly father, we must work to find balance and place a priority on what matters. Here are some principles that fathers everywhere can apply that will help you navigate the challenges of modern life while modeling discipleship for those growing up in your care.

 

Walk with God


I know you know this, but my desire is that you will be stirred up by way of this reminder. It can be easy to relegate our relationship with God to a checklist, or even to neglect it altogether for the business and stress of the immediate. Don't give in to this temptation. How has God been speaking to you through His word? What prayer have you been begging God to answer? How have you been refreshed in godly community? Being a godly dad requires being godly.

 

Spend Time with Your Family


Husbands are called to love their wives like Jesus loved His church—sacrificially. In part, this means saying "no" to other things so you can say yes to your wife. Moses told the people of Israel to teach their children diligently including when they were sitting at home, taking a walk, going to bed at night, and getting up in the morning. This requires you to be there for these everyday moments, dad. There will be times for all of us that we miss these events on occasion, but is that the rule or exception in your home? Your family needs you more than your church or your job. Your church will call another pastor after you. Your children only have one dad.

 

Prioritize Open Communication


Your children will learn a lot from you, but they will also learn a lot without you. Recently our dinner table turned into a discussion of all the inappropriate words my elementary-aged children know. After discussing why some words are appropriate and good while others aren't words that we want to use, my wife and I were grateful that our children were willing to ask us about things they were unsure about without fear of judgment. This can obviously be more difficult at different stages of life and growth, but even (and maybe especially) moms and dads should be quick to hear and slow to speak. Learn to listen to your children. If they don't believe they can speak openly at home, they'll find somewhere else that they can.

 

Seek Community


Don't try to do it alone. Surround yourself with other dads doing their best to be godly examples for their families. Be involved in the men's ministry of your church as much as you're able. If there isn't one, talk to your pastor about how you can help get one off the ground. After all, two are better than one because they have a good reward for their labor. Lean into the opportunity for growth that is only possible as iron sharpens iron and friends sharpen friends.


Embrace Grace


Be quick to extend grace to your children. There will be days that they won't listen. There will be times when they hear exactly what you're saying and choose to do the opposite. Don't grow weary in doing good, dad. But embrace the grace that God has shown to you and pass that along to your children. And while we're at it, give yourself grace. In the moments that you respond in ways that you regret, acknowledge it, and repent of it knowing that the grace of God is what gives us the ability to be a godly dad anyway.

 

Give Them Jesus


You can be what many would consider a good parent without being a godly parent, but you will do your kids a disservice by doing so. Instead, all the other principles ought to serve to strengthen the relationship that you have with your children to help them lay this foundation for themselves. If they choose what our culture calls good without embracing Jesus, they are building their life on sand while a rock is ready to give them stability and salvation. You are the primary tool for discipleship in the life of your children. Give them Jesus.


 




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nate Click has served as the Senior Pastor at Heritage Baptist Church in Monroe, MI, since 2021. He also serves as a member of the Southeastern Baptist Association Leadership Team.




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