Okay, so this Sunday is Father’s Day. We all know that Father’s Day arrives with much less fanfare than Mother’s Day. At church we usually hear a message citing statistics of how terrible fathers in the world are today or we hear a good inspirational message on fathering (my preference). At home, guys are just happy to get a chance to relax, watch a little ESPN, and eat their favorite meal. And of course we work hard to honor our Dads this Father’s Day.
As a young father of three (and one on the way), I thought I’d write a post of what you can do for the fathers in your life, especially the young dads. Most fathers really want to be good dads. But deep down they lack confidence. Our culture hasn’t really lifted up the biblical view of manhood. You turn on sitcoms and you typically see dads as punching bags, either sexually aggressive or hopelessly passive. And so many guys live up (or down) to that.
Sadly, many wives contribute to this by ragging on their husbands as if they are that sitcom guy. But if you want your man to be Good Dad and not Sitcom Dad, then here is one thing you can do. You can believe in him. You can affirm his leadership. You can treat him like a hero in his own home. This is not to say you enable his addictions, feed his adolescent tendencies, or treat him as an untouchable king. If he’s an angry dictator, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t, at times, stand up to him. If he’s passive, it doesn’t mean you should plead with him to be more involved.
But here’s what it means to believe in your husband who is also the father of your children. It means you push him “up” rather than discouraging him “down.” You do this by talking positively about him to your friends. You do this by telling him you believe he can be the man God wants him to be. You do this by supporting him in front of your children so that your children honor him. You do this by gently encouraging him to read the Word, to pray, and to attend church. You’d be surprised what this will do to a man. A man will do just about anything for a woman who has his back.
This is why the Bible says for wives to “reverence” or “respect” their husbands. Because God wired a man in such a way that he needs respect, just as women need love to feed their souls.
Oh, and let the guy watch ESPN instead of the Hallmark Channel on Father’s Day. He’ll really like that.