How to be a Good Father
Author: Helen Man
Translator: Kim Ng
Is the role of a father important in a family?
During the past 20 years, people have become aware that in addition to mothers, fathers play a very significant role in the development of children.
Here are some common types of fathers:
Some old fashioned fathers think that they are the supreme bosses of the house and they can make all the decisions for their children, including their majors of studies and whom they should marry. These men are also harsh to their wives and children though they might love them in their hearts.
Some fathers and mothers are so child-centered that they blindly pamper their capricious children. For example, the daughter of Pai Bing-bing, a Taiwanese singer, was murdered by a man who was spoiled by his grandma. Eventually this man faced the death penalty.
Due to long hours of work, some Chinese couples would rather bring their young children back to China to let their old parents babysit them until they grow older. The results are sadly regrettable since they would miss their beloved children’s precious years of early childhood.
Some parents put their career as their top priority and do not spend quality time with their children. They use money to mend fences.
Some other parents love to spend time surfing online: watching news or episodes, and playing games. They ignore their children and spouses even when they are home.
According to the study of 2019 by Pew Research Center, the U.S. ranked the highest in single families among 13 countries. 23% of our children had single parents and that’s 3 times more than these 13 countries.
These children have been traumatized financially and emotionally. Without a father figure, they might have the following issues: emotionally disturbed, school difficulty, premature dating, low self-esteem, depression, antisocial behavior, alcoholism, promiscuity, gang membership, breaking the law, drug abuse, giving up, running away from home, violence, future marital problems, etc. Can we not be concerned about our next generation?
So what makes a good father?
As a good tree bears good fruits. A father with integrity is a good example to his children.
To be a good father, one must first become a loyal husband. He protects his marriage and family by keeping his wedding vow for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health. He will cherish his wife and children so that they don’t need to suffer financially and emotionally.
A good father has a kind heart with a strong will. He is upright, honest, trustworthy, consistent, gracious, open minded, and foresighted. He is a true man when he stays on track in any circumstances. He also considers the ideas of his wife and children when making family decisions and eventually becomes the real “head of the household”.
Favoritism causes harm to both the spoiled and the less favored ones. The former might turn out to be reckless lawbreakers while the latter could be jealous and bitter.
Parents must be consistent with their children about what they say or do. Threats don’t work.
Both parents need to be on the same page when it comes to discipline. At times, one can play the role of reprimand and the other of encouragement. Remember not to bring up past mistakes.
Being present and approachable, attentive listening and providing wise guidance is more effective than spoiling children with materialistic possessions. Admitting your own mistakes could earn their respect.
Bringing your children to Christ is far more important than giving them luxury and enjoyment. The Bible says: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” (John 3:36)
However, our lifetime on earth is brief and even the best parents have to leave their children behind: “We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope.” (1 Chronicles 29:15)
Our Heavenly Father is eternal and never changes. If you confess your sins, repent, and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, God will bless you with eternal life.
Would you take this time to get to know this true God of the universe?