Nothing is more important to me than raising my 4 boys. And as a dad, I don’t want to be “just a father,” I want to be an “unforgettable father.”
So how can I become an unforgettable father? Where do I go to find an example of an unforgettable father? What can I say to my children that will affect them for a life time.
Notice what God said to His Son: “When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Luke 3:21-22
Here are 4 Phrases “Unforgettable Fathers” Use on a Regular Basis:
1. I Claim You.
- God told His son, “You are MY Son…”
- Unforgettable fathers tell their children, “I’m so glad you are mine,” and “I wouldn’t trade you for anything in the world.” Do you know that children who have fathers who bless them, tell them they are special and are actively involved in their lives are more likely to succeed in all areas of their lives? (More on that later this week.) Children need to hear from their dads how special they are. Don’t take for granted that they know, just tell them.
2. I Love You.
- God told His son, “… whom I LOVE …”
- Unforgettable fathers show their children an irrational love. I remember doing a funeral for a Christian man who had raised a beautiful Christian daughter. But, I remember hugging her neck, and as she wept she kept saying over and over, “I know my dad loved me, but why didn’t he ever tell me.” Children need to hear their fathers say, “I love you.”
3. I’m Proud of You.
- God told His son, “…in Him I am well PLEASED.”
- Unforgettable fathers tell their children, “I believe in you,” and “I’m your biggest fan.” Children need that affirmation from their dads. Just like the little boy who grabbed the football and told his dad, “I’m going to the back yard to kick the football. You come out with me and say ‘good job.'” When is the last time we told our kids “good job.” I still remember flubbing up my first ever sermon. I knew I had stunk-up-the-show. Following the service, my dad was one of the first to meet me down front to tell me, “Great job. It was the best sermon I’ve ever heard.” Unforgettable fathers tell their children, “I’m proud of you.”
4. I’m Sorry.
- God was the perfect father so He never had to say He was sorry to Jesus.
- I’m far from the perfect father, so “I’m sorry” has to be a regular part of my vocabulary. I fail as a parent more times than I’d like to remember. I fail to love unconditionally. I’m often selfish and controlling. Sometimes I discipline out of anger and not love. So the question is, what do I do with my failures? I ask my children to forgive me. I’m not too big or prideful to say, “I messed up.” And hopefully I model for them how to handle a mistake. I believe unforgettable fathers are able to tell their children, “I’m sorry.”
Four phrases I need to add to my regular vocabulary. Three of them I learn from the greatest Father of all. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be just a father, I want to be an unforgettable father.
Can you think of a time in your life where your father blessed you in one of these ways? How about sharing one?