This morning as I dropped Cooper off for school, I told him, “Coop, don’t forget that you are by far my most favorite elementary school kid.” From the grin on his face, I could tell I’d said something right.
God has blessed me with four incredible boys. As their father I want to be proactive in raising them. They are one of the biggest ministries in my life right now. I’d rather fail as a minister, a missionary or a businessman, than fail at fatherhood. Fathers play an essential roll in the lives of their children. Want proof? About 5 miles west of Childress is a prison that houses 1200 men. National statistics say, “85% of those sitting in prison today grew up in a fatherless home.” That just SCREAMS the importance and power fathers play in the lives of their children.
I got to thinking this morning if I could make Cooper’s day by simply telling him, “He was my favorite elementary school kid,” then what other things do my children need to be hearing from me. I may be wrong, but I’m guessing here are 7 phrases that children desperately need to hear from both their parents … but especially their fathers ….
- “I’m SO glad you’re my son/daughter.” Let them know you wouldn’t trade anything in this world for them.
- “I love you.“ Dad, let those kids hear it … regularly.
- “I’m proud of you.” Children crave their father’s approval, so let them know they have it. Let them know you’re their biggest fan and you believe in them.
- “I’m sorry.” This is HUGE, dads! We are FAR from being perfect fathers so “I’m sorry” has to be a regular part of our vocabulary. Don’t be too cool, big or prideful to say, “I messed up.” You model for them how to handle a mistake.
- “Want to do something together?” Whether it’s wrestling in the floor, catching a baseball game or jumping on a trampoline … NOTHING builds lasting memories like playing together. Nothing communicates love more than time.
- “God comes first.” We must communicate and model that the #1 relationship in their life is God.
- “Do what is right.” As a dad we must practice what we preach. If we preach integrity, character and doing what is right, we need to model it.
Can you think of other phrases that our children need to hear?