Fatherhood

Keith Knight

“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”  Ephesians 4:29

Tony Dungy, the first African-American head coach to win a Super Bowl (2007), retired from football in 2009 to invest more in his family and to positively impact husbands and fathers. When Dungy was an assistant coach, he reflected on the role of men and he remembers going back to a statement he heard from Chuck Noll, the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers' at the time.  Noll told him, "As a coach, your only job is to help your players play better.  "In the family, God has given men the responsibility of focusing on their wife and children with the purpose of bringing about their success.  Dungy says, "Your job is to help your family be the best they can be, to help your kids grow up better, to help your wife be a better woman."

Husbands and fathers are truly blessed by God.  It comes down to perspective.  Husbands and fathers have been given a priceless gift in this life.  God has given you the gift of pointing your wife and children to Him.  God has given you the responsibility and the gift of loving and leading your family.  As such, your actions matter, and how you choose to live your life makes a difference in the lives of everyone who knows you.

Research points out that almost all children generally do better academically, emotionally, physically and spiritually, when fathers are actively involved and participating in their lives.  Children grow and thrive most when fathers recognize the need to be actively present and provide a warm, open understanding relationship; a relationship that cultivates an environment where children are not afraid of sharing life experiences with their father.  One area that a father can make a huge impact with their children is with their words.  Words matter and words can either encourage or destroy.  Our kids need to hear positive words that build them up. Children need words that are heart-felt, loving and supportive…words that provide Godly wisdom and counsel.

I encourage everyone to practice using the following words to build up and support your family:

I love you unconditionally.
I respect you unconditionally.
I believe and have faith in you.
I’m praying for you.
I’m sorry, will you forgive me?
I’m always here for you.
I’m very proud of you.
I’m more concerned about your character and integrity than your reputation.

What comes to your mind when you think of the word “father”?  What edifying words can you use to build up your family?  What type of legacy do you want to leave?  How will your family remember you?

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