10 Traits of Highly Effective Dads


I’ll start off by saying what you already know.  There is no silver bullet or magic potion when it comes to making great dads.  I wish it were that easy, as it could have saved me from many painful fatherhood fiascos.  Yet, we can gain great insights from Scripture and from gleaning from some godly fathers that have gone before us.

Over the past decade, I’ve been blessed to serve alongside men doing all they can to be the best dads they can be.  While each one of these men have their unique styles, they definitely share some common traits or focus points that make them effective within their fatherhood roles.  I have personally been blessed by being around these men and want to share some of the insights I’ve gained.

Some of these should be no-brainers.  However, if you’re like me, we sometimes need reminded of the basics.  My dad was great in driving this point home.  He often related this truth to sports.  However, the veracity of this maxim holds true in almost any area of life:  If something isn’t going well, make sure the fundamentals or basics are getting done.  Too often during life’s chaotic times, we forget the basics and pay the price.  As a matter of fact, I’ll go ahead and include this fatherhood truism within our 10 Traits of Great Dads.

10 Traits of Effective Dads

  1. They keep their lives de-compartmentalized.  They are the same man, husband and father regardless of where and when.  This directly connects to the character of these men.  None are perfect, but I would trust everyone of them with my kids.
  2. They realize that their manhood and fatherhood is directly tied to their relationship with God.  This means time in God’s Word, time in prayer and time with God’s people is an essential part of their lives.
  3. If still married, they uphold their wives as their number one friend and co-worker in life.  They realize that loving their wives is one of the greatest things they could ever give their kids and they protect their marriage like it’s their life.
  4. They practice the discipline of meekness.  They exemplify the combination of humility and strength.   Men need to be strong for their families not at their families.  These great dads get this idea well.  In these homes, yelling and abuse of any kind is never tolerated.
  5. They’ve tied their hearts to the hearts of their children.  There is a very special God-given bond that they cherish and cultivate on a daily basis.  This means they are always looking to create heart-moments with their kids, especially when it comes to sharing God’s love and truth with them.

[Click here to read the rest of this great article by JT Waresak]

 

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How your environment – good or bad – shapes your life and the life your family.


waiting to hear from GodWhen you look in the mirror, who do you see? Do you like the man looking back at you? Do you like his attitude? Do you trust his judgment?  Is he a good father and/or husband?  Is he who you dreamed he’d be?

There are probably some things you like and other things you wish you could do away with. Whatever your thoughts on the man you see, there have been many things through the years to help form the package you are – many of them were even out of your control.  For now we’ll refer to these experiences as the environment we grew up in.  To help explain how our environment plays such an important role in our life and in the lives of children, let me share the following:

“There is a story told of a farmer who took a small pumpkin and placed it inside a glass jug.  The pumpkin grew.  When the farmer broke the jug, he found that the pumpkin had become the exact size and shape of the jug.  The pumpkin had been molded by the jug!  What has molded you into what you have become? The far more important question, however, is, what is now molding you into what you will become?”

This is an excerpt from the book “How to Become a Great Man of God” by James Stone and it’s an excellent illustration of how our environment shapes us as children and continues to shape us in our adult years.  What are some of the things that helped shape you into the man you are today?

  1. Your parents and/or others who raised you.
  2. Your childhood friends.
  3. The community you grew up in.
  4. The church you attended (or did not attend).
  5. The circumstances and experiences you were subjected to as a child and into your teen years.

These things and more make up the “jar” you grew up in and shaped you into the man you are mentally, spiritually, relationally, and even physically in some cases.  Can you see why it’s so important for us men to create positive environments for our children and other children around us?  We can’t always control the neighborhood we live in or the school our child attends but we can control the environment of our home.  Is it positive? Encouraging?  Loving? Fun?  Are there clear rules for behavior and interaction? Do you share God’s word with your kids through family devotions and prayer?  Being intentional with our family and the atmosphere of our home will allow us to positively impact our kids – not just for the day, but for life.  For LIFE.  Take a minute to think about that.  What we do today affects who the men and women our sons and daughters will grow to be and how they will perceive the world around them.

We have a big job, guys!  That’s why it’s so important for us men to surround ourselves with positive, godly friends and mentors.  The environment we surround ourselves with significantly impacts our view of the world as men – just as our home environment does for our children.  Who we take advice from, what we watch on television and internet, what music we listen to, and what thoughts we dwell on all create the frame through which we view the world.  And the way we see the world, the advice we take from others, and the quality of our relationship with God all affect our family.  You can hopefully see the importance of being intentional with our own environment as much as that of our kids!

Neither being a godly man nor providing a positive, encouraging environment in your home will come by accident.  It comes only by decision – intentional manhood – and that comes only through the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit each day in our lives. We will still fail at times.  We’ll still have some regrets.  But the successes will far outweigh the failures and in future years our children will look back and appreciate the man of God they call Daddy.

Join “The Courageous Project”.


courageous project1

I’m starting the interesting task of gathering stories from men of all ages telling of a time when they acted courageously.

It’s called “The Courageous Project” and I want YOU to be a part of it.

The goal is to have at least 100 stories of regular men doing courageous things.  Not stupid things.  Not necessarily even dangerous things. Courageous things.

Things like these…

1.  A time when you acted with integrity and it cost you.

2.  A situation when you had to stand strong even when it seemed things were caving in around you.

3.  A time when you had to make a decision that was not popular with friends or family but was the right thing to do.

4.  A time when you had to make a tough business decision but you acted with integrity.

5.  Maybe it was something dangerous that you did, not for fun or to be seen, but because it was the right thing to do in the situation. You put the well-being of others above your own.

Whatever your story is, I want to hear it.  No matter how simple or common you think your story is, share it.  Your experience may change the life of another man who is facing the same thing you went through.

Here’s a sample of a story that a man shared with me earlier this week…


Leroy’s Story

I met Leroy at a store the other day and started a conversation with him. After we talked for a while, I asked him this question:

“What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?”

“Fighting in the Vietnam War.” was his answer.

He shared one of his stories with me, as well. He was manning an M-60 in a pit by a bunker when a mortar landed right near him and knocked him unconscious. While he was out, the Lord spoke to him and changed his life forever.  He serves the Lord to this day and is thankful for his Savior.

Fighting in an unpopular war for the freedom of others is courageous.  So is fighting the spiritual battle for your family’s freedom from sin and bondage.

So what’s the most courageous thing you’ve ever done? It could be a thousand different things so don’t sell yourself short!  Whether you’re young, middle-aged, or older, look back over your life and share your most courageous moment so far.

Your story may inspire someone else to stand strong when backing down seems like a good option.

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Will you please take time to share this with people you know on Facebook and other media outlets?  Let’s get the stories coming in!

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Share your story here!