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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5 Ways for Husbands and Wives to Face the Holidays as a Team.


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When it comes to the joy and the stress of the holidays, how do you and your spouse approach it? As a united team? Or do tinsel, gift giving, and extended family get-togethers turn you against each other?

If you and your spouse are struggling to face the holidays together, here are 5 ways you can navigate the season hand-in-hand rather than back-to-back.

1. Set Expectations Together

As a couple, what do you want this holiday season to be like? It could be you prefer relaxed and simple. Or perhaps you enjoy lots of traditions and activity. Take the time to talk about this in advance and determine together what your holiday expectations are as a couple. This can include how much you’ll spend on gifts, where you’ll celebrate, and even what’s on the menu. For some husbands and wives, it may be easy to agree. For others though, it’ll mean being willing to compromise in order to find a happy medium.

2. Spend Dedicated Time Together

In the craziness of the holidays, don’t forfeit time with each other. Schedule date nights in advance and then stick to them. Be committed to them just like you would an office party or an extended family dinner. Time together will make sure that you stay connected in the hustle and bustle of the season.

[Read the rest of this article at CrossWalk.com]

Are there still real men in the young generation? **Minor Adult Content Warning**


waiting to hear from GodI was on Facebook this morning, as you quite possibly were, catching up on what people had planned for the weekend, looking at photos of their landscaping efforts, and scrolling through family and pet pics.  As I was scanning through I came across a comment that I just couldn’t ignore.  After you read this, some of you may think I should have.  But I didn’t – and I’m glad.  The post was from someone who had recently shared a picture of a ship they had been early in their military career.  “No big deal” you say.  “Average Facebook post”  you say.  Correct, no big deal, average post.  The thing that really caught my attention was the first comment immediately below the post.  It simply read as follows:

“I knocked a chick up on that thing.”

 

Should I have ignored the comment and minded my business since I knew neither the person who posted nor the one who responded?  Some would probably say yes but I’m not one of those people.  And as a dad of 4 young daughters, I felt inclined to share my feelings on his response.  Here’s what I said:

” The sad thing is you sound proud of that. That “chick” is someone’s daughter and that baby you made when you “knocked her up” will grow up and know that “some guy” got her mom pregnant and split. I hope you feel differently than you actually posted. Not trying to get in your business but man, it’s more than just knocking up some chick.”

 

Men, are we a lost cause?

Let me answer quickly…. No.  We’re not.  No matter what the world says and no matter how far it seems like we’ve deviated from who God intended us to be, we are not a lost cause.  The problem is, however, that our world is filled with young men like this one who, for one reason or another, do not respect the women they encounter in their life.  Maybe their dad wasn’t there and they were raised by a hardworking single mother.  The dad wasn’t a dad, just a sperm donor who walked away from his fatherhood responsibility. Maybe his dad was there and set a poor example by the disrespectful way he treated their mother.  Maybe he’s just imitating what he sees the guys around him doing and is too weak to make a decent judgement call on his own.  Whatever the reason, no matter how poorly he may act, he is not a lost cause.

How can we stimulate change and help awaken the conscience and integrity of the off-course men around us?

One way is by standing against the perversion, disrespect, and filth around us.  Not in a condescending way, trying to act like we have it all together.  That won’t work.  But we do it boldly, passionately, and Spirit-lead.  As I was typing out my first response to the individual, I was thinking about the possible repercussions of me posting a comment to a total stranger but I still hit send without much hesitation.  Why?  Because it’s time for men of God to be the men of God we are called to be and to encourage those around us to be the same!  God has a purpose for each and every man who is on this earth.  Why should I be content with just making it in my own life?  Shouldn’t I be just as eager to see you make it?  To see my family members make it?  To see that guy on Facebook make it?

It is totally within reasonable thinking to assume that this young guy didn’t see anything wrong with his comment initially.  But you know what?  Later in the long list of comments, he admitted that his comment was out of line.  Those weren’t his exact words but I can’t really write what he said in this blog.  Point is, with the Light shown on the darkness of his comment, it became clear to him that it was not appropriate.  He also proved himself a big and much more admirable man when he admitted that.

I make mistakes all of the time.  I am in no way perfect.  I’m thankful the Lord has put a godly wife beside me and other people around me to show where I need to step it up.  We all need that.  We need to be challenged in our weak areas so that we can become strong.  Jesus Christ alone is the one who can perfect us and make us into the mighty warriors we were created to be.  So don’t be afraid to share that with the men around you.

It may not always be comfortable but standing up for truth and righteousness is always the right thing to do!

Strength & Honor.

Rick