God has been taking me on a fatherhood journey lately. I have been asking Him to show me how to be a better dad and a more compassionate one. Basically, I want to be more like Him as a dad.
He has begun showing me things and teaching me things that I thought I already knew. Funny how that works. We think we have the answers because of how we were raised. We think that the way we were raised will work with our own kids, but that is not always the truth.
As a dad I am learning through testimonies of other dads that I really don’t have to be a drill sergeant when it comes to discipline. One very important thing that keeps coming up in nearly everything I am reading is so very critical.
Men are hardwired to be strong and tough. We are wired to carry the weight of the family. This means that we need to be mentally and emotional strong, not stone cold. It is also part of our DNA to be physically strong. So, off to the gym we go to bulk up and build up all that muscle. Before I go down that road, I am going to say that this can be a good thing for our mental and emotional stability, but it can be carried too far if left unchecked. There needs to be some balance between looking fit, muscular, healthy and looking like someone on steroids.
Consider that for a moment. What is your definition of being a dad? As men, we are powerhouses of strength and at times can be very intimidating to our kids. Because men have a natural tendency to want to fight off the person who is bullying his wife or kids, we need to learn that we don’t need to show off all that strength all the time.
Proverbs 16:7 tells us that fathers are the glory of their kids. It actually will read different than this, but it’s what it says. The word used for glory means weight or heaviness. It is also used for honor in other places. In this context, it shows me a picture of God and His nature.
God is merciful and gracious. He is slow to anger. Are you seeing this? Because of all the sins I have committed, I should be dead. I should have died a long time ago, but because of the blood of Jesus Christ, God extends grace and mercy to me so that I can learn to be more like Him.
The Bible paints a picture of God that is so awesome and astounding. One time we look at Him and we see a God who just destroys everything and everyone. The next time we look, He is healing someone and making them whole or He is restoring life and loving the unlovable.
He could very easily snuff me out in the twinkling of an eye. He could so easily send me to hell. He could push me to my knees in not so humble submission to Him. But he relents because He loves me and knows me as His child.
I am learning that just because I am a man who happens to be a dad doesn’t mean that I need to exert all of my strength on discipline. I need to let them know that I could destroy them, but I won’t because I love them and they are my kids. I am not talking about psychobabble here. I mean that my kids need to see a dad who genuinely loves them. This means they need to see that while I might have a forceful, warring side, they need to see me equally as a dad who loves and cares for them and would never intentionally hurt them.
They need to learn that I am a dad who means business when it’s a disciplinary matter. They need to feel safe with me and know they can trust and love me, but also know that they do not want to provoke the wrath of dad.
Someone once said that just because you might drive a car with a lot of power at high rpms doesn’t mean you should always drive at those high rpms. It will damage your car and could possibly cause a wreck.
Stronger is not always better.