As part of the 1C13P Father’s Day posts, the men on the team and a number of guests were asked to blog on various aspects of fatherhood. I would like to introduce you to my husband, Scott. He and I have been married for 24 years and are the parents of two teenage boys. He’s an incredible husband and dad! Enjoy his thoughtful words on fathering.
One of the attributes of being a good dad is dedication. Being a father is a life-long commitment. I want my boys to see me as a man committed to their mom and our family, putting their needs before my own. Truly, once you’re a dad, you’re in it for the long haul. Whether it’s taking off the training wheels or talking through the college decision, dads have a tremendous opportunity to speak into the lives of their children.
But having fun is a big part of fathering well too. Dads tend to be the “fun guys”, encouraging risk-taking, adventure, and horseplay. (Much to the dismay of moms at times.) Kids look to dad for encouragement and strength to step outside the comfort zone. My boys have become adventurous. Both are Eagle Scouts, hunters, and fishermen. We enjoy being outside together, especially downhill skiing. Over the years, we’ve spent a lot of time in the great outdoors as a family.
In my opinion, fathers today need to hug more and shake hands less. In generations past, hugs moved into handshakes at an early age for men with their boys. Boys need physical love too, from both Mom and Dad.
Showing affection is also listening, asking good questions, and sometimes just being there, especially when the going gets rough. The best conversations I’ve had with my boys over the years have been at bedtime when the distractions are minimal. Hearts are unburdened in the quiet darkness and conversations flow easily. A car, a boat or a campfire can also be a great place to talk with kids candidly or just to listen.
Affection is also apologizing when a mistake has been made, and I make a lot of them. Owning up to my mistakes will hopefully help the boys to do the same. I try really hard to live by Ephesians 4:26, “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” Clearing the air makes everyone sleep better at night.
In leading my family, I’m responsible for teaching my kids to be the men God has called them to be. It’s not my job to be my kids’ best friend. I need to be the dad, which can be hard sometimes. Saying, “Yes” is so much easier that “No”. (Neither one of my kids have ever thanked me for doling out a consequence for their poor behavior either.)
I’ve found prayer in a necessity. Each night Becky and I pray together. It’s amazing how much we pray for our teens! The two of us pray the boys are godly men, protected from harm and making good decisions.
Part of disciplining kids is being on the same page as Mom. Team parenting is so much more effective. When Becky and I haven’t talked over a situation, it’s easy for the boys to play one of us off the another.
Being a father is the toughest job I’ve ever had but definitely the most rewarding. Dedication, affection, and discipline are three characteristics I lean into as a dad. I wouldn’t trade my job for the world!
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him…
Scott is the husband of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting co founder, Becky.