What are Your Kids “Catching” From You, Dad?
Joey and Carla Link
June 12, 2019
Our son is the father of four young children. On a visit with them recently, I (Joey) had a flashback to a time when I was raising him. He was not happy with us about something and emphatically said he would never parent the way we parented him.
I think every new parent thinks they will know how to parent differently and better than their own parents did with them, and that works on their first child who has both of his/her parent’s undivided attention. But by child #4, what you really want from your children is obedience and a peaceful home and the only way you are going to get it is to teach your children to learn to do what they don’t want to do whether they like it or not.
It is good to fast forward and imagine what kind of parent each of your children is going to be. Ask yourself if you want them to raise their kids the way you are raising them. I can still hear my mother tell me when she didn’t like my friends that “more is caught than taught” and that is true for how your kids see your parenting. They see what you do a lot more than listen to what you say. Carla’s Dad would tell her and her sisters “Don’t do what I do, but do what I tell you too.” That didn’t work for her either.
Many kids grow up turning their backs on God because they can’t comprehend a loving Heavenly Father with the way their earthly father treats them. So, Dad’s how well are you reflecting the character of God to your kids? God wants your kids to look at you the way He wants them to eventually look at Him. What do your kids see reflecting back at them when they look into the mirror of your soul?
I encourage you to grade yourself on the following characteristics of God to see how you are reflecting a loving Heavenly Father to your kids. If you don’t get an “A” or “B” you know what you can work on.
- Loving yet firm (Lamentations 3:22-23)
- Faithfully keeps His promises (2 Corinthians 1:20)
- Holds His kids accountable for wrong-doing. (Micah 6:8)
- Forgives us when we ask for it (1 John 1:9)
- Helps us get back on the right path without guilt (Proverbs 3:5,6)
- Provides for our needs without giving us our wants if we aren’t ready for them (Philippians 4:19)
- Keeps His Word although it might not look the way we want (Psalm 33:4)
- All powerful yet He uses His power to empower us not to enslave us (Psalm 147:5)
- He knows everything we think and do yet he doesn’t use it against us (1 John 3:20)
- He is always with us yet He does not impose Himself on us (Joshua 1:9)
- He is full of wisdom and He gives it to us if we ask for it (James 1:5)
- He is good, patient and kind yet he does not give us too much that would spoil us (1 Corinthians 13:4)
- He is merciful and compassionate when we mess up yet forgives us when we ask for it and does not hold our past against us (James 5:11)
- He helps us strive for excellence when we are determined to achieve it (1 Timothy 2:2-5)
This is the barometer Dads that we need to shoot for. Every Dad should want the best for his kids. Please never forget your kids need and want the best from you as well.
“For you are great and do wondrous things, you alone are God.
Teach me your ways O Lord. That I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.
I give thanks to you O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. For great is your steadfast love toward me.”