Throughout the years of being a father as I mentioned in early post I had to learn on the fly. I did not always want to do things with the kids or be bothered by them but thanks be to God that he convicted me of that very early in my time of being a father. That is why I am writing this today. Many times fathers lack the ability to be present in the lives of their children. They are physically there but they are still missing in action. I ask some of my coworkers and friends what grade their child is in or what their teachers name is and they have no clue. They are present but very absent at the same time. If you don’t know what grade your child is in and you live in the same house then you are absent. I am going to give a quick list of ways that you can be present with your children and it wont take much time out of your already stressful life because it is things that you are already doing just not with the right mindset.
Pray With Your Children
This is something that has to be mentioned in the very beginning we are Christians none the less. If you take a few minutes to pray with your children daily then you are setting the stage for being present in their lives. Prayer gives us the ability to see into the lives of our children without having to be around them at all moments. My wife and I pray for and with our children daily and because of this there are times when our children are out doing things and we tell them what they are doing over the phone when we are talking with them. God gives us the ability to be present with them even when we are absent. If we are praying with our children this verse will hold steady Ephesians 6:4 reads “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” MEV. If we are praying with our children then we are present with them and we are giving them instruction that they can carry with them the rest of their days.
Play With Your Children
A lot of times the moments that are children remember about us as fathers are the times that we have done fun things with them. Their first time doing what ever it is that they thought was so amazing will stick with them forever and sometimes with you to. It can be simple things like playing catch with your children or even playing dress up and having tea parties. It is not about what you play it is that you play. You will notice smiles on their faces, you will hear them talk about it with their friends. The times we play with them will be written down in the memory bank of everyone of your children. It will give them memories that they will be able to look back on and be like My dad did that with me. This is a loose interpretation of this scripture but relevant for what we are talking about Zechariah 8:5 reads “And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.” KJV. If we are playing with our children we are present and giving them memories to always look back on.
Praise Your Children
This praise could have a twofold meaning I could have said praise with your children and been really churchy but it would have fit the mold on how to be present. However, this form of praise will help you better than the praise with. Give your children praise. There are going to be times in life when your children are not going to be having a good day and some encouraging words from dad will get them over the bridge. This hit home for me because this step to being present is were at times I lack. I have spent some extensive time in the military and we are not always keen on giving a lot of praise even when it is merited. It also hits home because I have a child that at times doesn’t feel like she is appreciated. She feels like sometimes she doesn’t do anything right. So this proves to me that even with my children I have to take time to show and give them praise. If I can praise strangers for doing good things then why can’t I praise my own children when they do things that are good. Knowing this we can’t get stuck in the mindset that we must only praise our children when they are doing things that are good. We must praise them just for being our children. David wrote in Psalms 139:14 “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works: and that my soul knoweth right well.” KJV. David was speaking about praising God for these reasons but look at all the things that we are able to praise our children for. We can praise them just because they are fearfully and wonderfully made.
The purpose of being present in the lives of our children is important not just for the wellbeing of the child but the well being of you as the father. You need them as much as they need you that is why God blessed you with them. Take out some time to be present with your children today.
Yours in Christ,
A Christian Dad