“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to the point of resentment with demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive; nor by showing favoritism or indifference to any of them], but bring them up [tenderly, with lovingkindness] in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” – Ephesians 6:4 (Amplified Bible)
“My dad is better than your dad!” Little boys often compare dads. They want to be proud of their dad, and, by proving dad is great, without realizing it, they may be hoping that people may think they, themselves, are great. They are trying to get self value by proving the great value of dad! They want a super dad—a real hero!
With every dad, there will be times when he doesn’t measure up to the expectations of his children, and yes, his wife as well. At these times, it takes more than physical strength to please the family. It takes spiritual strength. Having the spiritual strength is, in many ways, more difficult than having the physical strength to take a stand when not feeling liked or appreciated.
What do kids really want from a dad? They want a dad to be proud of, someone who knows the answers to their problems, and someone to be there when needed. They may want dad to be serious and funny at the same time. Yes, they like to play with dad, but they also want dad to know when to stop playing and be understanding. They want dad to be nice to mom and not hurt her in any way.
Children seem to have an uncanny sense of fairness. In many cases, they sense what is right and what is wrong. When dad makes a mistake—and he will—he needs to “fess” up. if he goes further and points out why it was a mistake, it becomes a good teaching opportunity.
Is it possible that many dads are afraid to be disciplinarians? They may be afraid the children, or their mother, may not like his methods. It seems that some dads shy away from discipling and leave it up to mom. The Bible makes it very clear that dad should be the head of the household. There will probably be times when dad has to talk a little sternly to mom as well. Is it possible that God made women to be soft and men to be firm? As we raised our own four children, I recall many times when I felt that their dad was being too hard on them only to find out later that he was right and I was wrong. This was not always the case. We both made plenty of mistakes. However, it does seem to be harder for moms to be firm when it is needed. Could that be one of the reasons children of single moms often grow up with problems?
The only true super dads there will be in this world are those found in the mind and eyes of their children. It will be done by following God’s Word. It is certainly worth the effort!