Life Skills Relationships

Fathers and Children

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As warrior-aged men fall in love, get married, and have children, the time comes when those little bambinos grow up. You graduate from diapers and nursing to crawling, walking, and talking. Personalities come forth and as a dad, you want them to shine as they become young men and young ladies. 

It is so easy to fall into a routine of working hard to provide for the family only to disengage from them all for the sake of “dad-lone” time. As your kids get older, they might not be racing to the door to greet you after work, but their hearts are wired by God to find delight and validation from you.

Hopefully, you are a man who claims to love Jesus. If so, you have within you an AMAZING supernatural power to love on your kids in a way that is best for both their souls and yours. The opposite of loving your kids is to provoke them into anger. To be honest, no dad wants to discourage their kids, but as men, we often let anger build pressure inside us only to lose it with the kids.

Ephesians 6:4 – Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

The story is told of a 12-year-old boy who desperately wanted to surprise his dad by mowing the yard before he got home from work. It took him a while, but he figured out how to start the mower and push it around the yard.

When dad drove into the driveway the son ran out the front door with a beaming smile to greet his dad. That smile quickly turned to a frown and tears.

“What did you do son?”

“I wanted to surprise you and mow the lawn. You’ve worked so hard and I wanted to help you out.”

“Look at all those areas you missed. Here and here and over there.”

Instead of affirming his son, he cut him down, with anger. The boy ran to his bedroom bawling. That painful exchange stayed with the boy for decades. Now, as a dad himself with a 12-year-old son, he chose to take a different approach.

Let’s be honest, what 12-year-old mows the lawn perfectly? 

When he arrived home from work he saw the lawn had been cut. His son ran out the door beaming with a smile from ear to ear!

“Dad how did I do?  I did it for you dad!”

With a tear in his eye, the dad recalled the same experience when he was 12. He pulled his son close and said.

“Son, I am so pleased with you! Thank you for taking the initiative to cut the lawn and surprise me!”

The son responded.  “I’m sure it’s not the best job done, ’cause it’s my first try, but I hope you like it, dad.”

“I do son. I truly do.”  

“Can you show me sometime dad, how to use the weed trimmer?”

That led to a father-son time when dad could speak to his boy who was becoming a man.

Bringing up your children in the Lord means you do it with a teachable heart yourself. You, learning from God and from godly mentors in your life so that you can speak the Lord’s life and discipline into the next generation.

Your kids will one day thank you for it.

Follow this Instagram reel for a great example of a dad speaking affirmation and validation into the life of his son.

Warrior On!

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

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