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Being “The Father” can be the title on your kids birth certificate or being “Father” can be the person you are in the life of your kids.

To transition from title to person takes intentionality.

Parents and 2 kids


Image courtesy of Ambro at


My favorite thing about my dad is that he has been like a father to me.

I, and my kids, are lucky because my dad lives a life worth emulating.

The question for us is this…are you and I being an example worth following?

Using F.A.T.H.E.R. I’d like to share six characteristics to “BE” a great father.

  • BE Faithful to your word…including boundaries you’ve set for your kids and the rewards or discipline you have promised. Be faithful to your family. If you have kids, you don’t cheat on your spouse…you cheat on your family.
  • BE an Advisor At a certain point for your kids, your relationship will transition from authority over them to influencer of them.
  • BE There Leave the smartphone in the car when you get home, at a restaurant or at an extracurricular activity for your kid. If your phone is your camera, put it in airplane mode. See what I did there? I took away the lame excuse for having your phone with you,
      • Spend time together balanced across:
        • doing what your kids enjoy,
        • introducing them to new experiences and
        • sharing with them what you enjoy.
  • BE the Head of the Household. This goes wayyyy beyond your income tax filing status. I don’t mean having authoritarian dominance over your family. But, at the end of they day; regardless of which spouse “brings home the bacon” and which one cooks it…the father is ultimately held responsible. A father is to be the spiritual leader. Ensuring his kids are being raised on Biblical truth rooted in a healthy relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • BE an Example The saying, “Do as I say, not as I do” makes you sound stupid and hypocritical..bluntness intended. Please….for every parent reading this….if you disagree with everything I’ve said, or you only remember one thing. Please remember this: More is Caught Than is Taught. Be the father you want your kids to follow by being the father you would want to follow.
  • BE Relatable Your kids should know that they can always approach you and find understanding, empathy, grace, mercy, fairness and firmness. This isn’t saying they will approach you. But they should know they can.

A dad can learn, practice and grow the skills to be a great father. (That’s Tweetable)

Recap: Be faithful with your words and generous with your words of love and encouragement. Advise patiently with lots of love & grace. Be fully there with love whenever you can. Be the head of the household leading well with love while providing physical, emotional and spiritual shelter. Make sure you set a loving example while practicing what you preach. Finally, be Relatable by being patient & gentle yet firm in your guidance and correction out of an abundance of love.

These come from research, considering the example of my father and input from my Facebook page where I asked; “What is the one word you would use to describe what a dad should be most to his kids ________________?”  I have another question posted currently for a guest post my wife is going to write for next week on how mom’s can be great moms.  Let Marissa know, “What is the one word you would use to describe what a mother should be most to her kids ___________________?”

Reading this in my email newsletter or in your RSS reader? I would love to interact with you in the comments for this post.

What word would you add?  Which idea would you expand on?  Which of these ideas would you like to see an entire post about?

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