“For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.”
1 Thessalonians 2:11-13
I love being a father. I don’t know what to do most of the time, but I try to stay eager to learn. The verse above outlines a few of the important things a father can do for his kids – encouraging, comforting, and urging. My children need my encouragement when they struggle with their confidence. They need my comforting when they are learning to navigate disappointment. They need my urging to live to in a way that pleases God as they are enticed by attention and pleasures.
Encouraging, comforting and urging our kids to live their best lives isn’t always easy. As fathers, we can get scared (as much as we hate to admit it) to navigate difficult emotions and situations at home. Here are 3 tips I have learned from several fathers that have helped me become courageous as I navigate my growing family.
1. Take courage
“But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid ”
Matthew 14:27 NIV
Courage doesn’t just come naturally – the Bible says you have to take it. Fear can cause us avoid, deny or abdicate leadership of our home. Fear can cause me to hesitate as I doubt myself and my decisions. I think “take courage” means making a decision to do the things that scare you. Fathers need to acknowledge our fear but then choose to stay involved, embrace responsibility and lead.
Decide to be courageous. In what areas of your parenting have you given in to fear? What situations or emotions have you been avoiding or afraid to address? Admit your fear to your spouse, friends and to God and then decide to take action.
2. Value spirituality
“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. ”
Acts 4:13 NIV
“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and
encourage—with great patience and careful instruction .”
2 Timothy 4:2 NIV
Peter became courageous because of the spiritual influence in his life – spending time with Jesus. We spend time with God when we listen to what he says in the Bible. We often underestimate how much courage we gain from being spiritual and using the Bible in our homes.
The Bible can help us know what to do in any situation. There are so many things we won’t know what to do with or how to respond to, but God’s Word can confidently equip us to correct and encourage our children with great patience and careful instruction.
3. Seek mentorship
“We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God’s service in spreading the
gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith…”
1 Thessalonians 3:2 NIV
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up , just as in fact you are
1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV
We need other fathers to strengthen and encourage us. What other fathers do you have around you that you respect? Look for other men to emulate whose children may be a little older than yours. Look for other fathers who can become peers with you so you can help one another. These relationships can build up your courage.
These were three tips of many other dads that have influenced me to parent with courage.
Take the time to ask yourself the questions in an effort to be what God needs you to be for your family:
- In what areas of your home do you need to “take courage” and lead?
- Do you spend time the Bible in order to gain courage you need?
- Who are your mentors that are putting courage in you?
God has great plans for our families. As fathers, we have to decide to be courageous in our leadership to make our homes strong.