Being a Good Father Even When You Didn’t Have a Good Role Model

Congratulations, the day has come, and you are embarking on the greatest adventure of your life. As you are holding an incredibly fragile new life in your arms for the first time, an intense feeling of joy washes over you as you suddenly realize – you are a Dad.  Then, just as quickly, a new emotion emerges in your consciousness – Fear. 

There may be a feeling that the lack of a father in your life makes you less prepared to be a father than someone who had one. There may be some level of truth in that but there is nothing that disqualifies you nor prevents you from being a great father. 

The truth about you

Life comes at us hard, very hard at times. To the men out there who did not have a dad and are faced with learning to be one on your own, my heart goes out to you. Being denied the relationship with a father at an early age is one of life’s toughest hardships.

The truth about you is this:  everything you need, to accomplish the purpose for which you were created, is within you. It is ingrained in every man. Each has a sovereign right to know what it means to be a man and a father. No one can take your power away from you without your permission. If you will approach the raising of your children with a pure heart that seeks only to do what's best for them, you will instinctively know what to do. 

Sometimes that means making tough decisions. Sometimes it means that you are going to make mistakes. Our purpose is not to be perfect nor to ensure our children’s comfort. Rather it is to see that they enter adulthood, equipped with the life skills necessary to deal with the realities of a complex and difficult world.

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Overprotection will rob them of their chance to grow, and the opportunity to develop the skills they will need to deal with adversity.

Being a Good Father Even When You Didn’t Have a Good Role Model

It is the man you are, not what you say that counts

Our children need men to show up and be men. The need for strong men who can look past the confusion, reliably assess the problems, and deploy reasoned solutions, has never been greater. Your children need to see a man who has an established set of standards and who consistently makes decisions based on them. 

The father they need is secure in what he believes, bases his beliefs on sound fundamentals, and controls his emotions to make standard-based decisions. Getting outside your personal needs is crucial to advancing your children and propelling them into their purpose. Overlaying the strength of a man with the heart of a father creates a place of safety and security where your children grow and mature.

The father’s job

The ability to rely on our inner belief systems rather than external influences is a stabilizing quality of the human spirit. A thoughtful person who knows what he believes and trusts his judgment is a person who is equipped for success. Cementing a child’s sense of self-worth is the key to their sense of security and future success. The hallmark standards that best form a healthy belief system are integrity, faithfulness, loyalty, responsibility, courage, devotion, and dedication to doing the right thing.

Understand this clearly, boys and girls are different and attempts to ignore that fact is a recipe for disaster.  

  • It is essential that a girl be secure in the love of her father. This equips her with the sense of self-worth that she relies upon for self-protection. 
  • A boy needs the respect of his father. He needs to understand that a real man is one that provides, protects and perseveres in what is right simply because it is right.

Be assured that you can do this. You will succeed If you establish a home where:

  • Your children know what is proper and courteous. 
  • They learn how to treat people in a respectful way that you treat them.
  •  And, they are corrected in an atmosphere of love.

Awakening every day, thankful for these young souls with whom you have been entrusted, and persistently believing that they are destined to achieve great things – these are the greatest gifts you can give them.

Gary D. Rogers is the author of Unlocking the Power of Fatherhood. To connect with the author, please visit his website