My sister, Janice, wrote an article recently for Father’s Day about her husband, Gil.Â In it sheÂ describes seven qualities that make Gil a good father.Â Although the article is about Gil and their specific relationship, it is applicable to all fathers.Â Here is an abbreviated version. Gil (or any good father):
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(1)Â is a Godly man of character and integrity. He leads a life of transparency that continues to be a steadfast example for our children. . . .Â He doesnâ€™t â€œprovoke them to wrathâ€ and he leads them â€œin the paths of righteousnessâ€ through his insightful advice and concern for their spiritual well-being.
(2)Â loves . . .Â his wife, unconditionally. One of the most important things a father can do for his children is to love and respect his wife, their mother, and to model husbandly dedication and responsibility.Â [He gives his wife, their mother]Â the respect of enjoying talking with [her].
(3) gives [his children] unconditional love, too. He enjoys being with them and has made them a priority throughout their whole lives. [The] kids know that God â€œdelightsâ€ in them because their earthly father delights in them.Â When our children faced difficulty or unfairness, he gave sympathy freely, but he taught them not to wallow in self-pity, instead to govern their emotions and move on to whatever open door God had for them next. Most importantly, he taught them that God was in control and that He loved them and wanted the best for them, too.Â
(4) is totally reliable and absolutely trustworthy. When he says he will do something, he does it. His promises are true. . . . My children are incredibly blessed by having a dad who is a â€œrockâ€ for them.
(5) corrects them firmly, with consistency. The Bible constantly refers to God as â€œFather.â€Â [Gil] made it easy for our children to believe in God, their Heavenly Father, because their earthly father was consistent and approachable, firm and reasonable. Like the Heavenly Father, their earthly father instructs them with an â€œeasy yokeâ€ and â€œlight burden.â€
(6) Â has abundant wisdom, discernment and good judgment. The Scriptures warn parents against â€œprovoking their children to wrathâ€ (Ephesians 6:4). Fathers who make foolish statements, decisions and actions are not good examples for their children.Â Â
(7) [is]Â intentional in teaching our children about God. The Biblical Book of Deuteronomy stresses the importance of teaching â€œwhen you sit at home,â€ â€œwhen you walk along the road,â€ as well as â€œwhen you lie down and when you get up.â€ . . . [Gil] was exceptional at finding opportunities to teach our children from real-life experiences; he was constantly communicating with them about his own struggles and his own experiences in walking with Christ. He invested himself wholeheartedly in their spiritual development.Â
They say that the most important decision anyone makes, next to choosing Christ, is their choice of a mate.Â . . .[and]Â the qualities that make him such a good father are the same ones that make me love him and make him such a great husband, too.