To all the the fathers out there

fathersYou have one of the greatest privileges that this world has to offer: the opportunity to raise a son or a daughter.

The time to speak into their lives and hearts during their growing years.

The ability to mold them and encourage them into becoming everything Christ calls them to be.

And as someone who has worked with teens for many years I just have a few things to say to you.

Things that come from a grateful heart and sometimes broken heart.

It comes from seeing too many broken girls and boys walking through the doors of my church classroom and into my life.

Too many boys who deal with anger and mistrust and too many girls who deal with insecurity and hurt.

Yes, they have the influence of media, of school, and of their friends.

Yes, you can’t control everything they will think, feel, do, or say.

But as a parent you play a powerful role in their life in determining which way they go, what they believe, and who they become.

What shapes these kids most isn’t just what happens at school or at church, but what happens under the roof of your house.

So as someone who just wants the best for each one of them please hear me out.

Teach your sons how to treat a girl right so that when the time comes for him to be a man and pursue one to be his wife he’ll treat her like the treasure that she is.

Tell your daughters that they are beautiful and made in God’s image so that they won’t turn to boys or a magazine for affirmation of their beauty and worth.

When hard times come show them how to get on their knees and keep trusting God instead of worrying about what might come.

Fill your home with more of God’s Word and less TV so that they fill their mind with His truth instead of the world’s lies.

Simply show up.

To the piano recital, to the soccer game, and to the gymnastic meet so that they will always feel that they are loved.

Be a role model and example to them so one day you’ll be someone they won’t try to run from but instead want to become.

Spend time answering their millions of questions when they are young so they won’t turn to the world for answers when they get older.

Encourage them to never stop dreaming big so that they will live life with goals and a purpose knowing that nothing is too far out of reach if they just try.

Speak words of love, not condemnation over them so that they will be blessed.

Discipline them gently and with kindness so that they know that you do everything out of love.

Take less overtime hours at work and more family weekend getaways.

Shelter them when you need to but also teach them how to walk strong with God so they know how to face the world out there with Him by their side.

I know there is no book out there that shows exactly what you need to do to be the best parent but there is one book that I’m sure if you read daily that will help you figure out the uncertainties of raising a child: God’s Word.

May you fill your heart and mind with it every day so that you don’t waste these precious growing years which will influence the rest that will come.

Whether you think so or not you have the power during these years to either help them stay locked up in insecurity, confusion, and their fears as they learn from the world about what life is all about or you can teach them all about what it means to live with Christ and help them grow their wings.

One day you will find yourself in an empty home with no more children to tuck into bed, no more scraped up knees to bandage up, and no more late night stories to tell.

All you’ll have is visits and memories of what used to be.

And I pray that when you look at your son and daughter all grown up you will be happy for the time you invested into helping them become who they are.

That your daughter won’t struggle with anorexia, with insecurity, and with self-worth because you taught her she was beautiful, she had a purpose, and she was priceless in Christ’s eyes.

That your sons won’t struggle with anger, with depression, or lust because you taught him that he had a purpose to live for, that he was created to be a protector and provider, and that he was a mighty warrior of God,

Surely, you can’t prevent certain things in life.

You don’t control what happens to your children, what roads they choose to walk on, or who they become.

But you do teach them during their young years who they are and what’s important in life.

And I pray that every day God will help you love them with His love and help them start off right.

May you always walk strong with Christ as you lead your children with love and grace. Be blessed! –Anna

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
 -Proverbs 22:6

photo credit: [Loft3] via Today

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