“Your family is the greatest ministry God has given you.” A former pastor of mine shared this with me when I discussed my kids and their experiences at church. It took me a while to grasp how being a “godly father” was a unique calling that only I could do. And while I agree with him now that fatherhood is indeed a form of ministry, it is a messy ministry.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting your kids. Each child is unique, and each stage of development for a child brings its own unique changes to navigate. When fathers feel like we’re trying to figure things out on our own, it can be overwhelming.
With Father’s Day around the corner, I asked some of the dads here at Sharefaith what being a “godly father” means to them.
Meet the dads:
How many kids do you have and what age range are they?
Aaron: 4 kids – 3, 5, 12, 14
David: 3 kids. Ben & Judah (15 yo) + Christina (20 yo)
Tim: 1, 1yr old.
What does it mean to you to be a godly father?
Aaron: A Godly father leads his family through the power of God, through prayer, and is a strong role model.
David: In every interaction good, bad, or ugly trying to use my words and actions to model the love and character of God to my children. I hope that the things I do and the words I say help my children to understand God’s heart for them.
Tim: Someone who is not perfect but progressing.
Favorite bible verse on parenting?
Aaron: Joshua 1:9 – “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
David: Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Tim: Romans 8:28 – And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Can you share one of your fondest experiences with your father growing up?
Aaron: All the times he took me hunting in the outdoors.
David: Going to Subway for a meatball sub after my high school wrestling matches. If I won, we celebrated; if I lost, my dad would encourage me or try to make me laugh. I always looked forward to that meatball sub… especially if I’d been cutting weight for the match.
Tim: We used to play a game called “Tiger” where we would all hide upstairs with the lights off. My dad would then “find us” in the dark. It was some of the funniest memories of my childhood.
Aside from your actual father, did you have any other father figures in your life that made a positive impact on you?
Aaron: My Father in-law
David: Mike Weybright. He was an older man who discipled me after I gave my life to the Lord. He taught me the Bible, had me over for dinners, and gave me key advice when I really needed it.
Tim: Nope, my dad is the only dad father figure in my life.
What’s one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced or are facing right now with parenting?
Aaron: Raising teenagers is a struggle.
David: Patience. I always want issues between me and my children fixed immediately. But that doesn’t always happen. God is helping me to patiently trust him as he works in my heart and in my children’s hearts. Sometimes I try to make things happen in my own strength rather than trusting that God loves my kids waaaay more than I do, and that he will work things out in his perfect time.
Tim: How to show my son that God is real and alive. I don’t want him to believe because I believe. I want HIM to believe for him.
Can you share one of your fondest experiences with your kids?
Aaron: Anytime we’re all together, nobody is on their phones and we’re just hanging out together without anybody fighting, but everyone is having fun.
David: Arizona family vacations. Swimming every day, eating lots of junk food, and staying up late.
Tim: He is only one, but some of my favorite moments are cuddling with him at night, praying over him, and oddly we always end up laughing at some point.
What’s your favorite dad joke to tell your kids?
Aaron: A slice of apple pie is $2.50 in Jamaica and $3.00 in the Bahamas. These are the pie rates of the Caribbean.
David: If my kids are acting like they’re smarter than me, I’ll tell them, “Hang on now…I’m so bright, my father called me sun.”
Tim: What letter of the alphabet is a pirate’s favorite? … you would think it is RRR but it really is the C (sea).
What’s some of the best advice you’ve gotten on fatherhood that you would like to share with other fathers?
Aaron: Spend as much time with your kids and soak it up because they will grow up so fast.
David: Play the long game. Parenting today is all about who our children will be 10, 20, 30 years from now. Sometimes that kind of parenting can be challenging, enforcing rules, spending extra time, discipline. But when we’re consistent, it pays huge dividends down the road.
Tim: We don’t have to be perfect, but we do need to be progressing.
Being a godly father isn’t about being perfect. Don’t feel discouraged if you make mistakes, because dads are only human. Instead, learn from the mistakes and point to God as the perfect example your kids should follow.
Encourage Your Dads this Father’s Day
Show your love and appreciation for the dads at your church with these fun and manly social media graphics. Download this free graphics pack that includes 2 Father’s Day social media designs from Sharefaith. Become a Sharefaith member to gain full access to over 90,000 customizable church graphics, videos, and designs to use online and in your services.