Fatherhood is an incredible privilege, one we should thank God for every day, but which too easily we grow accustomed to and take for granted and, if we are not careful, occasionally resent. When we consider our Father's sacrifice for us, any sacrifices we can make for our children are small. Human fatherhood is not merely an illustration of God's fatherhood, but it is the product of it. As our marriages are to be signposts to the marriage of Christ to His church (Ephesians 5), our fatherhood is to point our children to their Father in Heaven. We bear on our shoulders the reputation of our Father in Heaven. Whether they want to know Him and walk with Him will largely depend on whether they see Him or us. There is no substitute for time spent with your children, and no substitute for your undivided attention.
Read to your children. A child who does not learn to love to read will not love to read God's Word, and will be robbed of joy, perspective and power. Turn off the television. Use TV with your children sparingly and wisely. The statistics show a generation growing up without the love of reading, and that will mean fewer children growing in the knowledge of God. Teach your children to be grateful. Teach them to say thank you. To teach them all this, of course, requires one primary thing: that we are ourselves are grateful, that we are good stewards, and quick to say thanks.
Teach your children to confess and repent by confessing and repenting in their presence. Admit you are wrong. Say "I'm sorry, please forgive me," and it may teach them more than you would have by never failing, and far more than pretending you don't fail. Give generously, and involve your children in giving. God's grace is all about giving, and Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). Consider your reason for living to both glorify God and to pass on to your children an inheritance of bold and deep faith (Psalm 71:18). Fear God, that your children may be blessed (Psalm 112:1).
Give your children what they need. What they want is often not in their best interests. Teach them the discipline of saying no to themselves by saying no to them. For those whose hearts have been broken by their children’s rebellion, never give up on them. No matter how difficult their struggle, as long as they are alive, God can change them.
Pray for your children. Sometimes it is the only thing you can do for them. But it's always the best thing. Cultivate your marriage and protect it. The best thing you can do for your children is to love God with all your hearts, and the second best thing you can do is love each other with all your hearts. Take extraordinary steps to keep from sexual temptation. Countless Christian fathers have ruined their spiritual heritage through their carelessness in this area. Do not think it cannot happen to you.
It is God who gave you the job of being a dad and it is God who will give you your final job evaluation. It is His approval that matters most. He is quick to forgive, but He expects you to be quick to repent and follow Him faithfully. Live to hear God say one day, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." Embrace the fact that apart from Christ you can do nothing (John 15). That means, all you can do in your own power will amount to nothing. What you do in the power of Christ will last for eternity. Millions of years from now, your children, grandchildren and generations to come will sit by you at the King's table and thank you. And thank God for you.