The God of the Bible has revealed himself as one God existing in three persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We have the opportunity to be "born again" spiritually into God's family. God wants to be our Father and we can be his children (John 1:12-13. Rom.8:13-17. Gal.4:4-7. 1 John 3:1-2). With the breakdown of marriages and family relationships today, we often develop a marred concept of fatherhood. All natural fathers often fail in accurately presenting the character and nature of God. But no matter what our natural family situation may have been God wants to be a perfect spiritual Father to each of us as his children.
What do great fathers do? There are many things but here are 5 important habits of every father.
1. Love Unconditionally
Our Father God is a God of love. Genuine love is not merely an emotion but a choice to act in the best interests of another person. God's love toward us is his desire for our ultimate good. What's amazing about God's love for us is that it is not based on our performance or any specific conditions we have to meet. In fact, he chooses to love us despite of our sin and our weakness (Rom.5:8-11). He is quick to forgive us when we humbly confess our sins. He is patient, long-suffering and slow to anger.
As dads we need to take a loving stance towards our children no matter what they do. Our love for them is based on the fact that they are ours. We must beware of creating a "performance based" environment that causes our children to be uncertain of our love and as a result always seeking our approval.
2. Affirm Frequently
God the Father expresses his love in a variety of ways, once of which is affirmation or encouragement (Matt.3:16-17; 17:5). On a daily basis, Jesus knew and experienced his Father's love and affirmation. He was always speaking about his Father and was able to stand against strong opposition and criticism because he knew he was doing his Father's will.
Great dads affirm and encourage your children as people – not just for what they can or can't do. Our words are very powerful (Prov.18:21. Eph.4:29-32). Don't approach parenting with the goal of correcting, disciplining and keeping your children in line. Look for where you can sincerely praise, compliment and encourage your kids. Notice and approve of what they do right. Then you can correct mistakes in a positive climate rather than continually pointing out what they're doing wrong. We all thrive under encouragement. Praise is a motivator for proper behaviour.