“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” -- William Arthur Ward
Today, I’d like to encourage all my male friends, who are fathers, to be courageous dads.
On the 21st day of April 2013, I listened to a sermon in which the speaker shared some quotes to encourage us to hold fast to what we have learned (see 2nd Timothy 3:14). I made note of the various quotes but the one that remained at the forefront of my mind is by one William Arthur Ward as quoted above. I was thinking of leadership, in general, when I scribbled that quote on my notepad but for the purpose of this article I would like to focus on fathers.
I do not have the privilege of being a daughter who can share from personal experience where having the love of a father is concerned. The closest I came is experiencing the love of a grandfather whose love was solely based on provision of food and the security of a home which I’ll share in another article. However, I am connected to some wonderful men whose public lives testify of their love and devotion for their children. I admire these men, one of whom has extended himself to being a great teacher in the lives of children who lack that fatherly input in their lives. I had the pleasure of watching this individual in action while being a recipient of his service. However, I am not behind closed doors to see the private lives they live and whether it matches up with their public persona. So, this is just a note of encouragement to all the men in my world to be courageous in their homes. It pays off in more ways than one.
Your children need to see love expressed in various ways.
They might know that you care enough to go out to work and provide for them but do they know that you accept them? It is very important for a child to know that they are accepted. It is possible to love your child and not accept them--think about it and make sure you are not falling short of the mark.
Do they know that you love their mother by the way you treat her: can they hear the love in your voice by your tone and the words you use to describe her? Do they see you greeting each other with a warm welcome home at the end of the working day? In your marriage you are setting the standard for your children and hence, the way you treat your wife directly affect the next generation of families.
Your children learn by example. Don't just say things. They need to see it in action and be inspired by you. I encourage you, therefore, take up the challenge to be a courageous dad. Love your children and let them know it by spending quality time with them, teaching, correcting and disciplining whenever necessary. Be a great leader in the lives of your children. Whether you are a single father or you have the support of their mother you are called to train up these children, to nurture and to care for their well-being, emotionally, physically and spiritually. If you do not find the time to invest in your child or children someone somewhere or a group out there will fill that gap. It may be too late to undo some of the damage that can occur from that process.
You must plant good seeds so that your children can develop into beautiful, well-rounded adults who can integrate into society without struggle. Instil in them confidence, encourage them, be patient with them, praise them, show that you appreciate them, provide that security they need, it will help to develop their faith. When children feel accepted by their dads and have their father’s approval and friendship they learn the art of love and goes on to find love in the world. They will not confuse lust with love or accept counterfeits. They will not be easily led astray by those who aim to deceive them. When you invest that much in your children you become a great leader in their lives and they’ll refer to you as a courageous dad.
If you want your son to be a great father, you have to lead by example. Your daughters will also look for a husband who has the qualities of her father--it represents love, security, friendship and much more. Make sure that she is learning the characteristics of a good husband by watching you in action with her mother. Children learn what they live and then go on to live out, in their adult years, what they have learned during those tender years of their youth. You’ve only got one chance to make it right. Do the best that you can.
Remember what William Arthur Ward says: “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” So I would like to encourage you today to inspire your children to become great leaders of tomorrow.
What joy it would be to hear your children say: “You are an inspiration!”
Go ahead! Inspire your children. You are their hero! You were designed to inspire.
©Janice S Ramkissoon, 2013 ___________________________________________________________________________ Thanks to Bro. Bevin of Fellowship Baptist church for enlightening us on April 21, 2013. Great sermon! Glad I was there to hear it. Thanks also to Paul Reid aka Bro. Pablo, for his work in the community that has been an investment into my life and helped me understand the importance of having a great leader in one’s life. May your light continue to shine brightly--you are an inspiration.
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