by Kimberly Chastain
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In June we celebrate fathers on Fatherís Day. Even though we are a community of Moms, we canít forget the Dads. Some of you have Dads in the home and some do not. All of us have Dads, whether they are still on this earth or not. So, this month I want us to focus on Dads. One of the reasons Iím doing this is I think, for the most part, Dads are ignored more than Moms. Dads in the media are often portrayed as ignorant or bumbling buffoons. You rarely see a Dad portrayed in an honorable way. Also, when women get together they have a habit of putting down their husbands and their husbands as fathers.
Christian men, and non-Christian Dads as well, need encouragement.
God has high expectations for fathers and how they are to lead their children. So, what can we do to encourage the Dads in our lives?
1. If your father is still living, write him a letter and thank him for all the things he has done for you. Even if you had a difficult relationship with your father you can probably think of one thing to thank him for and let him know. When I worked as a camp counselor while in college I wrote my Dad a letter and thanked him for what he had done in my life. When my father died and I was going through his things I found my letter in a jewelry chest. He had kept that letter for over 20 years.
2. Look for opportunities to catch your childrenís father doing ďDadĒ things with your children and praise him. Most Moms donít wrestle with kids on the floor, but Dads do. Let your childrenís Dad know that you appreciate those things.
3. Sing praises about your childrenís father in front of other people. Let him hear you say things he does well.
4. Pray for your childrenís father and that he would be the man God would have him be.
5. Donít try to compete with your childrenís father to gain the affection or approval of your children. Your children need to learn from both parents.
6. Do not criticize a Dad in front of your children or others. If you need to discuss something do it out of the childís hearing.
7. Do your best as a Christian woman to not join in the male bashing sessions with other women. We are to uplift one another and not tear down.
8. Teach your children to respect their father even if that is hard. Do your best not to speak ill of him, even if that is all you can think of. Children need to make their own decision about a relationship with their father not have the mother make it for them.
9. If you are in a situation where your childrenís father is absent, try to surround yourself with Godly families where your children can get a male influence. Maybe a retired Godly man who will take your children under his wing.
10. Remember most of us get our views of God by how our earthly father related to us. Encourage men around you to reflect God and His glory in their relationships with children.
In closing, fathers are very important in our childrenís lives. We need to encourage that relationship and not do anything to tear it down. If that relationship is not an option then search out Godly men to love your children. The church is a body of believers that meets one anotherís needs. So, encourage a Dad today by giving him a good work and a thank you.
Kimberly M. Chastain, MS, LMFT is the Christian Working Mom Coach and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She is the author of 2 ebooks, Pearls of Encouragement for Christian Working Moms and Help! My Preteen/Teenager is Driving me Nuts. You can find both of those books at www.christianworkingmom.com.† Also, check out her blog and Online Bible Study as well.† You can have coaching tips delivered to your email box daily, find out more at http://www.kimberlychastain.com/cwmtips.htm.
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