10 Characteristics of a Good Father
What is a father? To some, a father is non-existent. Others, it’s kind of complicated. Yet for the rest, he is the person who has played a major and active role in their life. No matter where your father falls in your story, know that no father is perfect. However, for those who are striving to be the best father you can be, here are 10 characteristics of a good father.
What Makes A Good Father?
1) He Provides:
1 Timothy 5:8, KJV: “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
For the fathers who are in the same household as their children; what this looks like is you taking care of the basic necessities and ensuring their safety. You provide a roof over their heads, running utilities, and food on the table. Making sure they are clothed and have what they need to function in life.
If you do not live under the same roof, this doesn’t exempt you from adequately contributing to their living.
2) He Disciplines:
Proverbs 13:24 (NIV) Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.
Kids need discipline, that is how they learn. As a father, it is your responsibility to instill a healthy fear in them for following the rules laid out. Withholding appropriate discipline, when necessary, is basically withholding your love from them. How you discipline them, or the lack thereof when they’re children, will show when they become an adult.
3) He Is Present:
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (NLT) “And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Just being around doesn’t mean you are present. Shoving gifts their way also is not considered being a part of their life. You must be active in their well being and upbringing. Living in the same home also does not constitute you as being present. Calling every now and then or texting doesn’t as well.
Take an interest in what interests them. Have fun and laugh. Watch a movie, play a game, cheer for them at their event, tell them often how proud you are of them. Have meaningful conversations or at least consistently try (if you have teenagers). Make a conscious effort to know what is going on in their life, whether they want you to or not. As a kingdom man, you constantly remind them who they are in Christ. Remember, you are the father who oversees their life.
10 Characteristics of A Good Father
4) He Doesn’t Provoke:
Ephesians 6:4 (NLT) “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.”
I know that fathers have a different type of relationship with their sons. This can sometimes include roughing them up in a sense to encourage tough love. I don’t always understand it but I do get it. However, whether you have boys, girls, or both, don’t push them over the edge. There is a fine line between giving tough love and provoking them by putting them down or constantly comparing them to someone else’s child.
5) He Loves:
Psalm 103:13 ESV “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.”
It is okay to show your love for your children by being vulnerable and understanding. Remember that you were once a child and made the same mistakes or worse. You can discipline them when needed and still meet them at their level in trying to understand what they are going through.
6) He Teaches:
Proverbs 22:6 ESV “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Your children learn right from wrong by what you model. If you live a life manipulating others, your children will learn that behavior. However, if you live a life that helps in serving others, that’s a positive trait that can easily be picked up. No matter what type of life you live, your children are watching and see or sense things, no matter how good you think you are covering it up.
7) He Allows Mistakes:
Luke 15:11-32 ESV And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living.”
Children need to find their independence. That is not to say that they should be allowed to do whatever they want. With different ages and maturity levels should come more responsibility and more freedom to choose for themselves. Unfortunately, all children don’t always make the best decisions the older they get. As a father, you must be willing to draw the line in the sand and allow your children to learn from their mistakes.
10 Characteristics of A Good Father
8) He Forgives:
Luke 15:20 NIV “So he got up and went to his father.“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”
As freedom is given and mistakes are made, forgiveness should also be issued. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be mad or disappointed with them. It simply means that when they realize their error and want to do better, forgive them. Give them another chance to get it right.
9) He Is Honest:
Proverbs 20:7 ESV “The righteous who walks in his integrity— blessed are his children after him!”
If you are living a life where you are lying, cheating, and manipulating others, how do you expect your children to be blessed? Remember behaviors are learned. Not only that, but your actions can affect the future of your children in an adverse way. Living an honest life, not perfect, can help open doors to your children that were not available for yourself.
10) He Prepares:
Proverbs 13:22 ESV “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.”
Being a father is not just providing them with what they need in the present. A part of your responsibility is to leave something behind for them that will leave them better off when you are no longer here on earth.
The job of a father is hard work, yet it is so rewarding. No matter how good you are, you will make mistakes. However, God has laid out an outline in His word to help you navigate through it, in order to be the best father can be for your children. 1 Corinthians 13:11 ESV says “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” So as you know better, it is your obligation to do better for your children.
Keep striving and don’t give up. Follow these 10 characteristics of being a good father and continue through your journey. Becoming a good father is a marathon, not a sprint. It happens over time and through many mistakes. Your children don’t need you to be a millionaire with notoriety and clout. They simply need you to just be a good father. Happy Father’s Day.
In Relentless Pursuit,