As fathers we are concerned about having our automobiles checked over before going on a long trip. The reason is the danger to our families of traveling in an automobile, which has some dangerous malfunctioning part.I wonder if it is not also important for us as fathers to stop occasionally and take a look at ourselves in the role of father. What I am saying is that it would do us well to have a “Fathering Check-up”. While doing some reading recently I came across the following list of questions to help us do just that.
(1) Am I spending time with my children? Quality time? Is it enough?
(2) When did I last sit on the floor with my youngster? How often do I do it?
(3) Do I listen to my child? Do I share my ideas so he or she can understand them?
(4) What principles do I follow? Where have I seen these lived out?
(5) What attitudes and qualities necessary for successful personal relations will my children have gained from me by the time they leave home?
(6) In what aspect of fathering am I most comfortable? In what facet of fathering am I most failing?
(7) What experiences do I cherish most? What memories do I want to plan for before my child leaves home?
Whoever the man is in your child’s life, father, grandfather, uncle, cousin, older brother, or adult male friend, they will have a profound impact on the child’s life. That person will influence a girl’s future relationship with men, and a boy’s ability to talk about issues of personal concern with other males. He will affect the growing child’s attitude toward money, responses to authority, feeling about competition, habits and attitudes in the area of sex, and identity within the work world. The most important thing he will instill in the child’s heart is their attitude toward Almighty God.
Will he be like Abraham? (Gen.18:19) For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
Will he be like Eli? (1 Sam.3:13) For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.
If the man in your child’s life sees himself only as a provider, or caretaker, and not as a nurturer, the effect can be devastating on girls, and limiting on boys. As we men attempt to incorporate more nurturing characteristics into our fathering, a check-up may be helpful in assessing our progress. (Bill Oliver adapted)