what is a dad

What It Means to Become a Dad

What is a dad? Is he really like those guys in modern shows that are always the family buffoon? The family punch line? Is he the caricature of all those dad memes on social media with the “Rules for Dating my Daughter” themes? Is a dad really like those guys portrayed in film that will fall to temptation the first chance they get? The answer is a resounding…no. That’s not at all who you were created to be. I believe what it means to become a dad is to step into the honored role of stewardship over God’s most precious gift, His children.

“When I was a child I talked like a child, thought like a child, and reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” That is wisdom from the highest source, and it can become founded in us underneath the mountain of influence that steers us in the other direction. To become what we are all striving for on this site, an All Pro Dad, putting away the things of childhood is the essential action for success.

What does that look like? Here are 3 key areas where dads must be men.

1. Learning How to Really Love

Love is when the laughter of your kids warms your heart ten sizes and you can’t get enough. Love is when the sound of a baby’s crying, crying that could peel the paint off a wall, doesn’t make you run the other direction even if you want to. It does however make you want to quickly figure out how to make the crying stop. Love is when your teenage daughter’s broken heart breaks your own even deeper. Love is staying awake in your chair with the porch light on until they arrive back home once again. Love is sacrificing personal desires without a thought for just one chance to make your kids smile. Love is a man breaking his back to make sure his family is taken care of. Love is tossing your son a baseball and feeling so proud of him as you chat. This is all true love. This is fatherhood. This is manhood.

2. Enduring Personal Discipline

It’s not a cliché to say – Dad is the rock. You are. It’s a tremendous responsibility, and it’s one that causes many men to crumble under its weight. There isn’t a dad alive or to have ever lived that hasn’t felt extreme pressure in parenthood. [Tweet This] Many at one time or another have even felt a panicked urge to cut and run. What is a dad? He’s a man who knows his role and will not relinquish it for anything. Things happen: divorce, unexpected tragedies, and life trauma. But no matter your circumstances, when your child comes looking for dad’s face, they know exactly where to find it. It takes personal discipline to be that man. Not nearly enough is done in our culture to celebrate the men who are hold their position well. Settle in because parenthood is for life.

3. Prudent Financial Decisions

Before parenthood, after rent, utilities and car payment, most of my budget leaned heavily towards how to have fun. Reasoned like a child? You bet. I didn’t cheat myself of entertainment in my young adult years. But when marriage beckoned, followed by a bouncing baby girl, big change came down the track. My goodness the expenses of being a daddy. Car seats, cribs, travel cribs, bouncy chairs, the endless diapers…y’all know. That flow of currency will continue all the way through college and beyond. Maintaining some semblance of a social life is good for your spirits, but be sure that family always comes first. Making prudent financial decisions now, helps prevent us from getting bogged down later. In turn, we are then able to focus on the parts of parenting that matter most.

Sound Off

What does being a dad mean to you?

  • For over a year now I’ve been on a personal journey contemplating a comprehensive definition for the word LOVE. The reason I have been doing this is because of (a) so many weak definitions floating about that do not align well with Jesus’s words on the greatest commandments, and (b) because throughout my life as the son of a pastor, the best I’ve heard and/or seen, from even of the most mature of Christians, are these “here is what Love looks like” struggles to explain what Love is by examining its fruits rather than the steps of the process by which Love is sown and harvested. Recently I documented my research on this subject using a website format which may be experienced at thelovetester.com – blessings!

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Huddle up with your kids and tell them what you love most about being their dad.

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