“He saved me,” said thirteen-year-old Gracie Johnson, after her parents, sister, and two cousins were tragically killed in a rock slide. She was speaking about her dad, Dwayne Johnson. The family had gone for a hike along the Agnes Vaille Falls trail in Buena Vista, Colorado. Recent rainfall had made areas of the mountains unstable. As they were walking, one witness described what sounded like loud thunder cracking and boulders the size of cars coming down the mountain as the Johnson family stood helplessly in their devastating path. In an act of heroism, Dwayne dove on top of Gracie as a shield, saving her life and surrendering his own.
Loving fathers are self-sacrificing and protect their children. In situations like that you have no time to think, instinct takes over. Dwayne Johnson’s natural instinct was that of a loving father. Loving fathers are self-sacrificing and protect their children. Here are 10 more things a loving father does for his children.
1. Loving fathers… love their children’s mother
Love your wife without reservation – you can’t do much more for your kids than that. If you are divorced, treat your children’s mother with respect, even if it is not reciprocated. Never return disgrace with disgrace.
2. Love them unconditionally
Make sure that your children know you love them no matter what. Don’t confuse this with permissiveness. Unconditional love does nothing to encourage the wrong kind of behavior. In fact, kids who are secure in their father’s love tend to act out less, not more.
3. Grow up
We’re talking about us here, not the kids. Children don’t want another buddy; they want a dad. They want someone who thinks things through, makes tough decisions, and engages life with responsibility. Someone they can count on.
4. Be there
“Quality time” is all well and good, but it has nothing on quantity time. Make the time. Everyone has the same 24 hours available. Make yours count.
As best you can. Material provision can be tough when jobs are lost and tough times hit. However, you can always provide a stable home with love and affection.
Children appreciate an even hand, balance, accountability, and love-drenched discipline. It’s called consistency and, without clearly defined boundaries, it is very difficult to grow up.
7. Value education
Don’t just read to them; read with them. Don’t just fuss about grades; get involved with their homework. Don’t just talk about learning; be a hands-on advocate. Be a presence at their school by joining or starting an All Pro Dad’s Day Breakfast.
8. Raise them to leave
The simple goal of being a family and parenting our children doesn’t look any more complicated than this: Raise them up well-equipped to leave home and to establish faithful lives.
9. Teach them to take responsibility
Kids who learn how to duck responsibility and avoid cost will – sooner or later – fall flat on their faces. Loving fathers make sure their children know how to own up, clean up, and move forward.
10. Teach them to love this life
The best predictor of happiness in children is happiness in their parents. If we learn how to love this life and then give that blessing to our kids, they will be well prepared for satisfaction.
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What have I done this week to show you that I love you?”