A son carefully studies the actions of their father. From an early age, the son is learning how a father interacts with other men, how they treat their spouse, how they work to support their families, and most importantly to them, how they are being treated themselves. The father is typically the first role model a son will have. Thus, how we act and “walk” as fathers, obviously has a very profound impact on our sons.
We can tell them until we are blue in the face how THEY should treat others, respect their mothers, watch their language, make family (and especially “GOD”) a priority, but if we ourselves AREN’T living it, then what kind of message does that send?
I thought I was a good father. I tried to spend time with my kids. We’d take an occasional trip, go out to eat as a family frequently, and even go to church more often than not. I also worked very hard at my profession and we were financially secure. Here again, I “thought” I was being a good father for my son. I was wrong.
When I look back now I see a man that, yes provided financially for his family, and wasn’t a “bad” father, but certainly was not a Godly role model and MOST certainly wasn’t practicing what I was preaching. I allowed my profession to run my life to the detriment of my son and family.
Slowly but surely that financial success that I had enjoyed, and believed was of “MY” doing, faded away (and of course it never was “MY” ability in the first place, but was instead God’s rich blessings that I failed to acknowledge). With that loss grew bitterness, anger, and a relentless pursuit to get all that financial success back.
For more years than I can count, I chased that "false idol" while my son watched. As I look back now, I couldn’t be more saddened by my actions. He certainly saw his father at his worst. Those were footsteps I sure wouldn’t have wanted him walking in, but fortunately, that wasn't the end of the story.
In November, late one night, sitting in my garage, exploding with anger, I finally accepted Jesus. And with that, the Holy Spirit entered my heart. Funny thing when that happens. There’s now a newfound peace as all that anger disappears and your priorities become much more obvious.
Yes, I can look back with “truly” open eyes now and see what a wretched soul I was but therein lies God’s abundant and never ending grace! And with that grace, all that past behavior disappears from His sight.
I wish I could erase it all from my son’s memory as well, but sadly I can not. However, what I can do is finally now show him, not only the “proper” way for a father to walk a path for their son (and hopefully for “his” future son), but most importantly, how to walk with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Our sons are always watching us. Analyzing and learning from every interaction they see us having. Live and practice the same kind of life you'd want for them when they are fathers.
Remember, we have the greatest fatherly role model of all time. God, our Heavenly Father. If we model ourselves after “that” father, our sons will never have to worry about following in our footsteps.