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It’s Your Dad Thing


bradA brief quote of lyrics from the Isley Brothers:

 It’s your thing 
Do what you wanna do

Don’t let the world tell you how to be a good dad.  Sure, let the Bible tell you how to be a good dad.  But not the world.  Not Facebook, or your buddies, or, yeah, I’m going to say it; your wife.  Or the TV – geesh especially not the TV.  The TV is never a resource to be a good anything . . . unless it’s zombie killer.  You can find some good tips for zombie slaying, but that’s it.

Part of being a good dad is doing the role of dad your way.  Some guys rock at being an efficient homemaker, some rock at bringing home the bacon.  Some rock at cooking the bacon, or are handy with every kind of tool in the book.  It’s easy to get jealous; but don’t.  God made you with your very own parenting style.  He’s made you with the correct gifts and skills and learning ability to be the best dad for the kids that He gave you.

So find out how you do the dad thing.  How do you shop?  I put in the headphones and go though Wally World like a commando.  How do you make dinner?  Some guys are grill masters, some are Iron Chef wannabes.  But how are you with doing dinner?  Find out your specific style and be the best dad at it.

There is a big difference in right and wrong.  The Bible is the definitive manual for being a good dad.  But just like Tom Cruise says in A Few Good Men (clipped from IMBD) . . .

Kaffee (Tom Cruise): Corporal, would you turn to the page in this book that says where the mess hall is, please.

Cpl. Barnes: Well, Lt. Kaffee, that’s not in the book, sir.

Kaffee: You mean to say in all your time at Gitmo you’ve never had a meal?

Cpl. Barnes: No, sir. Three squares a day, sir.

Kaffee: I don’t understand. How did you know where the mess hall was if it’s not in this book?

. . . the Bible doesn’t specifically say how you will parent your kids.  The guidelines are there:  Train a child up in the way he(she) should go . . .  (Proverbs 22:6), but there is not a specific addendum to the Bible telling you exactly how to manage your child’s internet use, or grades, or social involvement.

Let’s consider praying as an example.  The Bible tells us to pray on all occasions, and that is something dads need to model for kids.  But how do you pray?  Do you pray at meals, or at bedtime, or in the car before heading on family trips?  Do you say “Amen” or “So be it” or “Thank you Lord!”  Do you sing songs in prayer, or use some of the prayers and benedictions in the Bible?  So many options; what is your style and way to lead your family?

Dads are all about learning and getting great ideas from a number of sources out there.  Dads are good idea thieves.  That is ok.  You can surf through the internet or Facebook and see lots of great ideas.  But when you see a picture of some four-star meal that an overly ambitious and skilled dad posts on his timeline, consider:

·         The internet and Facebook are full of people promoting a glossy, untrue, version of themselves

·         How do I cook meals?

·         Is there anything I can learn from this to incorporate into my style?

You may decide that you can adapt a version of the four-star meal for yourself.  You may decide that it’s not your thing.  The point is that you need to do the dad thing your way; and be active, take charge of leading in your way.

I probably should add a caveat also.  In my list above, I should have said that you should listen to me. Yes, God is first and gives guidelines on being a great parent in the Bible.  Then, Do the Dad Thing is probably second for great parenting instruction, (pause because you know I’m joking.  Sort of.)  but, don’t even let me tell you how to do things if you feel like it’s changing the way YOU are parenting in your style.

*Except now I’ve told you to parent using your style, so you have listen to that and it keeps this blog being second place for great dad ideas.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Brad Washburn is a father, husband, and pastor.

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