*Spend quality time with your kids
*Model what you believe
*Allow them to fail
*Forgive...and don't be afraid to apologize to your children
*Look at life through their eyes.
That's all good stuff worth remembering. But a 6 year old recently shared the secret to being a good dad with me. Since I'm his dad I took note.
On a walk one afternoon he randomly asked me, "Do you think I'm gonna be a good dad?"
"Yes Brady," I answered. "Excellent."
"If I'm gonna be a good dad, I need to be a good husband first," he replied.
Wow. He suddenly ran ahead of me after a squirrel but I stopped dead in my tracks. He's right. What good am I to my kids if I'm a lousy husband? That's the start to being a good father. If we want to love our kids we need to love their mom.
Having patience with our children means nothing if we're quick tempered with our wife. Time with the kids is great, but do they see me give their mom a hug everyday? Bedtime prayers as they drift off to sleep are precious but so is hearing daddy pray for mommy. Our kids learn about marriage primarily from us...whether we care to admit it or not.
There's a story of a father who overheard his son praying: "Dear God, make me the kind of man my daddy is."
Later that night, the father prayed, "Dear God, make me the kind of man my son wants me to be." Children want a dad who loves their mom.
My little guy explained that treating him well starts with loving my wife. Pretty perceptive of him, and really unselfish. I think he might make a good husband one day too.