Like it or not, our fathers have an incredible impact on our lives: either for good or bad.
One of the best compliments I have received from a friend of my daughter was, “you are the first person she wants to call if she needs help.”
I like to think that it was my consistency towards my girls that caused them to see me as a safe place. They knew what they were going to get when they reached out to me. I was always there for them and I didn’t stuff it all up (by God’s grace).
James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” God sets the ultimate example of a consistent Father for us all.
I truly believe that an inconsistent father robs children of security and confidence.
Sure, we all have mood swings, but how far do we let the pendulum swing in each direction?
Having consistency in mood does not mean keeping all emotions under wraps. No, our children need to see us being angry but not losing control over our words or actions, they need to see us being happy without going overboard and being foolish in our celebration.
Knowing what to expect from us emotionally will give them confidence to approach us.
Inconsistent fathers put their children on edge, wondering how Dad will react when he walks in the door. Living with an alcoholic father myself, and not knowing who or what I would come home to, that was my life and I didn’t want it to be my girls’ lives.
If I had a heavy day at work and didn’t feel I could be a great example to my kids, I would either keep driving until I had calmed down or sit in the car and get myself in a good space. But the moment I walked in the front door, I wanted to be present with them.
Being present is a sure sign of consistency.
Are you there for your kids? Really there? Or are you just going through the motions? For too many fathers, home is where they eat, sleep, and do their best to keep the noise level down.
I can remember more than one occasion when my girls would have to walk up to me and with two hands on my face turn my attention to them so I would listen to what they were saying. We all reap what we sow, so be present for your kids now or find that when your kids grow up they will have no time for you. I count myself blessed that still today my girls and I love hanging out.
And my final thought on consistency is consistently don’t stuff up.
Few things do more damage to children than fathers who spout moral absolutes and then live out a double standard. Our children are still watching to see if we “walk the talk.”
“Do as I say, not as I do” just doesn’t work when you’re raising kids. The flip side is “Do as I do” does work and you have the opportunity to model consistency to the generations.
And so with Father’s Day just around the corner, this blog is in honour of all the consistent dads out there.
“There are little eyes upon you.
And they’re watching night and day;
There are little ears that quickly
Take in every word you say;
There are little hands all eager
To do anything you do…”
– Author unknown