I’ve heard my father say that the man is to be the priest, the provider, and the protector of his family. He’s the priest because he is the spiritual leader, monitoring and growing the spiritual temperature of his family. He’s the head of the house, responsible for providing for his family’s needs: food, clothes, shelter, etc. He’s the protector, protecting his family physically, emotionally, and spiritually from outside things that would be harmful or negative.
This is the goal that I set for myself as a father and husband. It’s my responsibility to encourage them to be who God is calling them to be, and to show them that their identity is in Christ alone. It’s both a great responsibility and a great privilege. Almost anyone can make a baby, but being a daddy is more important. Outside of being a husband, it’s more important than other job a man could have.
My dad is a great role model for me; he’s the man that I aspire to be like as a father. He is not without faults, but he is an amazing example to so many men. I still have guys who I grew up playing football with telling me about the influence and impact my dad had on their lives.
He was always there for me, disciplining me and loving me unconditionally. I didn’t always understand the rules he put in place, but I see now that they were there for a good reason, teaching me to walk in a way that was honoring to Christ.
“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the Gospel.” —Philippians 1:27
More than just disciplining me and my siblings, my dad was present for us no matter what it was that we were doing. I remember when I was in the 9th grade I had a football game that was hours away from home and I didn’t think he would be able to make it. But as I was playing I heard a familiar voice in the crowd yell out, “Benjamin!” and I knew right away that my dad had come to cheer me on. Suddenly I was so encouraged and inspired to play my best because I knew that my dad was watching me. He really helped build my confidence in football and in life.
Just as my dad wasn’t always perfect, I know that I can’t be the perfect parent to my kids. Sometimes I get frustrated that I can’t spend as much time with my kids as I would like to, especially during the season, but I try to be as present as I can for them. I know I have a responsibility as a provider to go to work and make the best decisions for my family, but it is hard to be away from them. There are only so many hours in a day and I want to spend as many as I can with my kids.
In the same way that I cannot be perfect and need grace for my mistakes, I also need to give my kids grace. I am constantly learning to be patient with them, understanding that they won’t do everything right all the time, while still holding them to a high standard as their heavenly Father does.
Benjamin Watson is a regular contributor to The Increase and will be providing monthly articles and opinions.
Check out Benjamin’s Increase profile here: https://theincrease.com/author/benjaminwatson/
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