What, exactly, makes a dad awesome?
I’m not sure there’s a definitive list or definition for what makes a dad awesome, but, to get the conversation started, here are at least 10 ways I know dads can be awesome …
1. LOVE GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART.
Deuteronomy 6 talks about passing on our faith to our children. But, before we can do that, it says we must love God with all our heart, soul, and strength. Suffice it to say, an awesome dad loves God in this way.
2. LOVE YOUR WIFE.
This one I’m sure about! Dad loves Mom, and shows it! This, probably all by itself, qualifies Dad as awesome. Why? Because it says a whole lot about who Dad is. And if he loves Mom properly and shows it through his words and deeds, you can probably guess how he acts in a lot of other areas.
3. ENGAGE WITH YOUR KIDS.
I’m sure you’ve seen it before. Maybe at the store. Or maybe at the park. The kid is doing everything possible to get Dad’s attention, only to be ignored as Dad goes about his business, whatever that may be. Unfortunately, for many kids, this is the norm. At home. Away from home. Wherever they may be. An awesome dad engages with his kids. He plays with them. He has meaningful conversations with them. He knows their interests—and what they’re not interested in. He pays attention, even when his to-do list is a mile long and he’d rather be doing something else.
4. PROTECT YOUR KIDS.
It’s pretty natural for a dad to protect his kids physically. If my son runs out into a busy street, I’m absolutely going to put myself in harm’s way to protect him. But an awesome dad will protect his kids in other ways, too. Emotionally. Socially. Spiritually. An awesome dad is aware of the dangers in these areas by being involved enough in his children’s lives to be alert, and he’s not afraid to jump into the hard conversations or battle for his kids in prayer.
5. PROVIDE BOUNDARIES.
Oftentimes the media portrays Dad as the guy who lets the kids get away with anything and everything. If Mom is gone, it’s party time with Dad! This isn’t what an awesome dad does. He may be fun, but he also understands that boundaries are necessary for the good of his children. So he provides guidelines, and he’s not afraid to keep the children within those boundaries.
6. BE ACCEPTING.
We dads all want our kids to grow up to be just like us. Or we have mental images of what we want our kids to be like (can anyone say, “left-handed pitcher”?). But our kids usually aren’t exactly like us. And sometimes they are very, very different. An awesome dad recognizes this fact and is willing to not only accept it, but support his children for who they are. He’ll support their interests, their personalities, and their giftedness.
7. WALK THE WALK THAT YOU TALK THE TALK ABOUT.
Few things will derail a child’s character development faster than hypocritical parents and, specifically, a hypocritical dad. An awesome dad is a man of integrity who not only speaks wisely and instructs his children to grow in godly character, but displays it everyday through his words and deeds.
8. BE A TEACHER.
Besides the things of God, kids also need to learn about things to do with everyday life. An awesome dad teaches these things. Things like how to do good work. Or how to fix things. Or how to change a tire. Or how to communicate well. Or how to take risks. Or how to talk to the opposite sex. You get the idea. An awesome dad teaches his kids how to do life in the real world.
9. HAVE GOD’S EYES FOR THE WORLD AROUND YOU.
Awesome dads serve people, put the needs of others before their own, and facilitate ways for their children to live other-centered lives. Ask God to give you His eyes to see the needs of others, and then ask the question, “What needs to be done?” The next step is to be obedient and lead by example, serving in your home, your church, your neighborhood, and even the world.
10. PRAY FOR AND PRAY WITH YOUR KIDS.
It’s hard for us dads to accept, but, in the end, we all know that we really aren’t in control of our children. We must be dependent on God, and lean into His grace to raise our children to be young men and women of character, capable of handling what life throws at them. This understanding forces the awesome dad to his knees, laying his children before God on a daily basis. Likewise, we understand that they, too, must depend on God as they grow to adulthood. The single best way to facilitate this is through teaching them to come before God themselves. In other words, pray with them. An awesome dad immerses his fathering in prayer.
So, there are 10 ways to be an awesome dad, but this is just the beginning. We’d love to hear your ideas of what makes a dad awesome by sharing on our social media and using the hashtag #HFAwesomeDad!