We had our first child a few months ago, and to be honest, it's been a very sobering experience for me. How can I be a good father? My own father was always busy with his job and never spent much time with my sisters and me, but I'd like to do better. — N.S.
I'm thankful you want to be a good father, and there's no better time to be thinking about this. I hope your letter will cause other new fathers to ask the same question, particularly as we celebrate Father's Day in the United States.
How can you be a good father? The first step is to realize that God gave this child to you, and you and your wife are only stewards or trustees of this little one God has entrusted to you. The Bible says, "Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him" (Psalm 127:3). Thank God for your child every day, and ask God to help you be the best parents you can be.
Then, ask yourself why God gave this child to you. Certainly, one reason is to provide for his or her physical well-being; no one is as helpless as a baby. But God also gives children to us to help them grow mentally and emotionally—which is why there is no substitute for spending time with our children and letting them know, often and openly, that we love them.
Most of all, God entrusts our children to us for their moral and spiritual growth. Will your child learn what is right and wrong from you, and that Christ is the only sure foundation for life? Make sure of your own commitment to Christ, then ask God to help you point your child to Him—both by your teaching and your example.