‘A Win/Win for Dads and Kids’
When reflecting about my fathering, my first thought is that if I could do it over, I’d do some things differently and hopefully better. I think I did some things right. I loved and still love Brenda, my children’s mother. I prayed for my girls and I prayed with them. I made them a priority before the ministry, but after Brenda. I taught them basketball and tennis. We laughed together constantly. I took them individually on ministry trips for one-on-one time. When necessary, I disciplined them. We always went to church.
As essential as all of the things listed above that I did with my three children are; I believe that apologizing to them may have been as crucial as anything I ever did with them. Being in ministry, often speaking in front of crowds, my children saw my public life. But they also saw my backstage private life at home.
Hebrews 12:10 says, “For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how.” This verse implies that we fathers all have made mistakes. I’ll never forget how my children’s faces lit up the first time I apologized. I became human, not perfect.
The benefit of apologizing was that it created intimacy, transparency, authenticity and strengthened my authority, thus making it easier for my girls to obey me. Even more, I became approachable to my children. Don‘t you want your children to feel that you are approachable? Try apologizing sometime soon and see what happens!