Jim Ramos, Men in the Arena

The Four Phases of Fatherhood 

I love what Malachi 4:5-6 foretold about John the Baptist: “His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise, I will come and strike the land with a curse.”  Below are four phases we, as dads, go through. Each phase is compounding upon the next.

Phase I: Father FIDELIS (Birth to 12) Fidelis is Latin for faithful. This is the most exhausting phase. Two words embody this phase—show up. Show up for everything. Miss nothing, especially from 5:30-8:30 PM.Be so present in your showing up that it is boring to your family.

Phase II: Father FIGURE (13-24) NFL Hall of Fame Coach, Chuck Knoll once said, “What you do speaks so loudly that I can’t hear what you say.” Be a model your kids can imitate because they are watching you and they will remember.

PHASE III: Father FRIEND (25-65)  This is where a good dad enjoys the fruits of good parenting through Phases I and II. In these you were the driver of the relationships, “Because I said so.” You set the tone of the relationship. You were in the driver’s seat, but not now. In Phase III your adult children determine what kind of relationship they want to have with you. They choose you based on your fathering up to this point.

Phase IV: Father Forever (66 and up) This is where a father watches his legacy unfold as his children raise his grandchildren to serve the Lord (Joshua24:15). Warning: This phase will either be a time of tremendous joy or tragic regret. 

Which phase are currently in? What adjustments can you make? 

Join ISI Founder, Brian Doyle, this Saturday at 8:30 AM ET / 7:30 AM CT for a short 45 minute fatherhood training on being the ‘Prophet and Priest of Your Home’. More at http://www.IronSharpensIron.net

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