It seems more and more that fathers are overly concerned about befriending their sons, rather than being the father God desires them to be.
It is good to have fun with your children, and to play with them. Spending time together reaffirms to your children that you care for them, and that you love them. Someone wise once said, “If you love me, you will spend time with me, and you will listen to me.”
In today’s culture, it seems that many dads find it easier to play the role of their child’s friend, rather than their father. When your child sees you more as a friend than a father, it is hard to be the father that God mandates you to be. Your child no longer sees you as an authoritative figure, the head of your household, or a wiser mentor. He also no longer sees you as your wife’s husband. Instead he sees you as his friend; someone who should take his side over arguments with mom, and who shouldn’t punish him for wrongdoings.
We live in a country where nearly 50% of marriages end in divorce. When parents separate, the natural inclination is to try to please the child, so that they are liked more than the other parent, and because of the guilt that the parents feel. Even in families where the parents have remained together, there is a trend for parents to be more friends to their children than parents.
As my son grew up, I played with him a lot, loved on him, and made sure that he knew that I would always love him unconditionally. He knew that I would never leave him or his mother, and that no matter what he did or said, that I would always love him.
I also made sure he always knew that I was his father, and not his buddy. I would never let my son call me friend, buddy, bud, pal, dude, or any other nickname that implied that I was his friend. He called me daddy, dad or father, and anytime he called me something else, I corrected him. I also made sure that he always knew that his mom was, more importantly, my wife.
Fathers, God calls us to be the authoritative head of the family; the one who brings protection and financial security, and the one who teaches and mentors. Make sure that your children know that you are first and foremost their father, and not their buddy.
See the below scriptures for some advice from our Heavenly Father.
My children, listen when your father corrects you. Pay attention and learn good judgment, for I am giving you good guidance. Don’t turn away from my instructions. For I, too, was once my father’s son, tenderly loved as my mother’s only child. My father taught me, Take my words to heart. Follow my commands, and you will live. Get wisdom; develop good judgment. Don’t forget my words or turn away from them. (Proverbs 4:1-5)
And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)
Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates. (Psalm 127:3-5)
Direct your children unto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. (Proverbs 22:6)