How did your dad come through for you when you were young? When I think of my dad being there for me, I automatically think of driving. He took me to get my license (both times, because I failed the test on the first go-round), and he taught me how to drive a car with a stick shift. Every time I stalled, he’d say, “Start ‘er back up.”
We all have unique stories of our fathers. Whether your father was your hero or completely absent, the truth remains that all our dads impacted our identities and our lives’ trajectories. That’s made clear in the Kendrick brothers’ new documentary film, Show Me the Father. The movie tells five true stories of fathers—some who came through for their kids and others who left wounds. These stories prove that whether a dad does or doesn’t show up for his kids, he changes their lives. So what are some of the most important ways dads can be there for their kids? Here are 3 you can share with your husband or ex-husband. And if your kids’ father isn’t in their lives right now, then Mom, you can do all these things, too!
The idea of the father being the provider in the family might sound antiquated to you. There are plenty of households where the wife earns more than her husband. Providing financially is important, but we’re talking about more than just money.
A father comes through for his kids when he provides wisdom, security, and love. You may have received that from someone other than your biological father. Sherman Smith, a running backs coach for the Seattle Seahawks, was a mentor for his players. In the movie, he talks about how he strived to give his players more than just conditioning and coaching because their football careers would eventually end. He wanted to provide encouragement and to be a father figure to them.
By Being Consistent
One of the most impactful stories in Show Me the Father is from Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family. As a child, he didn’t know what dad he was going to encounter. His own father, an alcoholic, had his ups and downs and his downs were so dangerous that Jim and his mother and siblings had to run from him. His mother passed away four years later, and his stepfather emptied the family home and left the kids during their mother’s funeral.
One of the best ways a dad can come through for his kids is to provide a secure environment. This comes through consistency. Kids who have to walk on eggshells wondering if they’re going to encounter Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde won’t ever have a sense of peace and rest in their home. The movie makes the point that by being consistent, dads are an example of the steadfastness of God the father.
By Passing Down Blessings
Fathers can pass down blessings in two different ways. The first is by being faithful in everything they do. I once heard someone say “God has children but no grandchildren,” which basically means we can have a heart for God and His commands, but we can’t force our children to do it too. They have to choose that on their own. While that’s true, fathers can still strive to do what is honorable and good, and bless their children by leading a life worthy of imitation.
The second way fathers can pass down a blessing is by actually speaking one over their children. In the movie, the Kendrick brothers remember how their own father did this on their wedding days, and in essence bestowed upon them everything they needed in order to love their wives and future children well. They even walk through how to receive a blessing from God that you may not have gotten from your dad and how to heal from those wounds that you may have had growing up.
Show Me the Father is in theaters starting Friday, September 10.
In what ways do you think fathers need to come through for their kids?