Dad’s listen up. There is something absolutely wonderful about being a dad to sons. Raising sons is a noble and important task. Part of the reason Uncommen was founded was because of the fatherhood crisis we are seeing in our society today. Look up the stats and you will see that fatherlessness is a huge problem in our juvenile court systems, in prisons, and in schools today. We have all seen or experienced firsthand the devastation of a lack of father involvement in the life of young men. So rather than milling about with our heads down, it’s time to do something about it.
If you are doing a great job with your sons today…. keep it up! If you are drifting along without a plan in how to raise up your son… this quick read is designed to encourage you to step it up and dial it in.
Fathering sons is serious work for serious men. So here are three things I would like to offer up that every son should hear or see from his father. If you have more, add them into the comments on the post below.
1. “You are loved”: Every son needs to hear that they are loved by their dad. Without affirmation from dad, we know that can often carry deep wounds into the most key relationships throughout life. All men long to hear those words from their dad. Often the first image your sons will capture about their Heavenly Father is an earthly image of their dad (for better or worse). So tell your boy you love him.
How do you do this? Grab your son by the shoulders, get down to his level. Look him straight in the eye and say. “Son, I love you.” Period. And give him a hug. Watch your son’s confidence grow every time you tell him that.
2. “I’m proud of you”: Most men looking for extra approval in all the wrong places usually never get that from their fathers. Why? Deep down most men wonder, am I strong enough? Am I good enough? Do I measure up? They need to know, at periodic seasons in their lives, that that they are worthy, they measure up, and that there is nothing they have to do to earn our favor. In the Scriptures, this is most clear when God spoke over His Son Jesus during the baptism by John the Baptist. “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17; Mark 19:35). How do you do this? Look your son in the eyes and say “Son, I’m proud of you.” Give him a hug. Repeat, especially when it’s for no reason at all other than to remind him of who he is and that is he approved by you as his father.
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3. “Hard work is a blessing”: Even though we are approved by God apart from our work, the quality and effort of our work do matter in this world and your son will be measured in both school, sports activities, and his career. Idleness, laziness, dodging responsibility, and entitlement can rot a young boy’s work ethic and translate into his adult life. Remind your sons that hard work is not a product of the Fall but rather a blessing to be experienced. Sweat equity, hustle, problem-solving, overcoming, succeeding, and even failure are all a part of God’s plan to develop our character. Make sure you son sees you work hard. And let him know that’s a good thing. If your son is seeing you dodging the work, they will more often than not mimic that behavior in their own adult life.
How do you do this? Welcome your son to see what you do for a living. Let him participate in the housework, yard work, helping clean up, and more. Make sure he sees you being helpful to his mother, not a burden.
Matthew 7:9-11 — “Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? “Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!”
About the author: Tj is the CEO of Studio490 Creative Services and Uncommen.
This is something i really needed to read i have a thirteen year old son who i’m trying to get closer to and this is a great way to start. I will definetly put these steps into practice. Thanks.
I wish I had known this when my three sons were kids and also my daughter. They’re all grown and all are deeply committed to Jesus, my daughter is an associate missionary in Paris, Fr. My eldest son is Pastor of Worship Arts in a large church in WA. My middle son runs a small business, and is very active in his local church where he occasionally runs sound or leads the music for worship. My youngest, also active in his church, supports his wife in her role as associate director of women’s ministry. The. point of all this is to say, you don’t have to be a perfect father for your kids to turn out ok. Was your dad perfect? Mine was far from it! Mean Alcoholic, verbally abusive, filthy language — every other word was a swear word! There were three kids. None of us liked him. In fact, my brother hated him! Not exactly a role model for a father.
When I became a father, I was clueless as to my role. But God served as my role model, and He and my very wise wife, reared my kids in the way they should go, snd occasionally they let me help!
Rod, what a great testimony to the power of a family with their focus on Jesus. Thank you for your input. Stay Uncommen!
Robert, that is a great age to invest your time with your son. He will need you in many areas as he grows into a man. Stay Uncommen!
Robert, you should check out this experience called Champion Tribes. It is a group experience that helps fathers connect with their middle school sons and create a context for meaningful conversation.
I can see where I’ve gone amiss with all this and am not shy to say I’ve been wrong about many things but these three steps are a profoundly good place to start. Thank you.
Mark, many of us may look back and want to do it differently. But I would suggest to start fresh today! Take a stand, invest in your family and be the man you were always meant to be. Stay Uncommen!
Thank you very much I learned a lot after reading this
Victoria, that is great to hear. There is more to come. Stay Uncommen!
I have been working overseas for 3 years without having adequate time to spend with my family and by extension my son. I am about to return home now, so I will definitely utilize the steps you have outlined to get closer to him.
Howard, you can never make us for lost time, but you can be present in the time you now have. Invest that wisely. Stay Uncommen!
Need more information for learning. Ty
Ken, take a look at some of the comments here on this thread. Great feedback from Men in the thick of Fatherhood! Stay Uncommen!
A 4th one might include reminding (and demonstrating!) that a man’s word is his bond. Loyalty, fidelity, honoring agreements (like wedding vows for example), and remembering promises are all key components in being a godly man.
Jeff, great suggestions. Stay Uncommen!
I applied these three principles raising my 3 son’s. They have become great men, husbands and dads! They are 40, 35 and 30, now. I am now applying them to my grandsons, to reinforce what my sons are teaching them!
Thank you for this article.
Mike, that is fantastic! That is so great to see how you are still investing in your family and I’m sure they are very thankful for that. Stay Uncommen!
My son is 3 and my daughter is 6. Every night I tell my children I love them and am proud of them. They have even started repeating it back. I never really thought about the third point but will be making sure to use it.
Bryan, having a 20 and 18 year old now I can say, you’ll be surprised how investing in your children at this age will lead to great things when they get older. Keep being an awesome Dad…Stay Uncommen!
Wonderful piece.I wish i had known all these earlier.Can I share with my fellow men who are younger?