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Why Dads Should Listen to their Children’s Opinions

Why Dads Should Listen to their Children’s Opinions

The Importance of Your Family’s Opinion

Does my family’s opinion matter? Yes. Here’s why. You might have seen the headline recently about the woman whose grown children wrote a very unflattering obituary for her. In the piece, they talked about how she abandoned them when they were young, and they ended with this: “She will not be missed by [her children], and they understand that this world is a better place without her.” Wow.

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Other survivors have been likewise in parental obituaries. One man’s said that he was a “model example of bad parenting” who had a complete commitment to drinking, drugs, womanizing, and being generally offensive. Another was meant to be humorous, describing the recently deceased as one who “enjoyed booze, guns, cars, and younger women until the day he died.”

What makes this so interesting to me is that just this morning I was pondering my own obituary (don’t worry, I’m in excellent health). As I was praying for each of my children and grandchildren, I found myself wondering what my children will say of me after I’m gone. Of course, most people don’t speak ill of the dead. We try to focus on the positive aspects of a person’s life. But at the end of my life, what would an honest assessment by my children look like?

Your Family Knows The Truth

I think this is important. For one thing, our wives and children know who we really are. They don’t just see our public personas. They see us at our best and our worst. They see us first thing in the morning. They see us when we are most exhausted. They see us when nobody outside the walls of our homes does. So they know the truth about how much integrity we have. We might think we have them fooled, but they know.

Another reason our children’s assessment is so critical is that their opinions matter most (other than God’s, of course, whose judgment is perfect). Think about it. Who cares if my neighbors think I’m a good dad if my kids know I’m not? Who cares if my coworkers think I’m a loving husband if my kids know I ignore—or worse, abuse—their mother? Who cares if the people at church think I am a godly man if my kids know how selfish, unkind, and ungodly I am at home?

Takeaway: Does my family’s opinion matter? Think about this, dads: How do your kids see you? They know the real you. And if they suddenly had to write your obituary, could they honestly speak of you as a wonderful husband and father, as an exemplary Christian, as a godly man? Theirs are the opinions that matter.

Author: Mike Miller. Pastor of Central Baptist Church in Jacksonville, TX.

For more reading materials on how you can better care for your family, we recommend these 2 articles:

  1. How To Care Your Family
  2. Your Kids Learn in the Details

 

7 Comments

  1. Ambassador for Christ Abednego Duckett

    Submit and obey God’s word, pray for Godly wisdom, read the word daily. Pray for Gods heart, acknowledge him in all your ways and he will direct your path. Here GOD with your whole heart as a man, father and Leader. We need to hear from God in our hearts not a Not a man’s opinion. Humble our self.

    Reply
  2. Gerry Elemento

    I was really blessed and glad that God gave me the courage, wisdom, strength and humility when I hit my rock bottom.
    My wife and I who has been married for 29 years and together for 30, almost divorce twice due to my addictions.
    My kids (all grown up now) have a front row seats watching me fall down and redeemed myself when I accepted Christ as my Savior, who died for my sins.
    My wife and I went through that storms but because I am humbled enough to swallow my pride and lived a surrendered life (everyday is a process of surrendering my life to HIM), my kids and my wife opinion of me has changed and yes, I agree to what you saud, beside God’s opinion..my wife and kids opinion matters the most because they know what goes on inside the four walls of the house, they know me and they have seen the best and worst of me.
    And that is why, as soon as I wake up in the morning and before I put my feet on the floor, I surrendered whats ahead of me and thank HIM, Our Heavenly Father, who sent His only Son to die in the cross for me.

    Reply
  3. Tino

    I have no kids but my wife’s opinion about me matters. I try my best to be a good husband but I know there are areas I fall short. I’m just blessed to have a wife who always trys to see the best in me. We’ve been married for 20 and together for 22 so shes seen me at my lowest and at my best and yet she’s still here. When she speaks at my funeral or writes my obit I hope that she speaks the truth and I hope it’s about how I wasn’t perfect but everyday I tried to make her smile and how I wasn’t the most handsome but boy could I cook. Whatever she says or writes I hope it makes her smile when she does. Blessings!!

    Reply
  4. Scott Goodman

    I have often thought about this in a self-reflection way, and every time I do it reminds me to be a better Husband and Father. I always fall short, but try to do my best before God, and I know that’s all he wants. We all try to show our best to those that we meet outside our homes, so why not do the same inside our homes?

    Reply
  5. Woodbridge, VA

    Very Pround lesson.

    I just had a conversation with my two boys 12 and 15. Daddy is not perfect. Daddy has made a lot of mistakes when he was young, and made mistakes when I got older. I need you both to not be like me but GREATER. I need to make sure you know God and I am keeping my promise to give you back.

    I hope they remember that conversation when I am gone. Parents tend to lie and fudge the truth about their past. Embrace it, Own it, YOU LIVED IT. Teach your children to LEARN from it and hopefully when you are gone they will Respect you and THANK YOU.

    Reply
    • Tj Todd

      Great feedback! I’ve had a similar discussion with my sons but I told them, they are going to have to work as I’m just entering my prime 🙂

      To help them remember, maybe record a video that they can watch in years to come.

      Reply
  6. Roger Soliz

    All I know is that living with Christ in me is much more important that my old self. Much destruction has been set forth for me but My King says I may be wounded but he sees mended. All I do is hope they see the Heart Brokenness of trying to be the dad that they want in me. Only God can help me and that’s all I know is good for me. I never had a biological dad but I strive to be a good dad for my kids. I just wish they could give me a chance. They say I’m too strict but I say you will understand later in life. Thank you Lord for a wonderful journey. You are the promise!

    Reply

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