I’m sure we’ve all have at least heard of “The Prodigal Son” and hopefully read that parable as well in the book of Luke. If you are a Dad, then this story probably resonates with you on many levels. Being there for your kids when they need you is important.
Luke 15:24 — “For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’And they began to celebrate.”
When I read this parable, this is the verse that sticks out to me, “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.”
Being There for Your Kids
If you are a Dad, you’ve probably had the situation arise that needs you to stand by and do nothing to fix the situation. That’s a role that most men do not gravitate toward since we tend to think of ourselves as “fixers.” But in the parable, you can read into the story and see that the Dad had to allow his youngest son to leave and live impetuously. Being there for your kids can manifest in different ways.
It’s taken me some time, but I had to learn to let my sons do some things on their own. They will learn more from that rather than having me always do it.
Supporting Your Kids
My youngest son just got married, and he did a great job of getting him and his wife ready for when they were moving into their apartment and asked for my input when he needed. He handled all the details and even dealt with the apartment staff when they tried to raise his rent by 50.00 per month. I remember sitting in the front seat while he was on the phone in the back seat with them. He was having none of it, and while I wanted to jump on the phone for him, he handled it like a pro.
My oldest son just bought a new car, and it was the first time I didn’t have to do all the research myself. He spent the time looking into what he wanted, asked for my input when needed and made his own decisions. It even involved a trade-in and required some work to be done to the car after the sale.
While I’m so happy that my wife and I have raised two well-rounded men of God that can handle all the details of life, I love that they know I’m here.
Being There When They Need You
In our verses, you see that the son didn’t have to yell to his Dad or send a message he was coming. The Dad was on watch for his son…as while he was still a long way off, his father saw him. He was being there for his kids!
Men, your children will have seasons when they need you all the time. They will have seasons when they may not require your help as much. Just because your children may not need you to handle all the details in their life, doesn’t mean they don’t still value your input when they need it. Enjoy that you have invested in their lives as they grew up. Be ready to run and embrace your children when needed.
Sons, you know that Dad stands on guard all the time. I’ve got your back and can still run when needed.
Author: Tj Todd is the creative director of UNCOMMEN and the CEO of Studio490 Creative Services.
For more reading materials on being there for your kids, we recommend these articles:
- Your Kids Learn in the Details
- Support Your Kids: Bee There
- Taking advantage of Dad Time with Your Kids
The hardest part of being a Dad to my youngest son, was watching him from the distance as he makes one mistakes after another.
When I said, watching from the distance, I meant, I was being proactive by continue praying for him, by seeking guidance from our Heavenly Father, seeking support from a brother and community of men, by constantly telling my son that I love him, nothing he could do to make me stop loving him and that I will never give up on him.
The parable of the son gave me a perspective from a different view. I see it from the fathers point of view…that the father is lovingly and patiently waiting for his son and as soon as his son comes back home..the father embrace him with open arms!
During this time also, I remember being afraid for my son to turns out like me but someone once said to me…i want him to turn out to be like you because your son have seen you hit the bottom but you rise up and seek God for forgiveness and strength; and turn your life around and has continued to learn how to be the husband and father that God has designed us to be!
*on a side note: one of my favorite song is Arms Wide Open by Creed! It was the song that hit me few years after my youngest son was born.
Very good and telling article. But sadly, I was, as a believer, tried to raise children as best as I could and was an extremely broken man inside. I myself came from a very broken and ungodly family with divorce, addictions and abuse. I never understood the true role of a father as I didn’t even know mine. I was always trying to do life on my own, and attempted to fix myself to no avail. It wasn’t until four years ago when God brought me to the end of myself. And I received proper biblical counseling and finally have brothers in Christ I can trust and be accountable to and my marriage of 36 years has been restored and made so very strong. But now I’m dealing with the fallout with an older married son who is not following Christ, an older married daughter whose marriage is in turmoil after 11 years, and a 19 year old son who was doing so well with his walk with Christ, is now out on his own in rebellion. I now see how King David felt with all the heartache in his family for what he did and didn’t do as a father. Now all I can do is pray. And truly be authentic and be Jesus for my children. I don’t want any more of future generations continue in such pain, as my mom and dad’s relatives that go back lived such broken lives. Praying for God to do a miracle. He has delivered and set me free, and now I pray for my children.
Praying for you and your family, Kevin. You couldn’t fix yourself, and can’t fix your children, but God’s plan are higher than ours, and nothing is too hard for him.
Thank you brother for the words of encouragement. They mean a lot and never take them for granted. I know God is bigger than all this, and he loves my children more than I could ever do. God bless you.
I think one of the most challenging things for us men to overcome is the desire to fix everything. This has certainly been true for me. I would run around at a hundred miles an hour doing stuff. I had to do it because it needed to be done right (in my deluded estimation). This often meant running ahead of everyone and quite often it also meant I didn’t take the time to listen properly. This also meant that I wasn’t doing what was really needed. I would love to say Godly wisdom is what slowed me down but it wasn’t. It was Parkinson’s Disease. This disease physically slowed me down which in turn allowed my brain to catch up. I have no choice but to stop and listen. It is amazing what you discover when you listen completely before you attempt to act. Not only has Parkinson’s improved my listening skills, it has also improved my ability to allow others to do things for me. The most important aspect of this has been letting my kids do things with me. Rather than me, it is we. We do more together and I am able to impart more of my skills to them. Parkinson’s has been a gift from God. It’s funny how you thinking changes. Being physically limited by Parkinson’s has not lessened me as a man, it has made me more of the man that God intended me to be. As husband, father, brother and son.
Being a Dad requires FAITH. Faith in how you were brought up which was good enough for you is now good enough in todays world to raise your Child.
I am at that point right now. MY 15 year old does not hear me and doesn’t want to hear me and I now understand how my Mother felt raising me when I did her the same way.
I did turn out alright thru her prayers and her faith. My Dad ways have become my ways, his words have become my words, his ethics have become my ethics, his beliefs have become my beliefs. My Dad never said much but he led by example and things I said I would never do I HAVE DONE. My Mother constantly the voice in my ear wasn’t reaching me at that moment in my life. YET everything both of these people have tried to instill in me have risen to the top and I can say I am the Man I am supposed to be because THEY NEVER GAVE UP!!!
The story of the Prodigal Son to me. Let Go and Let God, and if you have FAITH His will WILL be done.
I came from a paternally verbally abusive household and I now find myself repeatedly making the same mistakes. This article has reminded me that faith in God and his forgiveness is always there. I’m now a stepdad to two wonderful kids earning their forgiveness is going to be hard but I have FAITH that though God one day I’ll see it