June 9, 2021

Dads Who Finish Well

Written by Boyd Bailey

Praying dads confess their need for God to lead them in how to love their child well.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – June 9, 2021

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  2 Timothy 4:7

Some dads do not start out well. Feelings of inadequacy can cause them to ignore their responsibility to father well. At work they are more confident because of the time they have invested to hone their craft, develop their skills and master their giftedness. Colleagues tell them how well their work is carried out. Ah, but at home. Not so much. Loss of patience and frustration need to be replaced with patient love and forgiveness. A dad stuck in a downward spiral of shame can pull out. Stop blaming and start claiming Christ’s calling to love your child. If you feel like a failure, humble yourself and seek help. Like with work—invest in being a dad!

The apostle Paul understood the sacrifice it takes to finish well—like fighting a fight or running a race—discipline, focus and perseverance are required. Through the ups and downs of following his Lord Jesus Christ, Paul did not lose hope, but stayed focused on his calling to take the gospel of Jesus to those who did not know Jesus. His focus on his faithful heavenly Father gave Paul the vision of remaining faithful as the Spirit faithfully guided him in God’s will. Instead of giving up in the face of obstacles, this apostle of hope kept moving forward to finish well. 

One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead” (Philippians 3:13).

Are you focused on being a father who finishes well? Who, what and where you focus is who you become. When you focus on your heavenly Father you are reminded to be a patient dad who seeks to be understanding and loving. You finish well when love is your motivation. Because you love your child you want to know her—at her core being—she may be an introvert or extrovert, lacking confidence or over confident. But when she feels known, she feels understood and when she feels understood, you can be an empathetic father who your daughter trusts. Dads who finish well have children who know they are loved, even when they are hard to love. 

Also, dads who finish well surround themselves with other dads with a heart to finish well. They are able to draft behind one another when one is having a bad day or stuck in a hard season with a prodigal child. Dads who pray together finish well together! The fathers who don’t finish well give up when they experience failure, instead of getting up, confessing up and waking up to the reality of what needs to be done. Humility goes a long way in learning how to be a dad. I often confessed to our oldest, “We are practicing on you, ha!” Fortunately, she forgave me a lot. So dads, seek to love like Jesus and be loved by Jesus and other dads. You are loved and not alone. 

“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2, NKJV).

Prayer

Heavenly Father, give me the faith and perseverance to finish well as a dad for the sake of my child, through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name, amen.


Application

Who are dads I know who I can learn from, who are committed to finishing well for their families?


Related Reading

1 Corinthians 9:27; Romans 15:4; Hebrews 13:7-8; James 4:10


Worship Resource

Maverick City (Joe L. Barnes/Nate Moore): Ruins


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