June 16, 2021

Intentional Dads

Written by Boyd Bailey

Dads who practice intentionality in loving their children experience the love of adult children.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – June 16, 2021

Point your kids in the right direction—when they’re old they won’t be lost. Proverbs 22:6, The Message

Two or three times a year I have the joy and privilege of meeting men I don’t know for a time of fishing. Most recently, we attempted to catch tarpon in the Florida Keys. Early morning, while the sun gradually revealed the radiance of its orange and yellow rays, six to eight of us sipped coffee and conversed about life. Three father/son’s brought fresh reminders to us all of the power of spending intentional time with our children. Precious was the smile from the son knowing his dad planned this four-day excursion just for him. He mattered. He was special. He was loved. Fishing was an excuse to build memories, feel known, laugh together and enjoy God’s creation. Dads who practice intentionality in loving their children experience the love of adult children.

The wisdom of Proverbs describes the dynamic of parental influence over a child. The ability to point their little ones in a direction that gives them a higher probability of following Jesus is an awesome responsibility. The wisdom of a prayer-led process in nurturing the soul of a child so the software of their hearts and minds are coded with the care, love and kindness of their father. A father who is intentional in reflecting his heavenly Father’s love—father’s well, not perfectly, but in a way that joins God’s way, to have His way with his child. Intentional love leads to Jesus!  

“Fathers, don’t frustrate your children with no-win scenarios. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master [Jesus]” (Ephesians 6:4, The Message).

Far too often I talk with dads whose father was not intentional in their relationship and to this day does not initiate phones calls, much less in person conversations. These feelings of rejection lead to angry resentment, unable to accept the reality of a dad who does not seem to care. Why is this so? Why can’t fathers (especially dads who know God), be intentional in loving their child well? A reason may be their limited capacity to love. Fathers who never experienced intentional love may lack the example, skills and ability to initiate love with their child. If your dad is unable to express the love you need, ask God to transform your anger to empathy. Model intentional love.

How can you be more intentional as a father to your child? Start by praying for your progeny to grow in their love for Jesus and model for them how to love intentionally. Compare calendars with your wife to schedule a special time together with your child. Collaborate with your spouse on what activities would be most relationally meaningful. Perhaps a trip together, coach her team, ride bikes, play chess/checkers or watch a favorite TV show. Experience hobbies as an excuse to model being a loving dad who intentionally knows and has fun with his child. Plan a budget to support your dad/child activities. Love intentionally invests money and time together.  

“But for right now, until that completeness [heaven], we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13, The Message).


Heavenly Father, give me wisdom and creativity to be intentional with my children and love them well, through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name, amen.


Consider comparing calendars with your wife and schedule meaningful times to be with your children.

Related Reading

Psalm 145:5-7; Nehemiah 9:20; 2 Corinthians 6:18; Hebrews 12:7

Worship Resource

Phil Wickham: It’s Always Been You


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