Day 22: A Father at Heart   “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” —Ephesians 6:4 

Last week a young mom and I decided it is a very good thing if a husband takes over more parenting when the kids are teenagers, because a man’s strength is needed to get through those years. Men and women parent differently – have you noticed? It takes both approaches to keep the kids on the right track. A foolish wife will criticize her husband’s skills to a point where he may want to give up. Parenting together lightens the load. 

If you have children, what type of a parent is your husband? Does his style differ from yours? Do you support his style and praise him for his fathering skills? Does he discipline your children wisely? Does he show love and support to the kids? Does he spend time developing their character? Does he listen to their dreams and go to their activities? Praise him for being involved.

If he does not do well with children, try to figure out why. Did he have a poor father figure with many negative experiences in childhood? It’s possible he still needs to heal from some of his childhood blows. Be gentle with him if this is the case. 

TRY THIS: Encourage his fathering skills. 
Does your husband make positive deposits in the lives of your children? Tell him you appreciate his efforts to be a good father. Ask him to share what he fears about being a dad, and reassure him that he has a father’s heart. 

Heavenly Father, you alone are the perfect parent. Too often I expect my husband to live up to your perfection. Forgive my critical spirit and help me to appreciate the kind and wonderful things my husband does to be a father or a father figure to my children. If he has been wounded himself as a child, please show him how those wounds affect his own ability to parent and prevent him from being the man and father you desire him to be. Urge me to love him and encourage him as he walks the journey of fatherhood. I ask in your Son’s name. Amen.

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