How to Be a Great Dad

How To Connect With Your Spouse During The Holidays

Calling All Dads!

Don is flying solo this week and talking specifically about dads. Hold up women! Don’t go away yet! We believe God has something to share with both husband and wife about this topic. We encourage you to pass this podcast along to your husband and invite them to listen with you or on their own!

Recently, we lost a beloved uncle and brother. Don’s older brother David passed away a few weeks ago. As our whole family processed the loss, one thing we all agreed was how great of a dad David was. 

David left behind an amazing son and daughter. They said their dad was their “go to guy.” Someone who they could talk to about anything in life. The legacy he left behind was centered on being a great dad.

Do you want to be this kind of dad? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

1. How Are You Going to be the “Go to” Guy for Your Kids?

Remember, this is not a competition between parents. We want them to come to us! We want our kids to include us in their lives. Dads especially want this connection. We don’t want our kids to fear us, we want to bridge any distance in the relationships.

A Few Ways:  

  • Be humble  
  • Be an example and show them how to do things  
  • Be interested in them 
  • Avoid lecturing them  
  • Invest in them
Application: Ask your kids what they want in a dad. Invite your spouse into the conversation if you don’t think your kids will open up to you! You might be surprised what your kids will say!  

Wives, Your Turn!  

2. How Do You Encourage Your Husband to Be a Great Dad?  

John Eldridge wrote many books and one of our personal favorites is Wild at Heart. It has changed countless men’s hearts including Don’s! Wives, the bottom line is you are not going to teach your husband to be a great dad. 

Wives, you are called to release and empower him. It is not your job to protect him, control him, or in the words of Suzanne, “Turn Don into a hairy woman!”

And then alas there is the church. Christianity as it currently exists has done damage to masculinity. When all is said and done, I think most men believe that God put them on the earth to be “good boy.” the problem with me is they don’t know how to keep their promises, be spiritual leaders, talk to their wives, or raise their children. But if they try really hard, they can reach the lofty summit (sarcasm intended) of becoming a nice guy. That’s what we hold up as models of Christian maturity. REALLY NICE GUYS. We don’t smoke, drink, or swear. That’s what makes us Christian men. Now let me ask my male readers, in all your boyhood dreams growing up did you ever dream of becoming a nice guy. Ladies, was the prince of your dreams dashing or merely nice?” – John Eldridge

The point is society, wives, and even the church wants to take the masculinity and ultimately the heart of the man out of them.  

He continues to say, “And thus the heart of a man is driven into the high country into remote places like a wounded animal looking for cover. Women know this and lament that they have no access to their man’s heart. Men know it too but often are unable to explain why their heart is missing. They know their heart is on the run but they often don’t know where to pick up the trail. The church wags its head and wonders why it can’t get more men to sign up for church programs. The answer is simply this, we have not invited a man to know and live from his deep heart. 

Wives, if you want your husband to be an awesome dad, first he needs to become an awesome man.  

Men want a sense of adventure. They want to conquer things. The more women can release them the better dad they will be.  

Bottom Line: Create a culture in your home of allowing your husband/dad to be a man!  

Application: Ask your husband what his dreams are. No strings attached. Simply put all the ideas on the table and see what he says!  

Back to the Dads,

3. What Did Your Dad Do for You?  

Don watched his dad do things like:  

  • Work hard and get the job done  
  • Teaching them the value of the Family Name  
  • Choosing honesty  
  • Faithfulness and loyalty 
  • Married for over 67 years 
  • Living without judgment 

As you think about what your dad has done for you, you may feel positive or negative motivation. That’s okay and normal. There are good and bad things every parent has done. Build on the positive things he did for you.  

Application: Write a letter to your dad thanking him for all he has done for you. Involve your kids and get their input.  

Last Question:

What if Your Dad Wasn’t There for You?

How do we solve the problem of learning the things our dads didn’t teach us? Where do we go for this insight and maturity?  

Dads, there is room for other men to come into our lives and help shape us.  

One way is through books. For example, John Eldridge is someone Don connected with and has read all of his books. What he has read influenced his life deeply. Find an author you connect with and learn from them. 

The second way is mentors. Find men who can disciple you. Someone who can be a spiritual father for you. We get to choose who influences us.  

Application: Go to a man you respect. Ask him to mentor you. Look for books, podcasts, articles, and mentors you can learn from. 

As we mentioned earlier, the death of Don’s brother recently happened but a week before a mentor in Don’s life also passed. His name was John Paine. Over 20 years ago, John and Don were in a random business meetingDon reached out to John and asked if they could go to lunch. Don was bold and asked John to mentor him. John said yes and over the next 20 years they met on a monthly basis. Mentorship for them was meeting and talking about life. John had ALS for 18 years before passing away. Through the time with him, Don watched John’s physical life deteriorate but his intimacy with God exponentially increased.  

“Hey, will you mentor me” is the best question I have ever asked! It led me to a friendship and mentorship that lasted 20+ years. It dramatically changed my life.” – Don 

Dads, the bottom line is we have other men in this world who can mentor us. Go seek them out!  

Here Are the Questions and Applications:

Dads, how are you going to be your kids “go to” guy?

Application: Ask your kids what they want in a dad. Invite your spouse into the conversation if you don’t think your kids will open up to you! You might be surprised what your kids will say!  

Wives, how do you encourage your husband to be a great dad?

Application: Ask your husband what his dreams are. No strings attached. Simply put all the ideas on the table and see what he says!  

Dads, what did your dad do for you?

Application: Write a letter to your dad thanking him for all he has done for you. Involve your kids and get their input.

Dads, what if your dad wasn’t there for you?

Application: Go to a man you respect and ask him to mentor you. Also, look for books, podcasts, articles, and mentors you can learn from. 

Take time today to think about these questions. We encourage you to do at least one of the applications. Make space to intentionally build your identity as a man, a dad, and a son of God.  

How To Connect With Your Spouse During The Holidays

If you have a question or a parenting issue that you’d like us to discuss in a future podcast, email us at [email protected].

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