Dear Dad: How to strengthen your relationship with your child

Do you remember how we used to pick teams for sports at recess or in the backyard?  It always felt good to be picked by someone we respected, someone whose team we wanted to be on.  It felt lousy not to be picked.  Being chosen by someone implies that they WANT you.  The God of the universe WANTS you.  He has chosen you to be on His team!

That gives us an indication of what God thinks of us.

  • He is proud to call us sons & daughters
  • He thinks we have what it takes
  • He thinks we will have a great impact for His team

Do you believe who God says you are through Jesus? As God’s sons and daughters, we are

  • Chosen (1 Peter 2:9)
  • Loved (1 John 4:9-10)
  • Forgiven (Psalm 103:12-13).

If God believes this about us, He also believes this about our kids!

Think about your children and go back and read the two lists again.  What if we treated them like we were choosing them as the star of our team?  What if we treated them like we believed those things about them?  I am sure you are already doing a better job of this than you think you are; I want to encourage you in that.  Keep doing it, but also keep improving!

Read this: A bad day does not make you a bad parent 

It’s confession time…

When my son was in fourth grade, I had a terrible dad moment. I was the offensive coach for our football team and my son was the quarterback.  I never played a down of football in my life and he’s a baseball player… Not the best combination!  We didn’t score a touchdown all year.

On this day, he botched one of my masterfully-designed plays.  From the sidelines, I yelled at him in front of everyone, at the top of my lungs.  I even used a classic coach’s line, “What are you doing?  How many times have we been over that play?”  To add emphasis, I spiked my dry erase board into the ground.  This was definitely not my proudest moment.

Fourth…Grade…Football.  Really, dude?

Have you been there?

Let’s intentionally treat our sons and daughters in a way that lets them know, without any doubt, we are proud they are our children.  We need to be their “proud papa” to their face and when we are talking about them to our friends.  I’m not talking about bragging about their accomplishments or competing about our kids’ achievements with other parents.  I’m also not talking about pretending everything is perfect and we have it all together.

Instead, we need to reflect a God-like love and grace for them when we are with them, as well as when we are not.

OK, let’s go back together and read the beginning of this post about what God thinks of us as members of His team, but let’s re-do the list with us as the fathers.

Let’s let our kids know by our words and our actions that this is what we think of them:

  • I am proud to call you son or daughter
  • I think you have what it takes
  • I think you will have a great impact for God’s team

Focusing on these statements will help us as dads.  Again, let me encourage you:  You are doing better than you think you are in this area.

Remember my fourth-grade coaching meltdown?  I was sure I scarred my son for life.  He’s twenty now.  I asked him about it and he barely remembers it (thank goodness).

It’s not about focusing on the fact that we fall short because that happens to all of us from time to time.  It’s about constantly improving like every great team does!

Now read this: Dear child: Why you can always depend on God’s love 

Brian Goslee is an author, speaker, and founder of Changed Through Faith Ministries . Their mission is to help families grow closer to God and each other, using fun and relevant faith-infused events and resources. Brian’s life has been radically changed through active faith in Christ and he has a heart for helping others experience this in their lives.


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