Failing Fathers and Derelict Dads 

I’m a dad. Not a perfect dad, but a dad, nonetheless.

I’m a dad who has made a ton of mistakes, and who’s wasted numerous hours wishing for some way to undo the messes I’ve made.

I’m a dad who had to look his son in the eye and say I’m sorry, please forgive me for allowing our home to become a war zone, because I wanted to go AWOL. 

I’m a dad. One who’s watched other dads make the same, stupid decisions I have made. 

And I’m a dad with a message to other dads; a word for failing fathers and derelict dads.

Dads, even though this out of whack society may believe it’s a school’s responsibility to raise your children, there’s a much higher authority who’s holding you accountable. 

And I’m not referring to the Federal Government.

Dads, no one forced you to be a dad. Whether your child was an “accident” or planned, no one twisted your arm and made you have sex with your child’s mother. You may have enjoyed the moment, wrapped in the warm embrace of copulation; while never for a moment giving any thought to a new life you were helping create. But, and like it or not, you became a dad.

Your child’s mother carried your child for 270 days. Morning sickness, back aches, and weight gain are just some of the things your child’s mother had to endure; so your child could be born.

Maybe you were never taught how to be a good dad. I’m sorry if that’s the case. But don’t use it as an excuse. Instead, use it as a reason to learn how to be a good dad.

Here are some common characteristics of good dads.

1. They are an ever present help in time of need. They aren’t off doing their own thing, expecting the mother to provide for the child’s needs. 

2. They don’t just tell their child how to act, they model it. They model honesty, integrity, and the proper way to interact socially.

3. They treat the child’s mother with dignity and respect. Whether or not the mother and father married, or stayed married, good dads don’t turn their child against their mother.

4. They keep their word. Broken promises are real killers, and one of the quickest ways to kill a child’s ability to trust anyone’s word is when a dad doesn’t keep his.

5. They allow their child to dream, to attempt things that may seem a little odd, and to make mistakes. They don’t get upset with a less than stellar performance.

6. They realize their child is not their clone. They have a life of their own. They need support, some advice gained through years of experience, but not someone to live their life for them.

7. They do what’s necessary to ensure the child is raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. They don’t just send them to church. They lead by example. 

8. They are slow to anger, and quick to forgive. They don’t harp over and over about things they said they’d forgiven. 

9. Their corrective action, whether spanking or time-outs, isn’t punitive. It is always used to help train the child, to reinforce the correct way to live. 

10. They rejoice when their child succeeds. They are never envious or mean spirited when their child is treated well, or blessed by God.

Dads, don’t let some failures keep you from your responsibilities. Children are usually very forgiving, if you’ll be honest with them. Mark my word, though. A phony they can spot. Fake repentance will only drive you farther from your child.

If you’re wondering where I dug up my characteristics of good dads, I’ll tell you. It shouldn’t be a secret, because the book has been around for a lot of years.

I was simply describing some of the ways my Father God is to His children. He’s always on the job, even if His kids are neglecting Him. He doesn’t quit loving, interacting when possible. 

And He never gives up believing in His kids. 

If you’ve been a failing father or a derelict dad, don’t you think it’s time to make a change? 

I can almost guarantee your child thinks so. 

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