Another Father’s Day is approaching, and families all over the country will honor and celebrate their fathers and father figures. Whether small or grand, dads on that day will be the center of attention. I want to thank my children Anetra, Tinesha, Nicole, and Tim Jr. for continued reverence of me as their father and mentor. God has blessed me with 35 years of fatherhood, and in honor of fathers everywhere, I would like to share what I call the “four pillars of fatherhood.” I hope these pillars will create healthy dialogue within the family setting.
The first pillar of fatherhood is financial support. Financial support is required for all children regardless of the living conditions. The bible says that if a man does not provide for his family, he is worse than an unbeliever. What this means is that if a man is not taking care of his children, his faith is worthless. Financial support must be paramount. This is non-optional and every father must have the pillar of financial support.
The second pillar of fatherhood is quality time. This is the fun part of fatherhood. Be creative. With the average father spending about 20 minutes a day with their children, there is lots of room for improvement. Use the internet, kitchen table, playground, game table, and any other resource or avenue available to spend time with your children. The quality time spend with fathers make emotionally healthy children. This second pillar adds stability to fatherhood.
The third pillar of fatherhood is spiritual development. Spiritual development provides a solid platform for morals and values. The child must learn to place mission before money, and precepts before biceps. They must honor the creator more than the created, and give respect before they demand it. When children see their father reverencing God, they learn firsthand how to develop a spiritual relationship with the creator.
The fourth and final pillar of fatherhood is positive affirmation. The words of the father shape the heart of children. Positive affirmation builds esteem and provides a safe haven for self discovery. Without the father’s words, the child will seek approval in all the wrong places. But with the father’s blessing and approval, the child will go into adulthood with their spirit, soul, and body intact and in harmony. Positive affirmation is the life blood of fatherhood.
We honor our fathers! Fatherhood is a key institution in a healthy community. I believe that financial support, quality time, spiritual development, and positive affirmations are the pillars to true fatherhood. As more discussions are held around what it means to be a father, these four pillars must be included in the discussion. I honor every father that is as committed as I am to instilling in children a positive sense of self so powerful that generations will feel its impact!
Timothy Houston is an author, minister, and motivational speaker who is committed to guiding positive life changes in families and communities. To get a copy of his books, or for questions, comments or more information, go to www.tlhouston.com.