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One For the Dads

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by Ryan Trask
family

I can still remember the night my wife told me we were pregnant with our first child. And I can vividly remember the sheer joy and slight horror in discovering that we were having a girl. I was so pumped to have a little girl, but also felt a little crushed by the weight of being a daddy to a girl.

To be honest, there are many moments where I’m still terrified that I’m the daddy of a little girl. And as we dive into the second trimester of pregnancy for our second child, I’m already feeling the weight of being the daddy of that little girl or boy.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being a dad. It’s great. I love the snuggling, I love playing with toys and hide and seek. I even like the diapers and the incredibly messy eater that she is. It’s all great.

But I also believe that my job as a parent, as a father, is incredibly crucial. Ephesians commands these things of me:

Ephesians 5:25 — Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…

Ephesians 6:4 — Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

I believe that the way I live my life and how I love and lead my family directly affects the kind of men and women my kids will end up being. I want to love my family sacrificially and always point my family to Jesus. I haven’t done this perfectly to this point, and I certainly won’t in the future, but it’s what I strive for.

Here is what I believe with all my heart about the impact of how I love my wife and kids has on my children.

1. What My Love for My Wife Tells My Daughter

I am the first man my daughter will ever love. Just the other morning she vocalized some sounds that sounded like “love you” to me and I about lost it. I will be my daughter’s first love. When she plays wedding as a 3-year-old, chances are she will want to marry me.

Because of that love, how I treat my wife is crucially important. How I treat my wife will teach my daughter about how a man is supposed to love a woman. She will say “look at how the man I love most in the world loves the woman I love most in the world,” either for good or bad. She will either want a man who loves her the way I love her mommy, or she won’t want anything to do with a man who loves her mommy that way. Or worse, if I don’t love her mommy well, she will think that is the kind of man she’s supposed to have. And that’s hard to stomach.

I’ve got to love my wife well so my daughter doesn’t date, marry, or think she deserves scum.

2. What My Love for My Daughter Tells My Daughter

The way I love my daughter also implants in her mind the kind of man she will date and marry. If I don’t love her well, treat her well, point her to Jesus, and help build a positive self image in her, she will marry someone who treats her that way.

I want to set the bar so high by how I treat her that she won’t waste her time with guys who don’t treat her as well as I do. Good luck future suitors, I’m going to set the bar impossibly high.

3. What My Love for My Wife Tells My Son

I don’t have a son, but I hope to one day. And my wife will be the first woman my son loves. How I treat his mom will directly influence how he eventually treats women he dates and may marry. If I treat his mom poorly, he may enter the ranks of men who treat women like trash.

But if I treat his mom well, love and serve her sacrificially, he will enter manhood treating women with respect and dignity, like the Bible teaches, and raise the bar for what it means to be a man. I want my son to be an abnormality in today’s culture for how well he loves and treats women, so I’ve got to love his mom well and point her to Jesus.

4. What My Love for My Son Tells My Son

The way I love and treat my son will also form for him what it means to be a man. If I treat him coldly and tell him that being a man is about lots of money, lots of women, and not showing emotion, he’ll probably enter manhood as a typical “boy in a man’s body,” unable to hold down a job, still living at home into his 30’s, unable to treat women with respect and not handling responsibility well.

But If I love him well and teach him that real men love and serve Jesus, love one woman for your entire life, love your kids well, show emotion, and be more concerned with leaving a Christ-honoring legacy than a large inheritance, maybe he will be on the leading edge of a group of young men who start revival in the church, stabilize the family, and change cultures perception of what it means to be a man.

To the dads: your job is critical. There is much riding on your shoulders as you love your wife and your children. Follow Jesus, love well, forgive often, ask for forgiveness often, and serve your families, and maybe we can raise up a generation of girls who don’t date scum and boys who aren’t scum.


ryanRyan is the Minister to Students at Preston Ridge Baptist Church and holds a Master of Arts in Student Ministry from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. More importantly, he is a proud husband to Janie and father to Abbi and their little one on the way. You can check out his blog on student ministry at www.ryantrask.org.

Posted in: Manhood

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