One Big Way a Dad Speaks Identity Into His Kids

One Big Way a Dad Speaks Identity Into His Kids

by Fred Stinton, Elijah House Treasurer


A dad’s primary responsibility is to speak identity into his kids. “This is who you are. These are the gifts I see in you, and here is how I’m going to make a way for you in those things.”

All the statistics show that kids who grow up without their dads will be more likely to have social problems, behavioral issues, go to prison, etc. It’s very important for children to find out who they are from their dad.

Identity is not always something children feel from the dad. The children could have conflict with him for some reason, and there are a lot of bad dads out there too. But I think that if a man is willing to step into the role God has for him, and he practices integrity and sticks with it no matter what, he makes a better father. He is able to do what God set up for him to do as a dad. 

How Does a Dad Speak Identity Into His Kids?

A dad can speak identity into his children in several ways. Years ago I attended a Promise Keepers conference, and one of the speakers voiced his thoughts about identity in a unique way. I can’t remember who the speaker was now, but he said in order for kids to grow up strong, the husband has to love his wife.

That is an important aspect of speaking identity that is often overlooked. When the dad decides to love his wife, even if the two of them aren’t married anymore, it has a dramatic impact on the kids. If the mom isn’t in the picture or the marriage has fallen apart and ended in divorce, from all the things I’ve seen, if the dad still chooses to honor and respect the mother of his kids, his kids will be better off. He speaks identity into them by showing them how a man treats a woman, no matter what.  

There are so many divorces and other unhealthy family situations these days. People don’t honor each other in marriage like they should. That’s why it is so important to be a man of integrity. Even though we all fail at honoring to some extent, I think it is really important we follow through with it and do our very best job. Every day we keep going. We love our kids, we love our wife, and we allow our love to speak volumes to our children. 

What If a Man Feels Like a Failure?

Kids don’t come with an instruction manual. Neither does marriage.

There are a lot of good books out there, which can help, but some men aren’t big readers and don’t know how to access the different resources available to them. Whatever resource works for you, the key is to be ready to learn what you don’t know right now.

Are you willing to get out of your comfort zone for your kids? Are you willing to be humble and go after healing where you need it, so you can respond in love instead of flying off the handle? Are you willing to practice listening to the Holy Spirit and get better at hearing His voice? Every dad needs to learn different things. What you need might be different than what someone else needs.

There are a lot of moving pieces with families, and it is common for dads to feel like failures from time to time. But when we mess up, we apologize. We make sure our family knows, “Hey, I’m sorry. I screwed up.” Then we go back and try to do things better. That is the kind of honesty and integrity a dad should have with his kids and his wife.

Again, one of the best things you can do for your kids is just love your wife. You may not have all the answers across the board, but a husband can always choose to love his wife.

Choose to be dedicated to your marriage. Determine in your heart, “Yes. I’m going to do this, and this is the sort of man I’m going to be.” And then you be that man. 

Your family is your number one priority. Many men confuse the worth of their profession with the worth of their family, but the job is not your priority. It is certainly important, but the job is not important enough to interfere with your family.

A Dad’s Relationship With God

How does relationship with God play a role in all of this?

Our success as fathers is based on Him. He’s our example. We are focused on becoming more like Jesus—the Man who never lost His temper with children and was full of love for everybody. He even loved Judas, though he was fully aware Judas was going to betray Him one day. But He loved him anyway.

Our kids aren’t perfect. They will make mistakes and crazy decisions that don’t make sense to us, but we get to be like Jesus and love well. When it’s hard, we keep praying and going back to God for His help, and He will be faithful to give it. He is a Father Himself, so He understands.

One of the best things a dad can do is get heart healing. This will have a profound impact on his family! If you’re interested in learning more about what Elijah House offers, check out Course 201: Heart Healing Essentials.

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