Everyone Needs Encouragement. You and I need encouragement from others, and others need it from us. Well, the same is true of your children! Even though the difficulties they face may be of a smaller scale, still, to them, their problems may seem overwhelming. When they are struggling, a hug or word of encouragement can go a long way toward giving them much-needed confidence and hope.
How to Be a Good Dad as Your Children’s #1 Encourager
God never gives you an assignment without also giving you the grace and the means to carry it out! As I considered the how-tos of being your children’s #1 supporter, it occurred to me that the most important rule for being an encourager is to make sure all your encouragement is authentic and from your heart. To do this, you need to prepare yourself by making a few key decisions:
Set a daily goal of seeking encouragement first thing from God’s Word. You want and need to be a positive husband and father, and there’s no better place to start that journey than in God’s Word. You cannot impart what you do not possess. Look what happened when the prophet Jeremiah experienced the power of God’s Word: “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart” (Jeremiah 15:16).
What child wouldn’t love to have this kind of dad—a dad who’s filled with the positive and powerful energy and joy only God can supply? So dig into God’s Word on a daily basis. Go a step further and mark every verse you find that brings you fresh confidence in God’s plan or wisdom or sovereignty regarding life’s challenges. And don’t forget to share these verses with your wife and children so they too can know the same confidence, wisdom, and strength for their days.
Make the effort to memorize specific Bible verses that will encourage you and others. This is the next step beyond just reading God’s Word. Once you find verses that are particularly encouraging to you, commit them to memory. You’ll always be thankful for every verse you memorize because once you have deposited God’s truths and promises into your mind, you can turn to them anytime and anywhere. They become your personal on-the-spot encouragers that lift you up.
When you have God’s gems of strength stored away in your mind, you are able to pass them on to your children. You can give them the wisdom of the ages. You can share God’s personal take on each situation they face. At the first sign of discouragement or downheartedness in one of them, you can go to that child and give real help.
Decision #3Take every opportunity to encourage your children. God’s instruction to His people is that they be sure to “encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV). These words are also translated “comfort each other and edify one another” (NKJV).
The primary way you can encourage your children is through your spoken words. You can share Bible verses with them, or offer helpful thoughts or wise advice. In these ways, you can provide encouragement to your children. Words of encouragement can also be communicated through writing—you can write a note, a letter, an email, or even a brief text message or Tweet with the goal of offering hope to a child who is suffering or struggling.
Search your heart, Dad. Your kids need all the encouragement they can get—especially from you, their dad…their hero.
Learn more from Jim George about fatherhood in, A Dad After God’s Own Heart.