The greatest joy a father can have is serving and caring for his family and community. The more we aim to treat our family as our Father treats us, the more likely they are to live the lives that God wants for them. Set the tone and prepare to enter each day with a grateful heart—even if you add another necktie to your already-full collection. With these six tips, celebrating family as God's gift to you:
- Start with no expectations. Not only are you setting yourself up to be grateful, but you won't be bummed if your expectations aren't met. Leave these at the door and remind yourself that the day isn't all about you.
- Act on your gratitude. Say thank you as much as possible. To store clerks, strangers who hold the door open for you, or friends and extended family members. Be especially purposeful about thanking your spouse and your kids. Take time to thank God through prayer and reflection as a family. Let everyone hear the reasons why you're so thankful. Out of the mouth, the heart speaks—Matthew 15 and Luke 6 remind us of this.
- Simple acts of kindness. If your wife normally cooks, makes the bed or cleans the car, do it for her as a surprise. Maybe your kids are at the age where they're learning to clean their own room every morning. You may not care to clean your kids' room for them, but you can grant them one messy day. Completing a chore for your spouse or your kids is a great way to show appreciation for what they do. As Proverbs 11:25 says, those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
- Encourage thankfulness. I'm proud of the fact that my kids' childhood is different than mine was, but if I'm not careful, that can create a sense of entitlement in them. I really want to repel that mindset with all my might. How do I do that? I ask them what they are thankful for all the time. If I want my kids to someday be generous, impactful leaders in their families and for the Kingdom, then they need to learn to be thankful. There's no better day to develop this than on Father's Day.
- Be a pen pal. Write to your kids, telling them things you wanted to hear growing up. Our kids want to know that they have what it takes to reach their goals, to be brave and to persevere. We want to encourage them. We also want to point them toward Christ. Let them know they can do whatever they put their minds to, but it's because we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.
- Be present. When spending time with your family and friends, don't grab your phone every five seconds to check social media. One of the best gifts God has ever entrusted us with is the ability to choose, whether it's where we spend our time or where our focus is. We need to steward that ability like anything else—His way, and for His glory.
The bottom line is you will be amazed by how much better each day feels when it's focused on others. We're truly more blessed to give than to receive—and next Father's Day will be more memorable and meaningful because of it.
Chris Brown is a pastor and dynamic speaker carrying the message of intentional living nationwide as a Ramsey Personality. Host of the Life, Money and Hope podcast, Chris provides biblical wisdom and practical advice for life's everyday questions. Chris and his wife, Holly, live in Franklin, Tennessee, with their three children. You can follow Chris online at stewardship.com, on Twitter and Instagram at @ChrisBrownOnAir, or at facebook.com/ChrisBrownOnAir.
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