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Never Lose the Joy of Fatherhood

The venerable Ezra Taft Benson once wrote, Fatherhood is not a matter of station or wealth. It is a matter of desire, diligence and determination to see one’s family exalted in the celestial kingdom. That ‘celestial kingdom’ is always the goal we seek as fathers: to see our children excel – to become they’re very best – is what drives our ambition to be a good father.

Whoever fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge.” (Proverbs 14:26)

It’s not always an easy task; sometimes we wonder aloud if we really have the stuff it takes in raising children – especially when working with a co-parent.

It is then we should endeavor to recapture the joy of fatherhood and to remember that we do so as the fortress of God.

Use the following four tips to remind yourself why fatherhood is really a joyful endeavor.

Make the Memories Count

When it’s all said and done, all we will have in our later years are memories. Some memories will be positive, others not so positive. Make the positive memories count – now! In order to make them count, you must create them. Resist the temptation to languish in the bad memories. Turn them into good memories. Create by feeling and by action; put yourself into position by taking simple action such as time in the park, a trip to the library or simply by reading a good book with your child. Make a mental timeline of your child’s development; it will bring a smile to your face through the years.

Always Expect Good Things to Happen

It’s easy to remember the bad times, the struggles, and the times that made fatherhood feel cumbersome – we’ve all been there! If you don’t want to lose the joy of fatherhood, though, live with a sense of positive expectation – always expect good things to happen.

Children bring an abundance of positive into our lives as fathers. They make mistakes, they get bad grades every now and then; they don’t their chores like we expect them to at times, but they bring to us much more to smile about than to frown.

If we look to transform every not so good into good, we’d discover an abundant source of positive expectations. There is nothing more gratifying than watching a child turn a negative into a positive!

A Child is a Good Teacher

When was the last time you asked your child for advice? When was the last time you thought like a child? Part of never losing the joy of fatherhood is to put yourself in your child’s shoes and imagine how it feels to be a child again.

In an age of “perfect parenting”, where most parents feel they have nothing to learn when it comes to raising children, the notion that a child is a good teacher and source of inspiration seems preposterous. Truth be told, though, children are such amazing leaders because their perspectives have not become fossilized and outdated – as have ours as parents! Children are always learning; parents have already ‘learned’; therefore, they have much more to offer as ‘teachers’ than we do as ‘learners’.

Be Grateful

This is perhaps the greatest of all virtues of fatherhood: to simply be grateful that we have been given the assignment of raising a child. Fatherhood is not only a duty, it’s an honor. If we assume an attitude of gratitude, no matter how tough the times may be, our duty will become less strenuous and more gratifying than we can ever imagine.

Write an affirmation expressing your gratitude for your child in any given area. For example, “I am grateful for my child’s academic excellence!” Recite this daily. Over time, your consciousness will resonance with this attitude and you will discover that you have more to be grateful for than ungrateful.

Never lose the joy of fatherhood!

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