The Lord’s love is with those who fear Him, and His righteousness with their children’s children. Psalm 103:17 NIV
Few things in a man’s life are more impactful than becoming a father. The focus of his heart, the use of his time, the stewardship of his resources are all drastically affected for the rest of his life. As you celebrate a new dad in your life, here are a few ways you can help him as he navigates the many changes that this daunting new role brings:
1. Inspire him – Remind him that God is the One who has chosen him to father this child and He will equip him with the love and wisdom he’ll need as he seeks God’s best.
2. Focus him – Keep it simple: Encourage him to pick three things to pray for daily that he wants most for this little one as they grow up. Examples: to have a vibrant faith; to have a servant-hearted love for others, to be a seeker of truth and wisdom.
3. Encourage him – Give him the gift of daily reminders about God’s provision for the high calling of fatherhood. Whether it’s a message on a Mary & Martha product in the kitchen, or a Bible verse on the bathroom mirror in dry erase marker.
4. Affirm him – Let him know he’s doing a good job as he provides care, reminding him often of the vital role he plays in the child’s life. Using our Prayers to Share could be used as great reminders to be strong in the Lord, have faith, and to seek His truth.
5. Equip him – Help him build a resource library of fathering books/videos/audio messages that will grow his knowledge base and his confidence for the challenges to come.
6. Nurture him – Compliment him often on the soft side: “I hope this little one grows up to have a heart for God and for others like you. Your life shows what the heart of the Father is like.”
7. Connect him – Look for ways to help him to build relationships with other dads and/or a mentor who can walk with him on the fathering journey. Some seasons of life are full of stresses and tough choices and when these relationships are already in place, they can make all the difference in weathering the storms.
8. Support him – Encourage him to access other quality resources if he feels overwhelmed or out of balance. A small course correction is a lot easier to make than a big one that has gone on too long.
9. Encourage him – Give him a place in which to record his thoughts/learnings/prayers for this little one that will give him a lifetime of memories to enjoy and pass on. We are currently offering journals that are perfect for gifting to your husband, dad, son, brother, or others (your Mary & Martha Consultant can help you in shopping them!)
10. Pray for him – Use the fruit of the Spirit as a prompt to pray for him as he grows in expressing these qualities in his role as a father. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23 NIV
Know a first-time dad? Choose two of the 10 above-mentioned ways to encourage him and make it a point to reach out to that first-time father in these two specific ways over the next two weeks. Then, check back in and choose another two ways, and so on and so on. While many of us have great intentions of being a constant encourager to those in our lives, it’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks that we sometimes forget to support those who might just need a lift. During this season of celebrating fathers, let’s remember to encourage the weary first-timers who are getting their first-taste of fatherhood and remind them of where their true strength lies.