For Fathers, Being a Role Model is a 24/7/365 Job

by | Aug 28, 2013 | Man

Several dads I admire have gone out of their way to help other people.

For example, one dad took an eleven-day trip halfway across the world as part of an outreach project for his church. I learned that another dad spends a couple hours on many Friday evenings transporting supplies for a local soup kitchen. Maybe you do similar things.

They aren’t doing these things for recognition from me or anyone else, but it struck me that they were modeling for their children even though in these cases they didn’t take their kids along.

Don’t get me wrong. Volunteering and helping others are important things to do with our children. Those hands-on experiences as a family can be powerful.

And I know that a family character-building experience or lesson isn’t the only goal or even the best reason to do those things. I hope we try to make a difference in our world and our communities because it’s important to us; it’s part of our character; it’s the right thing to do.

If we can model altruistic values for our kids in the process, that’s a great side-benefit, and it’s one way we can give our children a bigger vision of who we are.

It goes hand-in-hand with one truth that all dads need to really grasp and live with every day: we’re always modeling. Our children are constantly watching us and taking mental notes. They notice what we do, and it affects them big time. Our character is always “on stage,” and that means we should be purposeful about what we do—and what we don’t do.

So this is a reminder of something I’m coming back to more and more as the years pass: your legacy is also made up of who you are when you’re not with your kids. They may not see everything you do, but they can learn a lot from hearing about what you do—from yourself and from others, and maybe even years after you’re gone. All the things you do help to make up your character.

This applies to how you conduct yourself at work. Your integrity there is part of your legacy. Like with the two dads I mentioned, your efforts to make sacrifices to try and help others are also part of the picture. If you’re a non-custodial dad or in another situation that doesn’t allow you to be with your children as much as you’d like, I believe that keeping your poise and doing what’s right when you’re apart will still influence your children in some way. It’s part of who you are.

Dad, I would challenge you to get involved in helping other people—and that can include mentoring a younger dad, investing in a child who needs a father figure, visiting someone who needs a friend, or something that we more commonly associate with “volunteering.”

Do include your children in these efforts when you can. But know that even when you don’t, you’re still modeling for them and creating a fuller picture of what a man and father can and should be.

You’ll be showing your children that some of the important things in life are bigger than you and your family. You’ll help take the focus off of your family’s issues and desires, and make them more sensitive to other people’s situations. With that bigger vision, your children will be more likely to get involved in serving others more. And when difficulties do come their way, your children will likely handle them with poise and confidence.

Dad, how have you seen your character—or your mistakes—copied by your children? And what effect did that have on you? Share your insights with other dads below.

Action Points for Dads on the Journey

  • As we start a new school year, help your child look for opportunities to help people or be part of a program that makes a positive difference. Rachel’s Challenge is one good example.
  • Are there areas where you need to recommit yourself to integrity? Maybe related to your job or money, or specific relationships? Make it a priority to really address those. (It all makes a difference in your fathering.)
  • Take one or more of your children along when you run errands. They’ll get plenty of chances to watch you and learn from how you interact in different situations.
  • Here are five virtues to focus on, where your modeling has extraordinary power: honesty, respect for others, humility, self-control, and being willing to admit you’re wrong.
  • What are you modeling at your child’s sports events and other performances? Is winning or doing well more important than affirming high character?

Carey Casey is the CEO of the National Center for Fathering, a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the culture of fathering in America by enlisting 6.5 million fathers who to make the Championship Fathering Commitment.

 For the original article, visit


Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


This Coach Can Help You Destroy Your Addiction to Pornography

This Coach Can Help You Destroy Your Addiction to Pornography

Let’s talk about a subject most people want to avoid. Let’s talk about pornography. According to Covenant Eyes, statistics show that 28,258 users are watching pornography every second, and 20% of mobile online searches are for porn. Among Christians, 20% of youth...

The Real Truth About the Marriage of Politics and Faith

The Real Truth About the Marriage of Politics and Faith

As I look back, I realize that God has given me a career path with some rather unique experiences. I have built bridges at the intersection of faith and government my whole life, and I have learned that serving people through a role in government can be just as...

Joyce Meyer: Winning the Battle Against Satan in Your Mind

Joyce Meyer: Winning the Battle Against Satan in Your Mind

If you have received Christ as your Savior, then you have an enemy. Did you know that? I know some people feel uncomfortable talking about the devil, but he is real and it’s important for us to face the truth about him so we can have a victorious life in Christ. Now,...

It’s Time to Rebuild Love and Unity in the Church—Part 2

It’s Time to Rebuild Love and Unity in the Church—Part 2

Note: As we move towards Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement, Grant Berry, a Messianic believer, speaks about the deeper repentance needed in the Messianic part of the family. As you have read part one of this article during the month of Av and are now reading part two in the...

Will Many of the Elect Really Be Deceived by the Antichrist?

Will Many of the Elect Really Be Deceived by the Antichrist?

The most sobering and troubling statement in the Olivet Discourse is where Jesus says, “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matt. 24:24). This statement cries out for an...


Prophetic Lessons in the Hurricane-Force Storms of Life With Hurricane Ian slamming Florida, it's a time to reflect on the storms of life. As I was preparing for the hurricane, I documented some thoughts about...
Why God Cares About Your Physical Health

Why God Cares About Your Physical Health

God doesn’t care if I am fat. He wants me to enjoy my life. He wants me to live, love and be happy. Food makes me happy so I’m just doing what He wants me to do. That was just an excuse and at its core it is untrue. God really doesn’t care about our outward...

An Unborn Baby’s Heart Is Beating—Stop Denying It

An Unborn Baby’s Heart Is Beating—Stop Denying It

Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams turned heads last week in Atlanta when she defiantly announced during a political event that an unborn baby doesn’t have a heartbeat at six weeks gestation. “There is no such thing as a heartbeat at six weeks,” said...

Prophecy: We Are in a Season of Blessings

Prophecy: We Are in a Season of Blessings

We are kingdom citizens, and not of this world. We don’t abide by this world’s economy and the natural things that happen. Repeatedly, over the last four weeks, I’ve been hearing not to look at the circumstances of this world. We are not of this world. Get your eyes...

Pin It on Pinterest