Gift-giving is in the air and we all breathe it in most deeply this time of year.
When it comes to Christmas gifts for my daughters, it’s really quite simple for me: Debbie handles it–they’re girls and their mother is much more in tune than I with what to purchase.
And I love watching our girls open their gifts; Debbie is a master of giving them the kinds of gifts which unleash the purest kind of joy out of them.
Every year I marvel at Debbie’s gift-giving precision, which I had nothing to do with, and every year I remind myself of my contribution, which is the monetary investment for Debbie to work her “magic.”
Nonetheless, I’ve been thinking a lot about the gifts I give our daughters as a father. And not just the ones that cost money and are given on Christmas or some other special day, but rather more about the gifts I’m giving them with my life every day.
Fatherhood Is A Gift.
Fatherhood in general is one of the most understudied of all human relationships. Yet, research has clearly indicated that fathers have strong influences on their children’s overall emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual development.
This just might be the best time of the year for us fathers to be reminded…
“The gifts we give our children every day, that might cost very little if anything at all financially, are the most valuable gifts we can give them overall.”
What gifts are you giving your children that money can’t buy?
Here’s a gifts list I’ve created for myself. It’s not exhaustive or in any order of importance, but I hope it will inspire other fathers to think about their own list.
Gifts From Dad That Money Can’t Buy.
- Love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.
- Love others as myself
- Love their mother
- Have a sense of humor
- Be a teacher more than a judge
- Be a guide more than a boss
- Be fully present when they need me
- Listen at least as much as I talk
- Don’t jump to conclusions
- Following Christ as the absolute best possible way to live
- Tell them the truth no matter what
- Be flexible
- Control anger
- Invest in them—by spending time with them
- Don’t be overly critical
- A warm embrace
- Be their biggest fan
- Create memorable moments
- Be quick to apologize when wrong
- Frequently tell them “I love YOU!”
- Seek the balance of justice and mercy
- When they need discipline, carefully instruct and correct without humiliating, defeating, or being relationally invasive.