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BUILDING A STRONG RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR CHILD


Being a parent is not easy, especially as a dad. We as dads are often so busy with our work or jobs that finding ways to bond and stay connected to our children can be challenging. Sometimes, we think that staying connected to our children is our wife’s job. We fall into the trap of doing things routinely for our family, assuming that we are already parenting our kids well.


But you know what? A great parent-child bond doesn’t just happen; it takes intentional effort. So, how can we, as dads, build a strong relationship with our children?


1. PRAY FOR YOUR CHILD!

Our prayers matter. There is nothing more powerful that we can do as dads in the lives of our children than praying for them. We can teach them valuable lessons and train them in many life skills, but praying for them is an honor and privilege that builds a special bond between a dad and his child.


When we still have our young children living under our roof, take the time to pray for them. Lay hands on them. Pray a blessing over them before they leave for school in the morning, before their music or sports competitions, when they feel discouraged, or when they are sick. Try to find moments and opportunities to pray for our children. Even if our children are all grown up now and no longer live with us, we can still pray for them. It’s never too late to intercede on their behalf.


We can never be perfect dads, but we can be praying dads.

“Prayer is not telling God what to do. Prayer is partnering with God to see that His will is done.”
– Stormie Omartian –

If we don’t pray for our children, then who will?


2. STAY INVOLVED IN THEIR LIVES

As our children grow up, they discover hobbies and activities that interest them and help build their sense of self. These interests may include sports, music, drawing, reading, building with Legos, cooking, and many more. Studies have shown that an involved and supportive dad greatly affects a child’s well-being, cognitive, and social development. We as dads, need to take this opportunity to build a deeper bond with our children, cultivate their self-esteem and open up lines of communication through positive involvement. In other words, we need to stay involved in their lives.


Read a book to or with your child, have dinner together (just father and child), play video games together, go for a drive with your child just to spend time together, listen to the music your child enjoys (keep an open mind, and don’t criticize their music), participate in sports together, or engage in any other activities together. Learn to see the world from your child’s perspective. When we can enjoy fun moments and laugh together, it helps to develop a strong connection with our child, resulting in a great relationship that will last a lifetime. 


Last March 30, 2024, IFGF MEN Surabaya collaborated with IFGF YOUTH Surabaya to host an event called “Sports Day (Dads x Youth)”. The goal was to provide dads and their children with an opportunity to create shared moments and experiences that would foster lasting memories and strengthen their bonds. 



I believe that by being intentional as dads and making an extra effort to pray for our children and stay involved in their lives, we not only send a powerful message that they are valued and loved, but we also build a bridge between our hearts and theirs. This allows Jesus to cross over from us to them. In the end, that’s what matters.

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
(3 John 1:4 NIV)

Source: Jerry Ruslim (Global Men Coordinator)

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