A Father’s Primary Role
Understanding a father’s primary role is rather straightforward:
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up with the training and instruction of the Lord. -Ephesians 6:4, NAB
Men, our number one mission as parents is to raise our children in the faith. Little else matters if we do not get this right.
It does not matter how much money you make, what you provide, how large your house is, or how many vacations you go on if you do not make the Lord a priority in your home.
You can teach your son about baseball, your daughter how to ride a bike, and your kids about your family traditions, but if you do not teach them about God, you have taught them almost nothing of real value.
Finally, you can attend every soccer game, ballet recital, and school talent show, but if you sit in the pews on Sunday with a frown on your face, you are failing in your primary mission.
Generally, we spend Father’s Day honoring the sacrifices that fathers make each year. I wanted to take a different approach. As a father myself, I wanted to challenge the men reading this to do more. I wanted to inspire them to focus on our first priority: God.
Religious education begins in the home. We give hours and hours each week to all of our kids extracurricular activities, yet struggle to devote even an hour to God each week. It is time for that to change, and fathers need to be the one to lead from the front and make that happen.
Say a prayer with your family before every meal and bed time. Decorate your home with beautiful religious art. Show your children what it truly means to serve through activities at homeless shelters and food banks. And the greatest challenge of all: sing as loud as you can at the next Sunday Mass.
Men, thanks for all that you do as fathers, but let’s make this year a year about doing more. Let’s be the spiritual leader of the family that God wants us to be. We may do many things for our family in the coming year, but none is greater than this.